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Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

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Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 751

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews Reply with quote

Thanks to Maggie Boyd for her spot-on review of Gunmetal Magic. Although this book is told from Andrea's perspective, all Kate Daniels fans will enjoy it, as it moves forward the general storyline of that same magical universe. I would also reiterate that it does have spoilers for some of the earlier Kate Daniels books, so it's best read in order (i.e. chronologically Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays). This book comes with a 100-odd page novella Magic Gifts which is at the end of the print edition of Gunmetal Magic I got (I presume e-versions will be formatted similarly), and I would go further to say that it's better to read Magic Gifts first before Gunmetal Magic as although they are set in a parallel timeline, the events in Magic Gifts influence what happens in Gunmetal Magic.

After getting all those instructions out of the way, how was the book for me? I really liked it. Andrea does have a distinct voice, and it was good to hear her side of the story. However, about halfway through the book, she sounded more and more like Kate, except for the weapons expertise. It didn't really bother me that much, as I think of them as sisters-under-the-skin. The romance between Raphael and Andrea is very much a secondary thing, so those who are expecting lots of romantic moments will be disappointed. This is very much a plot-driven urban fantasy with some romance on the side.

Ilona Andrews' world-building is amazing - as I am a fan of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody books, I do know something of the Egyptian pantheon, but I had never thought of them the way Ilona Andrews presented them. I am now going back to my Egyptology.

Can someone who has never read any Kate Daniels books read this one and not be lost? Yes, it can stand alone, but you will miss some of the nuances. All in all, I would still recommend it highly. What did everyone else think?
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Maggie AAR

Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2709

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you liked the book and review.

I am loving this series. I hope they continue writing in this world even if they conclude Kate's story.

maggie b.
She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain. - Louisa May Alcott
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Joined: 05 Jul 2007
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just discovered Illona Andrews and her Kate Daniels series. I raced through her books just as quickly as I could download them from the library.

I loved Gunmetal Magic and how well it added to the the Kate series. I loved seeing a favorite character from a different point of view. But I feel like Andrea's complete story has been told. So is Illona Andrews going to use the "stories in Kate Daniels's world" to tell stories about others? I would personally love to read about Roman.
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Pop Tart

Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 132

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed GUNMETAL MAGIC but did sometimes think that the action sometimes overtook the emotional aspects of the story. Andrea has a complicated past - both distant and more recent - and I got frustrated by the brevity of the scenes in which she is actually dealing with those elements of her life.

Don't get me wrong, I think Andrews excels at writing fight scenes and battles and derrig-do, but I wanted just a little more in the way of emotional development. She's broken up with Raphael over some pretty major stuff and yet after an argument or two they're back together. And I really wanted more exploration of what it will be like for her to now be a member of the bouda pack. And when the person from her past showed up (vague to avoid spoilers) I thought aha, now we'll get some emotional payback. Not so much.

When I think about it I realize the difference between how Kate Daniels was developed (over the course of 4 or 5 books) and how Andrea is in this standalone, I realize this is where the problem lays.

I did enjoy this one - but would probably give it a B as a grade.
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gunmetal Magic was my most eagerly anticipated book this year but I'm sad to say that it disappointed me. I've loved everything I've read from Ilona Andrews including novellas and especially the Curran POV shorts. I was very intrigued by the Alphas:Origins piece in the anthology Angels of Darkness. Wish they'd develop that world further.

Anyhow, Gunmetal was a non starter for me. I think a major part of my problem is that Andrea just isn't Kate but she's so much like Kate that she comes off as a pale imitation. Ditto Raphael -- an interesting character to be sure but he ain't no Curran. I was grumpy as well over the idea of a story set in my favorite fantasy world without the main attraction (uh, Kate and Curran, Hello!) Imagine an In Death without Eve and Roarke, an Outlander without Jamie and Claire (well, Fiery Cross *cough* but that's another discussion).

I pictured myself as a sad-faced Griswold standing outside the locked gates of WallyWorld. Poor me. Still, I'm now eagerly awaiting Steel's Edge in November. Crying or Very sad
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