Kate Daniels Reread

0So, I mentioned that I love Ilona Andrews and the Kate Daniels series and that I read it often. Well, I’m rereading it now, in between ARCs and other books. I thought that I would do a review of the books as I reread them and my thoughts on them, as I find new things in the older books and reread the newer ones again. See, I’m just positive that all y’all want to know what I’m reading and what I think. I’ll reread all the novellas that go along with the series too, but I rarely read them in the place where they fit into the books’ timeline, I just read them all when I’m done, generally because I still can’t get my head out of Kate’s world.

I sort of consider Kate Daniels to be in the post-apocalyptic category as well as being in the UF category. While there hasn’t been a huge apocalypse like one may think, the fact that tech and magic are at war with each and there are times that magic rules the world and time when tech rules the world and so many things just don’t work anymore is apocalyptic to me.

I’ve already read the first two, Magic Bites and Magic Burns, and I’ll be getting into the third one, Magic Strikes, in a couple of days since I have some ARCs to read and review, as well as a couple of other books I need to get read and reviewed. I’d complain about having so many things on my To Be Read pile, but I really can’t. I just have to complain that there aren’t enough hours in my day or days in my week to get it all read. But, it’s better than not having enough to read.

The main character in this series is Kate Daniels. She starts out as a merc with a mouth and a big secret. Her secret could mean that everyone she knows dies, if it gets found out. She is much more powerful than people think she is, and she does everything she can to keep that power hidden. She was trained by her father, Voron, to be an awesome swordswoman and fighter. He also taught her to hold vengeance near and dear to her heart. He tried his best to turn her into the perfect sociopath, though it didn’t quite take.

sword woman

There are a lot of other characters that show up, and I’ll talk about them as they pop up, but the big one I’m going to mention right now is Curran. Curran is the Beast Lord, the Alpha of the Pack, which includes all shifters in Atlanta and surrounding areas. He’s a HUGE lion. Kate describes him as a paranoid psychopath. He is very controlling and holds to his rules very tightly. In this world, that’s important for shifters. They can either go Code or go loup. The Code is a set of rules that each shapeshifter needs to follow to help keep their animal side under control. Going loup means that the animal has overtaken the human side and the shifter runs around going crazy, attacking people, causing general chaos and mayhem. But that’s not the only reason that Curran is a control freak, it’s also the fact that he is an Alpha. Alphas are controlling and dominant, it’s part of their make up. And since he’s the Alpha of Alphas, he’s even worse.

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I’ll talk about more characters as they come up when I’m reviewing the books. But, I do want to mention two groups, the Pack and the People.

I’ve already said that the Pack is led by Curran. It’s made up of six clans into which all shifters fall into. Each clan is ruled by their Alpha, which is usually, but not always, a mated Alpha couple. They have the highest say in their clan, but Curran can override them. Each Alpha couple has a seat on the Pack Council, which is the ruling body, headed by guess who. The clans are Boudas, who are were-hyenas; Wolves; Clan Nimble, made up of animals like mink, foxes, etc,; Clan Rat, who are generally the scouts of the Pack; Cats; and Clan Heavy, which are the big shifters, like bears, buffalo, and such-like. The Pack is based in the Keep, a huge fortress that they have built, and are continuing to build. Membership of the pack is somewhere around 1,500.

The People are the Navigators of the Dead. Vampires are created by a virus, and are turned into mindless killing machines. Navigators are people who have the power to take over the minds of the vampires and control them. They can see and hear everything the vampire can see and hear, and can converse through the vampire. The People are based in the Casino, a huge Taj Mahal inspired building that is part casino, part stable for vamps, and part office building. In the early books, the head of the People in Atlanta is Nataraja. Unlike the Pack, which has no higher structure, the People do have a much larger structure, which is headed by Roland (remember that name).

This post is getting long enough, so I’m going to split it off here. Tomorrow will begin the actual reviews of books 1 and 2.

As always, if you have suggestions, questions, whatever, let me know. If you have a book that you are gagging for me to read and review or you just think that I would love to read it, let me know. I’m always up for more books to read. And I generallay think everyone is entitled to my opinion, LOL. No really, I just like sharing my opinions and viewpoints.

Have Mercy! The World of Patricia Briggs

Welcome to another entry in my UF category, saga, whatever you want to call it. Anyway, today is Patricia Briggs and the world of Mercedes Thompson, which also includes the Alpha and Omega books, since they are a spin-off of the series.

At first glance, Mercedes Thompson looks like a Native American mechanic who specializes in working on Volkswagens. And yes, she’s heard all the jokes about Mercedes the mechanic who works on German cars. But, when you start to look deeper at her, you find out that there is a lot more to her than you think. One of those things is that she turns into a coyote. Unlike the werewolves in this world, which take a long time to change and who go through a lot of pain during their change, Mercy can change immediately, with no pain at all. That’s because unlike the werewolves, who have to be changed into being a werewolf, Mercy’s power as a skinwalker is innate. In the first book, we learn that her mother didn’t know what to do when she went into see her baby and found a coyote pup in Mercy’s crib instead of Mercy.

Because of that fact, Mercy isn’t brought up by her mother. She had an uncle who knew Bran, the Marrok. The Marrok is the Alpha of Alphas. He is the head of all the werewolves in the US, and while he doesn’t rule the other countries, he does have some influence, mostly because he is very old and very powerful. And when I say very old, I mean centuries, as in double digits of centuries. Grendel from Beowulf may be based on Bran. Anyway, he has a pack in Montana and finds Mercy a place with a foster family, where she spends her childhood until she’s a teenager when she gets sent to live with her mother and her mother’s family, in Washington State.

Back to Bran for a minute. Bran is Welsh and has two sons, Samuel and Charles. Charles is the only born werewolf. His mother was a Native American and had her own magic. She managed to hold off the change while she was pregnant so that she could give birth. Generally, female werewolves can’t carry children because the change is too violent. Charles has his own magic through his mother, and his change is more like Mercy’s, and he can come back fully clothed. He’s only a couple of hundred years old. He is also the main character of the Alpha and Omega series, with his wife Anna. She is a rare Omega wolf who is outside of the normal pack structure and acts as a calming influence. Omegas can help out with wolves who are out of control.

Samuel is Bran’s older son and isn’t too much younger than his father. When Mercy was a teenager, he romanced her and she fell in love with him. He wanted to have children, and he saw Mercy as a way to do that, since she wouldn’t lose her children due to her shifting, since her powers are in-born.

Mercy’s garage used to be owned by Zee, a fae who identifies as a gremlin. He’s one of the few fae who can handle touching cold iron. Zee has a long and storied history that he keeps pretty secret. He is powerful enough that the Grey Lords, the leaders of the fae, don’t like to bother him much. The fae are out and have been for years, and many of them live in reservations. The one nearest her is in Walla Walla.

One of Mercy’s loyal customer is Stephan, who loves Scooby Doo and owns a VW bus that has been painted to look like the Mystery Machine. He also just happens to be a vampire, and owes allegiance to Marsilla. Stephen and Mercy are friends.

And that brings us to Adam Hauptmann. Adam is Mercy’s neighbor. He is also the Alpha of the Tri-Cities pack. He also declared that Mercy is his mate. Mercy thinks it’s just to protect her and doesn’t realize how serious it is that he did that. He gets over-protective and she does what she can to annoy him, like leaving an old VW in a field between their homes that she vandalizes, just to ruin his view. Spoiler, Mercy does eventually find out how serious Adam is about the mate thing.

I really love these books, and I run through them about once a year. Patricia Briggs has great world building, and not only has characters you love to love, but she also has characters you love to hate, *coughChristiecough*. While there is sex and language in the books, they are relatively mild, and absolutely kink free. There is violence, but that’s to be expected in books like these.

The orders of the books is:

Mercy

  • Moon Called
  • Blood Bound
  • Iron Kissed
  • Bone Crossed
  • Silver Borne
  • River Marked 
  • Frost Burned
  • Night Broken
  • Shifting Shadows
  • Fire Touched
  • Silence Fallen 

Alpha and Omega

  • “Alpha and Omega”  published in On the Prowl and Shifting Shadows 
  • Cry Wolf
  • Hunting Ground 
  • Fair Game
  • Dead Heat 

Coming up in the next couple of days, reviews of two ARCs, Tears of Surrender by Sophie Kisker and Kavven by Hannah Davenport.