My Thoughts // Kate Daniels series - My likes and dislikes

28 September 2021


It has taken me many years and several attempts but I have finally finished the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. It is one I have long claimed as a favourite, despite never having read all of the books released. Now, I can finally confirm that it gets a place on my favourites list. Not that it is a particularly exclusive list, I think I proclaim a book as a favourite all of the time. I am very easily pleased, but it is there all the same. And it was deserved, because I can see this being a series I continue to want to reread over and over again.


I really wanted to talk about the series on my blog, but with any series it's so difficult to do because spoilers are inevitable. Something which is a well established fact later on in the series is often hush hush and yet to be revealed at the start. How on earth was I meant to talk about everything when it's basically a minefield of spoilers? I decided to look at the general things I loved, this may contain minor character spoilers but I obviously won't tell you the specifics of what happens. To be safe, if you want to avoid spoilers then you are probably better off skipping this whole post, which would suck, but I know not everyone lives life on the edge like me and just embraces the spoilers as they happen.


The good


The romance


The main romance here is between Curran and Kate and it was wonderful. I loved that it was so slow burn, it takes several books for them to even get close to admitting they like each other and there were still hurdles to over come. They were such a great couple, htough. Yes, kate was impulsive and reckless and Curran was a bit of a control freak and was a touch over protective. But they balanced each other out and the great thing was that neither expected the other to be something that they weren't. Too often you see characters change through a long running series and they don't even resemble who they were when it started. But not here, they grew as people and a couple but I never felt like they were becoming something that they weren't, even when Kate was adjusting to life within the pack and the rules of being with The Beast Lord, you could tell she was herself. The titles and rules didn't sit right with her but she knew there were limits to which she could push those rules and she always did.


The secondary characters


One thing I love in a long running series is that you can truly have a full cast of characters because you know that there is time for them to be fleshed out in various books. As the series progressed so did the secondary characters who made frequent appearances, and as the series progressed those who were featured more often changed too. I loved that you saw Kate find herself with a mismatched collection of friends and colleagues. It was so nice to see her grow closer with Andrea and get herself a best friend, and various faces within the pack like Barbaras and Aunt B. There were just so many wonderful characters who came and went through the books. And even better was that there were novellas which focused upon some of those secondary characters and there are spin off series too. This was really a series which kept on giving with all those people I wanted to claim as a favourite.


Each book had an interesting plot


Look, that doesn't always happen with a series. I honestly expected to say that it lost me a little in the middle or it had a weak ending but that's not the case. In actual fact, the worst book of the series is probably the first one. It's not as well written as the later ones and because there was so much introduction to the world and the various characters it was a slower, and it was shorter. But this seemed like a series which grew and got better as it went along. You could tell Ilona and Gordon were finding their feet as the series progressed, they had an idea and it took a while to really get going and that's fine. After the first book the writing was stronger and I loved that I was always kept guessing what kind of direction things were going to take. There were some twists along the way I really wasn't expecting.


The grumbles


Look, I am not stupid enough to claim that the series is always perfect, there were flaws. As I said, the first book wasn't great and I did have things that, looking back, I wish hadn't been there or had been written better. But I loved the series anyway.


Magic system


Look, in a world where tech and magic comes and goes in waves there has to be some sensible magic system in place, and there was to some extent. And the various different cultures and folklore meant different types of magic. I loved that magic was a flexible thing which was changed and influenced by people and their beliefs. The problem was that as I think about it now magic seemed completely fluid and I still can't grasp if there was a specific magic system in place. It seemed that it could conveniently change each book to help fix each issue that came along and that did get a little frustrating. There were limits on the magic, and it was explained why Kate's abilities with her magic grew through her use of them but it would have been nice to have a more solid magic system and for there to be more limits on what it could and couldn't do.


I never worried they wouldn't make it


I'm not saying no significant characters died through the whole series, that really would have been ridiculous. But I never once worried about Kate and Curran not surviving. Even when I think I was meant to worry about them (they both really liked to throw themselves into life threatening situations with no regard for their own safety) I just felt certain it would be ok. I suppose part of that came from the fact that they always made it through in previous books. They were badly injured, and even looked like they wouldn't make it from time to time, but by the final book I didn't have that worry any more. I mean, it was the last book. Anything could have happened but I didn't feel that tension as things progressed when I was meant to be worried.


There wasn't enough of an epilogue


This is a silly complaint, especially as I know there's a Julie spin off series and Hugh's spin off series, but I wanted a longer final epilogue in Magic Triumphs. I'd spent all of this time with Kate and I wanted to see more of what was next for her. I know she will appear elsewhere, as will the various other characters, but it would have been nice to see more of them settled into their new normal after the final battle. I suppose my issue was I didn't want the series to end, and when it did I wanted more of a neat little bow on things before new drama and dangers emerged in the spin off series.


Have you read this series? What have you enjoyed about it and disliked from what you’ve read? It’s firmly on my favourites but no book can be perfect.

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