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In the beginning, there was the world of a dystopian Atlanta, full of magic and tech taking terms in which of the two ruled the place.

And then… there was Kate.

“Across from me at the next row of supports Jim raised his hand and touched his fingers to his thumb a few times, imitating an opening and closing beak. Negotiate. He wanted me to engage a lunatic who had already turned four people into smoking meat. Okay. I could do that. “Alright, Jeremy!” I yelled into the night. “Give me the salamander and I won’t cut your head off!” Jim put his hand over his face and did some shaking. I thought he was laughing, but I couldn’t be sure.” 

Seems like this woman never gets some much needed rest. Some months after the upir fiasco of the first book, Kate Daniels, now an official member of the order, finds herself once again in the middle of trouble. Someone has stolen the Pack’s maps, a teenage girl needs to be cared for until she finds her mother, and a magic flare is approaching fast. Oh, and a Celtic demonic deity is about to be restored from the Underworld. All in a day’s work for the world’s most unorthodox merc!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: KATE DANIELS, MARRY ME!
I think Ilona Andrews is on a personal mission to make me love this merc even more by each book. If you thought that Kate was badass in the previous book, you should see her in this one. Because now, apart from the werewolf sidekick, the sex-crazed information broker, and the OTT Alpha Beast Lord, Kate Daniels has a kid. That’s right, you heard me right! No, I don’t mean she got pregnant, she just got herself in such a mess, where she had to take care of a teenage girl while searching for her witch mother. And let me tell you, Julie was every bit the equal of a mini Kate.

“I take it you’re Julie.”
“You’re real smart. Did you figure it out all by yourself?”

Seriously, the girl gave me the chills – and not the scary kind. Her and Kate were bonding over slaughtering reeves, magical creatures that looked like undead mermaids, and she even joined the final battle despite having just been saved. Not to mention her obvious crush in Derek (Red can go jump off the Keep’s highest tower for all we care, little bastard!).

The fact that Kate was acting every bit like a demented, foster mother didn’t help me in controlling my girlish squeals.

I stepped aside and pulled the reeve through the bars, through the window, into the kitchen.
Watch this, you sonovabitch.
Obeying my unspoken command, the reeve rammed the wall head-on. Hit. The drywall crumbled, exposing the hard brick.
Hit. A red stain spread.
Hit. Her skull cracked like a dropped egg.
You won’t get my kid, you hear me?

It’s official, the woman was born to be a badass mother and was just denied – for some unfathomable reason – the right by mama nature. Honestly, look at the way she treats Derek, it’s plain obvious why the kid likes her that much, and so does Julie.

Speaking of Derek…

“Derek, if a boy wanted to take away a girl’s power by having sex with her, what would you think about it?”
“I’d break something. His leg. Maybe his arm.” He squeezed the wire tighter. “Probably wouldn’t kill him unless he wanted to make an issue of it.”

Is it any wonder why I adore the boy to pieces? If he was 5 years older, I might have screamed for the fact he’s not real.

Which brings me to the other important male of this story. Curran. I admit it, loud and clear, I hated his beastly ass in the first book. And I’m not scared to confess that, till the very last couple of chapters in the second book, that hatred very nearly consumed me. I couldn’t stand his arrogance, his OTT Alpha ways, his behavior towards Kate, how he seeminly enjoyed humiliating her (*cough* or the fact he tricked her into the basic steps of courting while she was in a vulnerable state *cough*)  …

But, remarkably, something changed. After a certain event that I won’t give away, something made me see more sides to him, made me appreciate his little acts of kindness and his annoyingly calm composure. Somehow, the idea of him possibly being the main love interest for Kate didn’t strike me as repuslive. I even came to like him a bit. I hope he continues growing on me, he has me very intrigued.

Another nice addition to the cast is Andrea. I heard she has her own story in the series, and I’m hoping to get to it one day. Her and Raphael are cute beyond words when together – even if he sort of freaks me out with his masochistic side…

As you can see, I ranted non stop about the characters. Why? Because we all know, even by this point, that I don’t need to point out how fast-paced the action is. How solid the world-building, how breathtaking the battle scenes, how, even the most peaceful of chapters, end up being either hilarious or suddenly packed with trouble.

Killer of my boredom, thy name is Kate Daniels.