Tuesday, July 31, 2012

REVIEW: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels, #5.5) Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

CAUTION: Long Review

I thought there were a few things that fell short by the end Gunmetal Magic (GM) met my expectation of an engaging and exciting read. Not to mention there were some other things that caught me by surprise in great way.

The Love Triangle

There wasn't really a love triangle and I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I hate love triangles. I find them to be the laziest way to introduce conflict into a romance. Not to mention how unrealistic (in the probability sense) love triangles can be. I mean there are countless people walking around who can barely get one person interested in them let alone two. I'm glad Andrea quickly rebuffed Roman and focused on Raphael no matter how much issues she had against him. The woman knew where her heart lies even if it took her some time to accept the fact.

On the other hand, Roman was a cool dude. It caught me off guard how I came to like Roman because in book 5 when he was first introduced to the readers I found him to be a gnat — annoying and unwanted. But here in this book, every scene of him with Andrea was funny and exciting. He left both Andrea and me speechless.
He wasn’t swearing because he was freaked. He was swearing because he was excited. Wow. For once, I had no words.
— chapter 14
Dude was excited for a seemingly suicidal mission. Then there were other scenes, like the one battle on the street with a wizard and his snakes, where it was like "Oh wow, I can't believe he did that" and "OMG it worked and they're alive!"

Mixed feelings. I hate love triangles but uggggh. Andrea and Roman would have made a great couple.

The Characters

+++ Raphael

Sorry to say but I thought Raphael was slightly stale in GM. His individuality just didn't shine as it did in the other books. He wasn't outrageous as before, and his humor wasn't as funny as before. Nope, I didn't think the prank he did at Andrea's place was funny. He impressed me as a stereotypical alpha shapeshifter one see all the times in paranormal romance series. "Mine," "mine," "mine." Thanks, I got it. You want Andrea.

On the bright side, it was nice to see how quickly he stopped with the stupid fiancée mess and confessed how he still love Andrea. I didn't need Rebecca to make the love triangle that never was into a love rectangle that would have totally stank.

+++ Andrea

GM was told from 1st PoV from Andrea's side. Andrea was kick-ass like Kate but she was definitely not a clone of Kate. I liked her voice. I liked the complexity of her character. I liked her painful past, her psychological scars, her reoccurring nightmares of both old and new. She was a flawed character, and I loved her for it. I loved her how she picked herself right up. I loved she worked through her issues even though it was so easy to swim in the river of denial. This was a woman that life kicked around but still she refuse to admit defeat.

Basically, Andrea was awesome.

The Writing

The rehashing of Kate Daniels' world was skillfully and hasn't gotten old a bit. Every book, I learn some interesting about the world. In GM, I learned about the modern Library of Alexandria project.
“Yeah. Well, when it became obvious that magic was going to wreck the computer networks, people tried to preserve portions of the Internet. They took snapshots of their servers and sent the data to a central database at the Library of Congress. The project became known as the Library of Alexandria, because in ancient times Alexandria’s library was said to contain all human knowledge, before some jackass burned it to the ground. Since the tech is up, we’re going to dig through that database.”
— chapter 7
I just love how blunt the characters talk when they serve as mouthpiece for the world building.

The plot was surprisingly epic. Specifically, it was another oh-shit-the-world-is-going-to-end-again, and in Kate Daniels' world even though it happens a lot it never gets old at all. The weaving of Egyptian mythology, Norse mythology, and Cherokee mythology into GM's world was skillfully done. No confusion there to be had. The Egyptian mythology revealed more knowledge about the First to the readers. I gained an incredible insight about the great potential Curran carries with him. Let's just say Curran is definitely the perfect match for Kate.

Kate and Curran cameo

I still think Kate and Curran are the number one couple. I didn't expect them to play a big role because GM was Andrea and Raphael's love story. I was greatly surprised and quickly filled with Glee (yes, with a capital G) when GM threw Kate and Curran into the plot towards the end.
Kate stood by the door with her arms crossed.

That was an anti-Curran pose. What the hell was the Beast Lord doing here?

I padded to the door.

“First, you didn’t come home.” Curran’s voice held zero humor. “Second, I’m told that my mate is lingering in Raphael’s house. There can’t be any good reason for you to be here.”
— chapter 12
It was what pushed GM from being rounded down to 3-stars because I found the resolution of Andrea's issues were too tightly wrapped up.

I didn't think bringing someone from Andrea's horrible childhood past into her present was a good way to resolve her trust issue with shapeshifter clans. It made GM a tad too saccharine. The mended relationship Andrea and Aunt B and how it affected her status in the Pack was ample.

Plus, there was still the issue of beastkin prejudice (because Andrea is beastkin) and how it would be have been nice if the Pack officially declare their stance against beastkin prejudice and the barbaric tradition that came with it. I thought that issue was higher priority and should have been resolved instead.

In Conclusion

I rate GM 4-stars for I really liked it. I liked Andrea and Raphael, but as I said there were a few things here and there that fell short. I'm glad Kate and Curran were there to pick up the slack, rounding the 3.5 stars to a great 4-stars.

The GM book included another story called "Magic Gifts." This story focused on Kate and Curran and the case they worked on while Andrea was working on hers. I recommend reading the "Magic Gifts" story first before the "Gunmetal Magic" story for chronological order.

Amazon GoodReads


  1. margaret rainforthAugust 2, 2012 at 5:33 AM

    I look forward to reading this, thanks for the review. BTW, have you found Elle Casey's work yet? Awesome!!

  2. You're welcome. Nope, never heard of Elle Casey. I'll look into it. Thanks.


You can also comment on the Goodreads version of my review. Click on the rating located in the beginning of my review to get to the webpage.