Magic Tides by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Kate Daniels urban fantasy series finished with Magic Triumphs a couple of years ago. It was so popular that the author has continued the story with additional self-published novellas, including this one.
Up till now, I haven't had much luck with self-published works: the quality is mostly lacking (severely in some cases). That isn't the case with this book. It stands right up with the traditionally published novels, and the fact that it is set after the main series works to its advantage: Kate, Curran and Conlan have left Atlanta and moved to the coast city of Wilmington, and the result is a back-to-basics reset. Kate isn't saving the city of Atlanta and/or the entire world. She's going up against one local supernatural baddie and solving one local supernatural problem. This may change later (assuming these novellas keep coming, which I hope they will) but this is a much lower-key plot than the main series, especially the final few books.
Having said that, the key elements of the main series are still there: Kate's snarky, sarcastic humor and total badassery, combined with the welcome addition of Curran and Conlan POV sections. (Although the author sure seems to love her C and K names--sometimes I wished the names weren't so similar.) This world is one of the most detailed, intricate and fascinating of any urban fantasy series, and I welcome a chance to explore it further, from a setting on the fringe of the main world, as it were. At the same time, this is a taut, self-contained story with excellent pacing. (And who can resist Cuddles the mammoth jenny? Apparently mammoth donkeys are a real thing in the world, although it is of course exaggerated for Andrews' magic-laden near-future.) I appreciated the tradpub editorial quality of this book, and will buy any others the author releases.
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