Author: Ilona Andrews
Publication: Ace (May 31, 2011)
Description: Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job.
Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, but she's still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be-now that the Order is disparaging her good name. Plus, many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate's mate.
So when Atlanta's premier Master of the Dead calls to ask for help with a vampire on the loose, Kate leaps at the chance of some paying work. But it turns out that this is not an isolated incident. Kate needs to get to the bottom of it-and fast, or the city and everyone dear to her may pay the ultimate price...
My Thoughts: This story begins with a bang. The first thing that happens is that Julie runs away from school again. Kate wants her ward to stay at school where she will be safer; Julie hates the school and wants to be with Kate. Kate feels like, and is, a trouble magnet. Mating with Curran didn't eliminate any of her troubles. It just added the Pack to her worries.
Kate has left the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aide and has begun her own investigative agency. Now all she needs are clients. Her first case comes when she receives a call from Ghastek because a vampire has gotten loose. Kate corrals the vampire but then has a fight with the Atlanta Paranormal Squad. Something is going on with the already unreliable magic in Atlanta and Kate needs to find out what.
Andrea Nash joins her. Since she was outed as a shapeshifer, she was retired from the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aide since they are a humans only group. Andrea has devoted her life to the Order and is devastated. She needs something to do (and would like something to kill).
The next case that comes through the door is even stranger. A member of the Red Guard wants to hire Kate to retrieve the missing inventor and his device that they were guarding. While pursuing this case, Kate needs to consult with a variety of Russian magicians including witches and volhvs. One of the witches knew Kate as a child and gives her information about her mother and guardian that rocks her world. But Kate can't think about that information now. The Red Guard's missing inventor has created a Doomsday Device that eats magic and kills anyone with any trace of magic. Kate and friends must find and destroy the device before the villains can set it off.
The villains are a hidden terrorist group called the Lighthouse Keepers. They are a human-centric group that believes that all the world's ills are caused by magic and magic users. They want to destroy all of them so that humans can take their rightful place in the world. The Lighthouse Keepers have infiltrated everywhere and now they are activating their sleepers.
Besides the "destroy the world problem", Kate has to deal with a more personal problem when Julie is attacked by a shifter and given the Lyc-V virus. Odds are overwhelming that she will go loup when she regains consciousness. The usual course of action is to kill a shifter who goes loup but Kate can't accept that. She is willing to do anything to save her child. She needs to embrace her heritage and learn to use powers she wishes she didn't have in order to save Julie.
This was an exciting and entertaining story. I couldn't put it down. I had to know if Kate could save the world. But most of all I had to know if she could save Julie. This is great urban fantasy. I recommend the series highly.
"Would you like me to carry a foot-long stick? I can just poke people with it when they get too close."I pre-ordered this one months ago and haunted my mailbox on release day. You can buy your own copy at Amazon in paperback or for your Kindle.
"That's a good idea." He held his arm out. "If you can extend your arm and touch them with the stick, they are too close."
"You are insane."
"If I am insane, what does that make you?"
"A terrible judge of character."
I went back to the couch. I could've fallen for someone steady. Dependable. Well-grounded. But nooo, I had to lose my head over this idiot.