Saturday, April 6, 2013

Novella Review: Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews (Salute Your Shorts, #3)

Salute Your Shorts is a weekly (ish) feature hosted by Heidi at Bunbury in the Stacks. It highlights and reviews short stories and novellas, both of which don't receive too much attention in the blogosphere. 

Title: Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels, #3.5) [Novella found in Must Love Hellhounds]

Author: Ilona Andrews

Rating: 4 Stars

For the first time, I think it really hit me how much research this duo does. Seriously, how much do they prep before they write a novel or just a novella? It's amazing! For all I know, it could be unauthentic research, but with this novella, I know it's all true - after all, I recognize Greek Mythology even if I don't recognize the other types of mythology used in the other novels. 

It is a testament to the writing skill of Ilona Andrews that they were able to pack such a huge amount of depth and punch into a short novella. Andrea is never a main character in the Kate Daneisl Series, but she's the primary secondary one and while we know her and are able to distinguish her voice from that of Kate's, I loved seeing both how similar their vulnerabilities were and how different their lives were, shaping them to be completely different people.

It's impossible to mix up the voices of Kate and Andrea as they are both such strong and distinct personalities, especially Andrea whose past is far more tortured than any of us could have imagined. My heart ached for her and now I just want to rip intoGunmetal Magic and get to know her even better. When this novel opens, Raphael, the bouda who has been lusting after Andrea, has been pursuing her for six months and to see these two finally discuss their pasts and take the plunge to make a future together is heart-warming. Both of them have their flaws, but despite that, they are perfect complements to one another, much like Kate and Curran. It's interesting to see the differences in these two relationships, even from the onset, as, in shapeshifter terms, both Kate and Curran are alphas, which makes their relationship all the more volatile to bring together, but all the more long-lasting once together, compared to that of Raphael and Andrea, neither of whom are outright alphas. (Gosh, look at me, talking shapeshifter speak! I should just find a wardrobe into this world already...)

Magic Mourns was an utter success as a novella and the subtle comparisons that the authors draw between Andrea and Kate, both simultaneously linking and separating them, were remarkable. Plus, we have yet another fantastic mythological mystery on our hands, witty lines, tons of snark, and even some mentions of Curran to keep us satisfied. But, know that if that doesn't work, Raphael is more than charming, sweet, and sexy to pass the time with! ;)


  1. Ohhh this novella sounds so interesting!Especially if it includes mythology. I actually haven't heard of this series, but maybe I will check it out.

    Great review Keertana!

  2. I loved this novella as well, Keertana! I love everything in the world of Kate Daniels and devoured all the shorts, I think a lot of them I read in one day. Wonderful review. I still need to pick up Andrea's novel. :)

  3. I have Magic Bites and am just waiting for vacation so I can get caught up on all the UF series burning a hole in my Kindle. So glad to hear this novella is as satisfying as the full length books! I'm looking forward to catching up and getting to know Andrea and Raphael. Wonderful review!

  4. It's a great sign when an author can write a short story that is just as good as their full lengths novels! I really must try to read this series this year!

  5. Another series I haven't started yet and I should. I have heard some amazing things about this series. I hope I'll get to read it soon. Great review :) I'm glad you enjoyed :)

  6. I was afraid Kate and Andrea's voices would be too similar, especially when Gunmetal Magic was announced, but I really had no reason to be. There are many differences in their voices and in their personalities, no matter how similar they look on the surface. I really loved Gunmetal Magic. I'm sorry Dali won't be getting her own book.

  7. Yes, yes, yes, to all of this! I love how distinctive Andrea and Kate are, and how incredibly different they become after reading their various points of view than you would ever expect from two very strong, physically capable females. I really think that this one is a must read before diving into Gunmetal Magic, as without this you won't really understand just how broken Andrea is at the beginning of that one. I want to strangle Raphael sometimes, but you can't help but love the smarmy bastard just a little bit. And also, the mythology is probably my favorite thing about this series and what places it above all other UF for me--I love how well researched it all is and how they work to incorporate so many folkloric beliefs over their books.


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