Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews

โ€œSo far I had the god of evil and the god of terror on my side. My good-guy image was taking a serious beating. Maybe I should recruit some unicorns or kittens with rainbow powers to even us out.โ€

Being back in this world felt so wonderful! Oh how I missed Kate, her crew, and this amazing take on Atlanta. Yet, when you take away all the nostalgia factors, one thing remains true: this book felt like the ultimate filler book.

I won’t lie, I felt disheartened with this book ending. This book’s sole purpose felt like it was to prep you and make you excited for the next, and maybe final, book. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading about all these characters I’ve grown to love over the years, but turning that last page, with a “cliffhanger” that was rubbed in our face for the entirety of this book, just felt bad.

All the rest of this book in this series feel like they have a purpose; where this book, I can’t believe I’m saying this, felt pointless. Kate is still Kate, which means it would be almost impossible not to love her, so I didn’t have any problems with her; it was that her “missions” fell a little short, if that makes sense. Her personality, passion, and banter is always amazing, and she will always have a little piece of my heart.

โ€œGreat. Kate Daniels, tracker of old ladies with a biting fetish. And me without my armor.โ€

I even loved the oracle aspect. I mean, I was a child that grew up with Harry Potter, obviously prophecies are my cup of tea, and Kate trying desperately to change her future was endearing and I really thought I was going to love the outcome. Unfortunately, this build-up didn’t end up being the mind-blowing explosion of a story I’ve come to expect from IA’s book conclusions, but instead I barely got a spark that could light a candle.

The next part of this review will have minor SPOILERS for the previous books in this series! Please do not continue on if you are not up to date with this series!

Basically, this book is leading up to Kate and Curran’s wedding. Kate is let in on a prophecy that can result one of two ways, and both ways are freaking devastating. Kate decides to take matters in her own hands and change the future so neither outcome happens. She pieces together a few important clues, rallies some amazing troops, and is willing to do anything it takes to finally defeat her father.

That doesn’t sound so bad, right? I mean, it wasn’t a bad read, it was just anticlimactic and, in my opinion, the worst in the series. That’s not to say I’m not going to devour the next installment on day one with a smile on my face, but I was disappointed with this book, and especially with Jim. I’m not supposed to hate the new Beast Lord, right?

โ€œEvery time I use my magic, everybody gets so concerned. I defend them, I bleed for them, and the moment the immediate danger passes, they let me know how much they disapprove. As if their fucking disapproval matters. As if I should ask their permission, like a servant, to do what is in my power.โ€

Yet, to juxtapose, I freakin’ loved Roman so, so much! He’s a Chernogob, the God of evil, priest, who is going to officiate Kate and Curran’s wedding. He also has a very unique family dynamic that I would totally read an entire book about.

Also, there were a lot of religious themes in this book that I wasn’t expecting. We see a lot more Gods, and learn a lot more about ancient lands and their biblical meanings. It was pretty cool and I enjoyed reading about it and trying to keep all the names straight.

I also loved the love building between Christopher and Barabas. IA has always been wonderful as having amazing representation and diversity in their books, and this series is not different. Like, I need Christopher and Barabas fan-fiction now, because I can’t wait for the book.

Also, just Christopher’s character in general is such a wonderful story-arc. Like, I can’t even form words to describe his character development. This is the mind-blowing explosion I’ve always came to expect with IA books. Seriously, absolute perfection.

The other perfect story-arc in this book was Erra’s. Be still, my heart, I did not see that coming in a million years.

And honestly, as horrible as he is, I really like Kate’s relationship with Roland. I love trying to figure out his mind and all the confusion that is him. I, also, I loved his cameo at the end, and I hope to have a better climax with him for the next installment.

I also wanted much more Julie and Derek angst, especially after reading Magic Stars. Like, at this point it feels almost certain that Julie will be getting her own spin-off, especially with her origins being discovered a bit more in this book, but, dammit, I want some angst now!

Ghastek makes many appearances in this book, and each one made me extremely happy. I don’t know why, but that Master of the Dead has always been one of my favorite characters in this world and I will never complain about seeing more of him!

I, also, just wanted to state that I am now Kate’s age, twenty-eight, and this makes me extremely happy, yet, feel like the laziest bum in the entire world! Seriously, I can’t even function in the morning without drinking my weight in caffeine.

Overall, I did enjoy being back in this world, but I didn’t love this book. Actually, it’s probably my least favorite in the series, but it’s an IA book – it’s still good. Honestly, this whole series, and everything else IA touches, is a tier above anything else in urban fantasy. I have very high hopes for the next book, and I pray that it does not disappoint or feel like a filler book, like this one did.

Also, I don’t think this will be the last time we hear of Curran’s little snack, or the impact of it, especially taking into account the last line of this book.

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