A is for Ilona Andrews.
For this challenge, I’m going to be doing Author Reviews, not so much as book reviews. I’m going to look only in the bookshelves here in my own house, and try and review the different authors I’ve fallen in love with over the years.
Okay Day 1 of the Challenge and I’m going to be reviewing (showering love on) Ilona Andrews. On all of their books.
My first introduction to the amazing writing team that is Ilona Andrews was Magic Bleeds and almost instantly needed to get the rest of the books. The books in the Kate Daniels series are the perfect combination of urban fantasy with real relationships thrown in. A Kate Daniels is Urban Fantasy. It has won awards as romance, and it definitely has romance as a central theme, but the themes covered are wider than that; family, loyalty, love, honour, sacrifice, nobility and fighting for the greater good are also there. Kate grapples with big issues such as which is more important; the needs of the individual or the needs of the society as a whole? Issues not normally tackled in just any romance novel, which is why to me, Kate and her world fit more comfortably within Urban Fantasy.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my paranormal romances where by the end of the book, each couple get their happy every after, but sometimes, a slow burn attraction that turns to commitment is more satisfying. Taking 4 books to reach the commitment stage was a masterful decision by Gordon and Ilona Andrews, making the commitment seem more real and definitely long term. Of all the books in the series, overwhelmingly, my favourite is Magic Rises. I spent a lot of time when I was reading this book, yelling at the main male character of Curran for being an idiot, and a lot of time yelling at Kate for believing his idiocy. And the conclusion tore my heart out and stomped all over it. It was days before I could pick up another book and read again. I totally understand why they took the tact they took, I completely agree with what they did but still. The shock of the ending knocked me sidewards and definitely took a few days to right myself again. Always a sign of a phenomenal book as far as I’m concerned.
After my obsession with the Kate Daniels world, I investigated the world of The Edge. This is the first series written by the Andrews and it shows. Each book has its own central characters who don’t really interact with characters from other books. Each book is a standalone based and set in a particular place, The Edge. This makes the series good to read, but I don’t get pulled into the world the way I did with the Kate Daniels world. The 4 books in the Edge series are great reads, but what I find most interesting about them is the progression in the writing and writing style. Any fan of the Andrews should read these books and anyone leary of reading a series will enjoy these books.
Recently, the Andrews team has started a new series, set in an entirely new world where there is no magic, just psychic powers. Burn for Me is the first book in the series and introduces us to the main characters. Again, the romance between the two main characters follows the slow burn build up that worked so successfully with Kate and Curran, rather than the rush to happily ever after of The Edge characters. I was tentative about this book. I had it on my shelf for a few weeks before I read it, because I was scared. Scared the book wouldn’t be as good as Kate; scared that it would be better than Kate. Of the two series, Kate will always have my loyalty and is on the list of things I’d grab if I had to evacuate my home for any reason, but at least at the moment, Burn for Me wouldn’t be. The premise is great, the story is believable, the characters are wonderful and will just get better and better. I truly believe that. But at the moment, Kate is superior in characterisation, strength of story and pure fun. I know this is because I’ve had so many books to get to know her, rather than just the one to get to know Nevada but still, Kate will get my vote for most marvellous woman in all time.
On their website they also have a serial, Sweep in Peace, which is a fun read given freely to fans. Anyone who enjoys the Ilona Andrews books should visit their website. On their website they also have a serial, Sweep in Peace, which is a fun read given freely to fans. The amount of interaction they do with fans is incredible, they are warm, generous authors who have a devoted loyal following and I am more than happy to acknowledge I am one of them.
P.S. I love that the Andrews team was able to reference the amazingly talented David Eddings in Magic Rises. I can just see Sparhawk and Curran enjoying a BBQ although I think Kate would get on better with Mirtai than with Ehlana.