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Magic Shifts

Magic Shifts - Ilona Andrews North American Gray Lion

The image above shows now extinct North American gray lion. According to Wikipedia, the guy was about 25% bigger than the modern African King of the Jungle. This was the largest species of cats ever.

People familiar with the series already know how the lion above relates to it. One of the main characters - Curran - happens to be a shapeshifter whose beast form is that guy. I hope I made a convincing case explaining why another main character - Kate Daniels - called Curran a one-man army at one point.

So Kate and Curran were having quality fun time together destroying a horde of ghouls threatening Atlanta when Curran's stepsister came in asking for help. Her fiance Eduardo was missing and because of the complications of the Pack's politics nobody bothered looking for him. Eduardo happens to be a werebison which in Kate's world means equivalent of a tank. One needs some serious power to stop such a guy and messing with Big Powers (with capital letters) is Kate's favorite pastime, so she jumps at the opportunity to investigate the disappearance. Epic fights where both sides are not shy about using very powerful magic ensure.

After the events in the end of the previous books I was not sure whether this one would work at all. It also had all signs of being a filler. My expectations were quite low and this is probably why I actually like this one more than the previous installment I mentioned. It also answered the biggest question I had - some other people had at as well (a very minor spoiler follows): did Kate and Curran just leave Christopher in the Pack? It is not a nice place for outsiders.

There were some nice character developments. Julie was the only exception, but even she showed some human sides - for the first time, but briefly. She is still her regular useless self though. I felt there were not enough Desandra and Ascanio: they really shined before. Sadly Derek is back to his usual gloomy brooding self.

The overall series plot while moved very little and practically at the end, still moved so I would not call this book complete filler material.

As to the rating I give this novel 4 stars; these are weak 4 stars, but 4 stars nonetheless. The next book of the series promptly goes to my to-read shelf.