Kate Daniels, well-executed urban fantasy series

Borrowed from ilona-andrews.com

With the new book, Gunmetal Magic, out today (which I will go read now), I think now is a good time to talk about this urban fantasy series, including who I think would or wouldn’t like it.

The protagonist is Kate Daniels, a mercenary in a world where magic and technology come in waves, and when one of them is dominant, the other isn’t working. Kate lives in Atlanta, and the series follows her as she becomes embroiled in the problems of the shapeshifters, necromancers, and magical police of the community, among others.

This series is interesting in that it takes all of the usual tropes of the genre and does them well. If you’re looking for a series with unusual character types for the genre, then this might not be what you want to read. But if you’d like to see the archetypal characters of the genre made into actual three dimensional characters, then you might want to check it out.

Another plus is the worldbuilding. There are numerous factions, and a variety of supernatural creatures present in the series. In fact, here’s a list of them on the series wikia. I’ve mentioned before that I like it when research and creativity goes into the supernatural worldbuilding. This series has that. Also, the vampires are written as mindless creatures controlled by necromancers. Which means no sexy vampires here, thus eliminating one point of contention between me and the genre within these books. Sorry for the people who like sexy vampires. But the good news is, I’m sure you’ll find them somewhere.

Yet another upside to following these authors (Ilona and Gordon Andrews) is that they blog a lot. They also blog extras to the series and snippets of their writing to keep the fans engaged and interested. I think it’s really nice of them to throw out bonuses for their readers in between book releases.

For the romantics out there, I feel obligated to mention this: this series probably has the most sexual tension between the main couple that I have ever encountered in print (though keep in mind that I don’t really read paranormal romance, so my standards might be skewed). Especially in the third book. Regardless of how much you like the characters–I can admit that the alpha male hero type isn’t my favorite, please don’t throw things at me for saying so–the tension is pretty much undeniable. End obligatory mention.

Altogether, this is a well executed series in the urban fantasy genre with creative worldbuilding and a favorite of mine. I have to say that it’s refreshing to see the usual archetypes of the genre handled well and built upon.

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4 Responses to Kate Daniels, well-executed urban fantasy series

  1. Psycho Gecko says:

    I too dislike sexy vampires of a certain way. I mean, there was Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines that featured one, but that’s like saying a game with people in it featured a sexy person. She was still very dangerous, and her relationships were never about love.

    It’s also one reason I enjoyed the remake of Fright Night. The sexiness was at most used as a way to draw in people to feed on and turn, like a proper predator. There’s a difference between a human-vampire relationship being a means to an end, or an end in itself. A lot of recent series go with it being an end: True Blood, Anita Blake, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the Series-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named of both books and movies.

    • Marie Erving says:

      I won’t say that any theme can’t be well done in the right hands, but this particular one by itself isn’t one that I necessarily lean towards.

      I do have to disagree with the notion that Buffy used the relationship as an end, since the entire point of it was to demonstrate that it was doomed. That no amount of love could possibly salvage it. We disagree on that show pretty often, right?

      • Psycho Gecko says:

        We seem to. I’d say that’s a fair enough assessment of Angel and Buffy, though part of the tragedy was that this vampire and human couldn’t be together even though they were such a perfect fit that she counted as perfect happiness for him. She got plenty of other guys though (and tried a woman once if you take the comics as canon).

        As for Spike and Buffy, a sexy vampire fell so in love with her that he underwent a lot of punishment just to be worthy of dating Buffy. And then sacrificed himself. Not a healthy relationship for a dead man to be in.

      • Marie Erving says:

        Yeah, I’m pretty sure nothing about the Spike/Buffy relationship was healthy for anyone.

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