A slight detour in my Kate Daniels read-a-thon, Gunmetal Magic is actually a side novel apparently set between books 5 & 6 – and it’s a side novel I’d have had no clue existed if it wasn’t for the kind Cannonballers who mentioned it, so a big thank you to you all!
Until this point we’ve been reading about the adventures of Kate – former merc, now the Consort to the Beast Lord and possessor of a smoking sword and dodgy blood – as she’s ably backed up by her friend Andrea Nash, beastkin and former Knight of the Order. In Gunmetal Magic, Andrea gets her own turn at the wheel and it’s a worthwhile outing – especially if, like me, you ship Andrea and Raphael over Kate and Curran (although, typical fickle me, on reading this I suddenly decided that I was far more into Roman, the dark magician who’s surprisingly chill*).
When four shapeshifters (from Raphael’s crew, no less) are murdered during a reclamation project, Jim turns to Andrea for help – Andrea has years of investigatory experience and, besides, Kate’s busy elsewhere. Taking on the case will mean coming up close and personal with Raphael, something that Andrea has been dreading ever since their break up, as well as putting her on a collision course with a formerly powerful deity who’d quite like to take over Andrea’s body in order to restore his godhood.
As well-paced and entertaining as I’ve come to expect from Ilona Andrews, as well as giving us a story from Andrea’s viewpoint Gunmetal Magic also allows us to see Kate through another’s eyes (and she’s surprisingly terse, given all the yammering she does in her outings) as well as hearing what a little snot the teenaged Julie can be when her guardian isn’t around. I’m also very glad that I read Gunmetal Magic before continuing on with the series, as it seems there are some fairly biggish events contained within (as well as the dropping of some information regarding Curran not being quite your run of the mill shapeshifter).
My copy of Gunmetal Magic also came with another novella at the end, but I’m reviewing that separately as every novella counts towards my Cannonball (and if there are any other side-pieces that I’m missing, hit me up!)
*This may also be because at one point, while reading a description of Raphael, I thought it sounded a little like I’d imagine Tommy Wiseau would describe himself, and now I can’t seem to shake off the association. Blech.