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Literature: Kate Daniels

Chicks in leather with guns and swords and monsters who love them.
Ilona Andrews' Twitter

Kate Daniels is an Urban Fantasy series written by husband and wife team Ilona Andrews, authors of The Edge series. The series has repeatedly made the New York Times bestselling list, and the next book is due out in 2014. The main series is set to have ten books in total with multiple spin-off novels, novellas, and short stories.

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings - and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league - but she wouldn't have it any other way...

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Kate Daniels series

  1. Magic Bites
  2. Magic Burns
  3. Magic Strikes
  4. Magic Bleeds
  5. Magic Slays
  6. Magic Rises
  7. Magic Breaks
  8. Magic Shifts (2015)

Kate Daniels world

    • "Magic Mourns" in Must Love Hellhounds - starring Andrea Nash
    • "Magic Dreams" in Hexed - starring Dali Harimau
    • "Retribution Clause" in Hex Appeal - starring Adam Talford
  • Gunmetal Magic - starring Andrea Nash
    • "Magic Tests" in An Apple for the Creature - starring Julie Olsen
    • "A Questionable Client" in Dark and Stormy Knights - featuring Kate's first meeting with Saiman
    • "An Ill-Advised Rescue" as a bonus in ''Magic Rises - featuring Kate, Derek and Saiman

Tropes

  • Action Girl - Kate Daniels with her Cool Sword and throwing knives, Andrea Nash with her guns. Not surprising in a post-apocalyptic society. Also the many of the female members of the Pack, especially the Clan alphas.
  • Actually Not a Vampire - In the first book, a guy she meets and dates briefly is set up to be the Monster of the Week. He isn't. It's really, really awkward.
  • After the End - Most of the human population was destroyed during the first magic flare, when monsters flooded back into the world and magic reduced skyscrapers to rubble.
  • All a Part of the Job - Kate Daniels works two jobs, one at the Mercenary's Guild killing magical nasties and one at the Order of Merciful Aid, keeping the peace and tracking down serial killers. She mourns that she can't even have a pet because she's never home often enough to keep it alive, she's perpetually in dismal financial circumstances. She's constantly being injured, brushing up against death three times in three books. Later it's revealed that she was offered a job with the elite Red Guard for very good money, but turned it down because it's too boring to sit around and wait for someone else to attack you. She'd prefer to be out there hunting down the bad guy. However, by later in the series she has become a private detective financed by the Pack, and has a much more settled home life with Curran.
  • Angst Coma - Curran for 11 days in the fourth book before he recovers. See below.
    • Doolittle briefly in Magic Rises.
  • Anti-Magical Faction - The Lighthouse Keepers.
  • Anything That Moves - Saiman can morph his body into any form he wants. He unsuccessfully tries to seduce Kate because he's never been rejected.
    • Teenaged male boudas will also go for almost anything. Older females think this is cute, most others disagree.
    • Becomes an issue for Andrea with regard to Raphael. She can't see that he truly is in love with her because she feels that, as beast-kin, she's just TWTIHFY, "That Weird Thing I Haven't Fucked Yet" to him.
  • Atlanta - The postapocalyptic kind.
  • Ax-Crazy - Shapeshifters who lose the internal battle for sanity become loups, mindless bloodlusting creatures who like their cannibalism with a side order of rape.
  • Backto Back Badasses: Kate and Hugh D'Ambray in Magic Rises while fighting the ochokochi. Made all the more badass because they are enemies who were raised and trained by the same man.
  • Badass Boast -
    • Curran gets an epic one in the fifth book:
      Curran: “You’re free to leave. Go home, kiss your wives, hug your children, and put your affairs in order, because tomorrow I will burn your neighborhood to the ground. We will kill you, your families, your neighbors, your pets, and anyone who will stand in our path. An attack on my family will not go unpunished.”
    • Kate makes a nonverbal one to a hardened elite ex-military hired guard
      I would kill you in an instant with no hesitation.
      A slow recognition rolled over Henderson’s face.
    • Kate, again, at the end of the fourth book:
      "...But know this: if you come to remove me, come in force, because if you to separate me from him, I will kill every single one of you. My hand won't shake. My aim won't falter. My face will be the last thing you'll see before you die."
    • Andrea, in Gunmetal Magic:
      "Listen well, because I won't be repeating myself, you racist prick. If you make any trouble for me or my people, I'll hunt you down like the pig you are and carve a second mouth across your gut. They'll find you hanging by your own intestines. The next time you hear something laugh and howl in the night, hug your family, because you won't see the sunrise."
  • Battle Couple - Curran and Kate. Later Andrea and Raphael. Also, the clan Alphas.
  • Beast Man - The stronger shapeshifters can develop a warrior form, halfway between their human and beast forms.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension - Kate and Curran. Andrea and Raphael.
  • Beta Couple - Andrea and Raphael. Dali and Jim.
  • Big Eater - The shapeshifters eat a lot to fuel their transformations.
  • Bishounen - Raphael, Ascanio and Derek. The latter only until Magic Strikes.
  • Blood Magic -
    • Blood wards are magic circles drawn in the caster's blood, and they draw their strength from the blood itself.
    • Magic itself seems deeply interwoven with a person's blood which is why Kate can't afford lose hers.
    • Kate, her aunt and her father are all capable of creating blood armor.
  • Boomerang Bigot - Leslie Wren, a werelynx who goes rogue in the fifth book.
  • Character Development - Kate begins the series as a mouthy, immature loner. As time passes, she learns to bite her tongue and apologize for her words, she stops putting her ego first, and she acquires some friendships that are very important to her.
  • Chekhov S Gun: The essay on Upir that Bono gave Kate before the start of Magic Bites.
  • Cool Sword - Slayer. Also minor character Rene has a poisonous rapier that's a lot like Slayer.
    • In Magic Breaks Sarrat. Also, both Slayer and Sarrat are made from the bones of Kate's grandmother.
  • Dark and Troubled Past - Kate, Curran, Derek, and Andrea all have horrifically abusive childhood trauma, and carry the baggage with them.
  • Deadpan Snarker - A lot of characters, but mostly Kate. About the only one who doesn't fit this trope is Grendel, and he's a poodle.
  • The Determinator - Kate and Curran both. In particular, when Curran charges into a flying palace full of thousands of armed Rakshasa demons in the middle of a magic jungle.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? - Kate faces off against divinity several times. To wit, a Babylonian plague god, and a Celtic demon-crow...thing.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu? -And before she punches out the Babylonian plague god, Kate and said god have tea and a nice chat about strategy. And their family.
  • Divorce Requires Death - Wolves mate for life, and so clan Wolf doesn't believe in divorces. Ever.
  • Drives Like Crazy - One of the defining characteristics of Dali Harimau. As she has a shapeshifter's Healing Factor, she considers crashing to be merely inconvenient. Her passengers and nearby pedestrians disagree.
    Jim: You're legally blind, you can't pass the exam to get a license, and you drive like shit. You're a menace.
  • Eating the Eye Candy - Kate totally doesn't wax poetic about Curran. More literally, her preferred response to the Male Gaze is to do the exact same back at whoever's doing it.
    • Andrea does this quite a lot as well. Really, if a woman is the POV character, expect a lot of this in the internal monologue.
  • Empathic Weapon - You know Kate's really angry when Slayer starts smoking.
  • Enemy Mine - Several times the competing factions of the Atlanta magical community have had to come together to overcome a threat- the Lighthouse Keepers in the fifth book is perhaps the best example as virtually every single powerful faction was there.
  • Evil Aunt - Erra is Roland's sister and thus Kate's aunt.
  • Fantastic Racism - Tons.
    • Rakshasa hate shapeshifters. They despise both animals and humans and thus consider shapeshifters to be twice as bad.
    • Ted, Kate's boss, claims Kate betrayed humanity by helping the shapeshifters in the Midnight Games and eventually causes her to quit. Kate claims the Order is completely and unrepentantly racist.
    • The Pack themselves have some who believe beastkin - children of animal-weres - should be slaughtered at birth. Some of the Pack believe that people who aren't shapeshifters will never be qualified to become an Alpha.
    • The Lighthouse Keepers against all magical beings.
    • Hugh D'Ambray thinks shapeshifters are so sub-human they don't even feel real love.
  • Face Palm - Kate's been known to gently beat her head against a wall, especially after talking to the Beast Lord.
  • Fur Against Fang - The People (the vampires) and the Pack (the shapeshifters) are in a constant state of tension. Given the way the story is being built up regarding Roland's intentions in Atlanta, this is where it seems to be headed.
  • Gag Echo: In Magic Rises, when George is trying to use whiskey to disinfect Kate's wounds, Kate adamantly refuses and we get this from Desandra: "Do you need me to hold her down, because I can totally do that." A few minutes later, Kate says the same to Desandra when Desandra refuses to change out of her blood-stained and dirty clothes while helping clean up the aftermath of the fight in Doolittle's room.
  • Gladiator Games - The Midnight Games. A major part of the plot of the third book.
  • A Glass in the Hand - In Magic Bleeds, Kate is on the phone with Saiman after he tried to seduce her away from Curran. Curran listens to their conversation with a blank face while slowly rolling his plate into a tube. His metal plate. Kate has to explain the screeching noise as "construction". When Curran finally sets it down, it's been compacted into a ball an inch across.
  • Glory Seeker - In the first book, Curran accuses Kate of being this because she doesn't accept how neatly the case wraps up. He thinks she's just trying to come up with another bad guy because she likes playing in the big leagues with everyone listening to her.
  • Going Native - Normally averted with shapeshifters who either go Code or go loup. Some, however, become like animals and have to be put down because they can infect other animals and humans with Lyc-V
  • Half-Human Hybrid - Kate has a human mother and an father who is incredibly powerful and definitely not human.
  • The Hedonist - Saiman. To his credit, he doesn't even try denying it.
  • Heal It With Booze: George tries to do this to Kate's wounds after being attacked in Doolittle's room. Kate will have none of it as it doesn't really help with the healing.
  • Healing Factor - Lyc-V does this for all shapeshifters. Various other people and creatures have this as well.
  • Heroic BSOD - Kate suffers one in the fifth book when she learns that her mother used magic to force her adoptive father into helping her, and that said adoptive father did not care for her as much as his revenge against her biological father.
  • Heroic Sacrifice - several times, by various characters. Kate tries twice, but is rescued both times by Curran. Corwin dies protecting Derek. Bran dies rescuing Julie for Kate. Aunt B dies so Raphael and Andrea could get away.
  • Horny Scientist - Saiman always wants to bed Kate in return for him helping her out.
  • How Do I Shot Web? - Kate has struggle to gain control over several powers during the course of the series, most importantly the Words of Power and her innate blood magic.
  • How Do You Like Them Apples?? - Thanatos brings Kate apples of immortality because he can't find anyone else able to eat them. Kate makes Curran an apple pie with them, because he can eat them too.
  • Interspecies Romance - Kate and Curran. Technically Raphael and Andrea.
  • Knight Templar - Ted. Probably true of a lot of the Order.
  • Ladykiller in Love - Curran to Kate and Raphael to Andrea.
  • Language of Magic - The ancient tongue Words of Power are taken from.
  • Magical Incantation - Words of Power, acquired in a do-or-die contest of willpower.
  • Magitek - some technologies are supplemented with magic, such as feylanterns and electric lights, and cars modified to run on magic-infused water.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break - Kate's Big Bad in the four book visits her apartment and actually has tea with her before they continue fighting. Since said Big Bad is also her aunt and a psychopath, she said she wanted to spend time with her niece before she had to kill her.
  • Mind Rape - The Big Bad of book four has a puppet who inflicts this. She hits Curran with it to screw with Kate and causes him to go wild before falling into an Angst Coma for a bit.
  • Mundangerous - In the first book, Kate and her allies are gearing up for a potential battle. The Beast Lord explains that the werewolf Alpha is absent because he broke a bone due to "LEGOS". At first Kate is confused, trying to remember a Greek monster or spell that might have disabled a werewolf, before the Beast Lord clarifies that the wolf tripped over his kid's toys and fell down the stairs.
  • Multitasked Conversation: In Magic Rises, Derek and Kate have one of these in Desandra's room so that Kate can let Derek know that a vampire is listening in on their conversation.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Lorelei Wilson, in Magic Rises, wants to do this. At first she tries subterfuge to win Curran, then outright challenges Kate. She is told to shut up and sit down before she gets herself killed.
  • Mysterious Protector - Naeemah is a strange variant she was hired by Hugh d'Ambray to protect Kate until he could be certain she was Roland's daughter but she doesn't like Hugh and may protect Kate after their contract is over if Kate proves herself worthy of it in some way.
  • Named Weapons - Slayer has had many names, including Wolfripper.
    • Also the Blood Weapons created by Roland.
  • Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid - Andrea has much angst about being one of these.
  • Occult Detective - Kate isn't formally trained as one, but she's in a politically convenient enough place that she ends up getting the job. Later, she becomes a P.I., instead.
  • Offing the Offspring -
    • The near-immortal necromancer currently known as Roland will not tolerate a living child who would inherit his Blood Magic, as they generally use this magic to try to kill him, each other, and anyone else they have issues with.
    • A large problem for shapeshifters. Children aren't born knowing the Code, and so have lots of chances to go loup. As many as one in four go loup by puberty. It's worse for wolves: one in 10 goes loup at birth.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different - Shapeshifters are humans or animals infected with the Lycos Virus, engaged in a constant struggle to stay sane. The leader of the Pack is a werecat. He can change into a lion. Additional werebeasts include werebears, werebuffalos, wererats, werehyenas, werebadgers etc.
  • Our Vampires Are Different - Vampires are mindless with hunger and no longer have any semblance of personality. They can be piloted by necromancers, but left to their own devices they would kill until there was nothing left to kill but themselves. As with the werebeats, vampirism is caused by a virus.
  • Panacea - used to save shapeshifters from going full loup, it's incredibly hard to get a hold of. Curran had offered $300,000 to anyone who could teach the Pack how to make it. Hugh D'Ambray arranges for Kate and Co to go into a pretty obvious trap just for the chance to get enough panacea to protect the Pack's young for a single year. As of the end of Magic Rises, the Pack is now in possession of Christopher, whom Kate rescued at random from Hugh, who makes batches of Panacea of incredible potency and who is passing that knowledge onto Kate and to the rest of the Pack.
  • Physical God - Erra. Roland by implication. Kate will be, too, when she gains control of all her powers.
  • Police Are Useless - Generally played straight, especially when the Lighthouse Keepers seem intent on committing mass murder with little impunity.
  • Reality Ensues - Once an Episode, Kate and Curran try and beat the stuffing out of each other. Kate doesn't always lose because the fights rarely make it to an actual conclusion, but Curran tends to end in a much better position than she does, because he's a head taller than her, twice her weight, and has Super Strength and a Healing Factor. In these fights, Kate is little more than well-trained and irritable and she doesn't unleash her Blood Magic against him.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue - When Kate is captured by rakshasas, Curran and the rest of the shifters embark on one to rescue her.
  • Samus Is a Girl - Erra is a girl though the ancient poem that describes her says she's a he
  • Scarily Competent Tracker - "God help you if you offend the Pack, because they didn't need a K-9 unit to find you."
  • Science Destroys Magic - Seems to work both ways: Technology destroys magic and magic causes technology to fail.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes - Shapeshifters' eyes change from human to animal when they're upset or losing control. Kate often refers to Curran's eyes as molten gold or fiery yellow when he's angry.
  • Through His Stomach - Shapeshifters use food to show affection and announce protection.
  • Training from Hell - The reason Kate is such an expert swordswoman
  • Uncanny Valley - The Reapers, human-like enough to fool m-scanners, not enough to fool Kate.invoked
  • The Virus - Two: one makes shapeshifters, the other makes vampires.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting - The shapeshifters can switch at will between their human forms, their halfway warrior forms, and their animal forms.
  • Will They or Won't They? - Andrea/Raphael & Kate/Curran. The former is seemingly resolved by the third book the latter is resolved later in the fourth book meanwhile Raphael is hurt by the fact Andrea chose to stay with the Order while Kate went off to help the Pack, the make up and get back together in Gunmetal Magic
  • Words Can Break My Bones - Kate levels up early in the first book when she learns her first few.
    • Quite literally with "kneel!", if enough power is invested.


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alternative title(s): Kate Daniels
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