ARC Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

Andrea + Badass = Gunmetal Magic

Title: Gunmetal Magic
Author: Ilona Andrew
Series: Kate Daniels #5.5
Publisher: ACE Fantasy
Release Date: July 31, 2012

The New York Times bestselling Kate Daniels novels have been hailed as “top-notch urban fantasy” (Monsters and Critics). Now, Ilona Andrews delves deeper into Kate’s world, and reveals its untold stories…
After being kicked out of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. She tries to put herself back together by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend. When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano—the male alpha of the Clan Bouda, and Andrea’s former lover—die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate. Now she must work with Raphael as her search for the killer leads into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta. And dealing with her feelings for him might have to take a back seat to saving the world…

I had conspired to break the law with my ex-boyfriend, who I professed to hate, broken said law, destroyed the victim’s attack dog/magic creature in a fit of murderous frenzy, and then ran away across the city, wandered around some woods, and fell asleep in a tree in my beastkin shape. When I went off the rails, I didn’t do it halfway. No, I flipped a few times, caught a lot of air, and then exploded in a fiery crash.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to review this book early and let me tell you that Gunmetal Magic by far exceeded my expectations prior to reading.

“The one where you go f*-k yourselves.” A snarl crept into my voice. “You come here to my territory and you think you can push me around? Well, come on. Push. See what it will get you.”

When I first heard that Andrea was getting her own book, I’ll admit that I was super excited…that is, until I realized that her book was going to put a new Kate and Curran installment on the back burner for another year. *insert sad face* However much to my excitement SHOUTY capitals within the first chapter I was like “Kate and Curran who?” LOL, okay that’s not exactly true but Andrea and Raphael were such an exciting, funny and tumultuous couple that I was immersed in Gunmetal Magic immediately and let me just say that their book wasn’t lacking in any category including humor, lust, love, fighting, flirting, blood, and  gore.  I was always a fan of Andrea but now after reading her story  it’s obvious why she and Kate are such close friends and her daredevil ways rival Kate’s while Raphael’s alpha-Licious persona mirrors Curran’s as well, though in their own completely different ways.

A dark figure stepped into the office…… Six foot three, lean, wearing a black leather jacket and faded jeans….He stepped into the light. Dark blue eyes looked at me and the world fell apart around us. His face, framed by soft black hair, wasn’t perfect in the way Ascanio’s was, but it was a masculine and handsome, and his eyes communicated a kind of sexual intensity, a promise and a challenge, that made women lose all of their self-respect and try to proposition him I plain view of their dates. The familiar scent washed over me like a pain-filled perfume.


The first scene with Raphael broke my heart. *insert heavy lump in my throat here*  The best thing about reading and ARC is you get the opportunity to review it first and the worst thing is that while my chest felt heavy and my heart was dying inside I had no one to discuss it with. One thing I find so admirable in a strong female role is that, if my heart was breaking then Andrea’s must be shattering and instead of crying and throwing a fit, she held her own, (while I was seething) and didn’t back down when things were not going in her favor because shes a strong willed woman. She knows that life must go on. She doesn’t curl into a bawl and sob which would have been acceptable, no she plans a way to face the facts laid out before her and how to go about her life without her job and sense of duty suffering! She is such a courageous and fascinating addition to the Kate Daniels series that wouldn’t be the same without her in it.

“You mean you showed her your guns and she didn’t faint?” Ha-ha-ha. “No, honey, you’re the only one who does that.” As I recall, it was usually the other way around.” I’ve seen plenty of guns. You have a nice one, but it didn’t Make me faint.” “That’s what you say now.”"Raphael, I don’t own this phone. Don’t make me break it, because I just gave up my last ten bucks to use it.”

When she is hired by Jim to investigate a murder scene and discover who has sent venomous snakes to kill employees of Raphael and that hits close to him since Andrea is familiar with these workers and she believes in justice being served. True to her protective and badass nature she won’t let anything or anyone get in the way of her investigation despite her uneasy personal life.

“Maybe you needed backup to help you with Roman,” I told him. “I don’t need backup. I can take him with one hand tied behind my back.” “He had one hand tied behind your back.” “Maybe it looked that way from where you were sitting……”

Raphael has always been described as a gorgeous, spoiled, player relentlessly sought after by women based on his looks alone and so I never took him as having much depth to his character except that he’s a pretty boy to look at. Well we finally get to see the incredibly wonderful side of Raphael that left me not only crushing on his good looks but his mind as well. He’s a powerful protector and he knows no lengths when it comes to getting the attention of the one he loves.  It’s apparent in this book that he would walk through fire if it meant protecting Andrea and making her his. I just love these Boudas when they get all growly and possessive when claiming “mine“. RAWR. Some of my most memorable scenes in this book involved the verbal sparring between Andrea and Raphael, and it felt like I was a voyeur into a couples foreplay. It was sexy, hot and irresistible to watch.

His voice was sweet as honey. “Darling, do you need me to loan you some money?” “Ive never in my life needed you to loan me money. If I were dead, and the ferryman needed a coin to take me across the river to the afterlife, and you had the only quarter in existence, I’d tell you to stick it up your a$$.”

Asciano is such a cool character, we don’t really get to know much of him in the past but luckily we truly get to know more of him. He a teen bouda that rivals Raphael’s man charm and charisma. He’s funny, fearless and can hold his own in a fight, all the while working as intern at The Cutting Edge with Kate and Andrea. He has grown so much in character since we first met  him and he’s growing into a young man that is going to be a powerful man. I loved Asciano.

A loud hyena cackle rang through the clearing. I turned. He stood on top of the beast. Blood drenched his fur. His monstermouth split in a happy, psychotic grin.

So I’ve visited Graceland a few times since I have a momma that is obsessed with Elvis Pressley and something I was fascinated with was that in his home he has shag carpet not only on the floor but in the walls as well. All I can say is that, there’s some purple carpet that had me rolling over with laughter and all I could think of was Graceland! LOL. Mating rituals, need I say more?

“I asked you a question,” Raphael said, his voice saturated with menace. Roman’s voice turned icy. “And I told you to f*-k yourself. Which part wasn’t clear?”

Roman the volhv, has turned into a character that I’m anticipating hearing more from. He’s so funny and his sparring matches with Raphael are unforgettable and I just love reading about two men measuring their “sticks” in female attention rivalry. He’s gorgeous and powerful and I’m dying to see him paired up with an equally witty character myself. Between he and Asciano, these two can steal a scene from anyone they’re so charismatic.

To me being a shapeshifter meant being hurt, degrades, and living in fear. Every bone in my body had been broken by shapeshifter a before I was the years old. I’ve been stabbed, punched and kicked, whipped, and set on fire. I’ve watched my mother being beaten to a bloody pulp repeatedly and with vicious glee. I had rejected that life and chose the Order instead. The Knights were my pack and Ted was my alpha.

Andrea has a tortured past that we finally discover in Gunmetal Magic and my heart broke for her. Until reading this installment, Ilona Andrews has brilliantly kept us in the dark about her dreary and tragic childhood that left her vulnerable and robbed her of a happy life as an adolescent. With this torture we will now understand the true reasoning behind why she feels more comfortable hiding her shifter side and remaining in favor of only exposing her human side. When the Order released her from their service upon discovering her secret, that’s when we truly got a glimpse of Andrea’s shame that surrounds her shifter side, her fear of her Beastkin becoming public knowledge and her stubbornness to let down her guard. I’ll admit I was puzzled in the past as to why Andrea would lack the pride in her shifter self that all the other shifters possess and I might have briefly blamed her for hurting Raphael and not throwing away her pride and meeting him halfway, but I was completely wrong. Andrea needs to deal with her painful past her own way and her journey begins in Gunmetal Magic and I’m so elated to see the powerful and positive change in Andrea towards herself, her shifter abilities as well as her strength to let the past go, forgive, yet to never forget her torture and the strength to know that she can assist other shifters and make sure they never endure the pain she once endured. For that I felt this book was truly outstanding!!!!  Its obvious as to why Andrea is such a strong and admirable character because she has an ugly past that has shaped and molded her into the awesome character she is today!

The three shapeshifters stared at me, open-mouthed. “That’s how you intimidate people. No witnesses and not a mark on him. Get your a$$es to the car.”

If you’re going in reading this book hoping for cameos with Kate and Curan you will get your cameos, however I didn’t miss Kate and Curran when they were not around because Ilona Andrews proves once against how amazing this lovely pair know how to write amazing love stories, intertwined with a dark and scary plot that managed to keep me laughing and cheering the entire book. I was glued until the very end, and upon completing it, I wanted more. These exceptional authors know how to flirt with danger, tug at my heart strings and leave me yearning for more. Gunmetal Magic is a MUST read. It was incredible, and Andrea’s charm was stunning.

“Bad days, good days, ‘I’ll cut you if you look at me the wrong ways’ days. I’ll take them all.”


ARC provided for review by ACE Fantasy


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Please stop back by my blog on Thursday August 2nd for my stop on the Gunmetal Magic Tour to enter my giveaway!  

Miss Vain

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22 Responses to ARC Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

  1. Iris says:

    Great Review! Love to read Gunmetal Magic!

  2. melliane says:

    Yay! I so can’t wait to receive my copy. So glad you enjoyed this one but with Ilona Andrews I was sure of it. thanks for the review!

    • MissVain says:

      Hi Melliane :)

      This book was awesome, and your absolutely right, with Ilona Andrews behind the pencil of course it will be great!:) Thanks! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts as well.;)

  3. Emmy says:

    Great review Miss V! Can’t wait to read more about Asciano and Roman also!

  4. Holy crap this is getting awesome reviews all over!!! I had to skim a little b/c I was sooooo afraid stuff about Raphael would spoil other stuff for me b/c I haven’t started Kate Daniels yet *thumps side of head!* Andrews is one of those awesome UF authors I keep meaning to get to but I just keep getting distracted!! UGH!!

    I love your review, though!! I all your reviews are so, um, YOU!! Thanks!!!

    • MissVain says:

      Hi Kristin,

      Oh I can’t wait until you actually get the chance to read Kate Daniels because it’s fantastic UF at its best, and very sexy too. Thank you so much for the review <3, you are so awesome! Thanks!!:) <3

  5. Anne says:

    I’m so anxious to get this book. I might break down tomorrow and get the e-book and pay full price…no wiaitng for coupons. I love Kate’s series and think these two characters could definitely live up to a book of their own.

    • MissVain says:

      Hello Anne,

      Anne since its mass market paperback, even with a 20% coupon you will only save $1.40 so the savings are never as great for mass market paperback as they are for hardcovers, but usually at Target if they have it, it will be 25% off so $5.99 and that’s a good savings too. Come back Thursday for my tour stop because I’m having a giveaway. I hope you love it, and it’s worth the money :) Thanks for visiting.

  6. Roxanne says:

    Thanks for the review! Love the icons and font colour! Planning to go out and buy Gunmetal Magic for sure tomorrow…

    • MissVain says:

      Hello Roxanne,

      Thank you so much for the review and blogger love. You’re so sweet, thank you.:) Hope you love it, you’ll have to share your thoughts with me after you finish.;)

  7. Braine says:

    Haven’t read the series but I love the review AND the quotes. The title is quite catchy too!

  8. Jamie says:

    You’re killing me, MV! Now I’m going to have to change my book reading order so I can squeeze this one in. I’ve always been a fan of Raphael, and you’ve just moved his book up on my list. Great review!

  9. Mariya says:

    I’ve had Gunmetal Magic for like at least 2 weeks and I haven’t read it yet. I admit I am a little scared because I am a Kate and Curran lunatic! And I need my Kate and Curran fix, so when I heard about Andrea getting a full length book instead of Kate and Curran I had a fit! HAHA! But after all the reviews so far I am excited! I’ll be reading it next and hopefully I”ll love like you did!

    • MissVain says:

      Well Monster,

      You sure are correct, you ARE a lunatic! HAHAHAHAHA. Trust me, you’ll see them in this book and you truly will not miss them because you’ll he so fascinated by Raphael and Andrea’s story! Quit being crazy Monster and read it, you crazy Monster you!!!!;) LOL

      • Mariya says:

        Yes! Yes! I”m reading it now and WOW! It is really no different from a Kate and Curran book! LOVE IT! Should’ve read it sooner! I”ll never doubt Ilona Andrews again! :)

        • MissVain says:

          It’s about time Monster!!!! I knew you would love it.I told you, you never even really miss Kate & Curran because Ilona Andrews has written Raphael & Andrea so exceptionally awesome! Yay! I’m so happy you are finally reading and enjoying it. <3

  10. Kate says:

    Just found your blogsite through Ilona and Gordon’s blog. I enjoyed your review on GM (love all things Andrews) and have checked out a couple more of your reviews. I haven’t read anything by Kristen Callihan yet, but sounds intriguing. I’ll definitely be coming back. Thanks and Happy Reading!!

  11. Alexa says:

    Well it sounds like I should read this series sooner rather than later. I have the first book and keep meaning to read it but haven’t gotten to that yet.

    Thanks for the great review, glad you loved it!

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