Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Grey Wolf #1/KD #8.5
Paperback, 64 Pages
Publication: December 8, 2015 by NYLA
Source: Personal library.
Scarred, solitary Derek Gaunt has separated from his Pack, and is truly a lone wolf. With no family he answers to no one; but is fiercely loyal to a chosen few. So, when several of those close to him are murdered, he’ll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through the magic-drenched streets of Atlanta. Never one to be left on the sidelines, equally determined—some might say stubborn—Julie Lennart-Olsen soon joins in his pursuit; and what began as revenge turns into a race to save the city. Their search pits them against powers they never imagined and magic so old, it predates history. It may cost Derek his life, but there are things for which even he would risk everything.
Novellas aren’t my things. I normally avoid it. Books under a certain length don’t interest me because I don’t think there’s enough pages and/or words to develop a fully fleshed out world or characters. It’s not to say that I don’t read them at all. There are very few authors that I follow and are willing to read anything and everything they write. Ilona Andrews is one of the few. If their names on it, I’ll read it. So, when I heard that Magic Stars, a novella from Derek’s point-of-view was written; I jumped right on it. Derek is one of my favorite characters besides Kate and Ascanio.
I haven't read Magic Shifts yet and this book takes place after book 8. I thought it was just a complete spin-off. If I knew it was continuing from the series, I've would've read it in order. But anyways, what makes this novella great and unlike any other novellas is that we finally get to see inside Derek’s head. He’s such a serious and closed off character, an enigma, that I’ve always wondered what was going on in his head. Well, I finally get that chance with Magic Stars. What started out as a murder investigation turns into something even more sinister involving an ancient stone and mythical creature. Readers get to see a completely different side of Derek and I must say, it’s refreshing and makes me like Derek more.
Julie, Kate and Curran’s adopted daughter is also another main lead in the story. We rarely get to see Julie, so I thought it was cool to see more of her for a change. Julie been spending most of her free time with her grandfather, Roland…learning magic! But not only that, Julie thinks the best way to defeat an enemy is to get to know them; hence her hanging out with Roland. Again, we don’t see much of Julie, but from this novella, I can say without hesitation that she is beginning to sound more and more like Kate. She is literally a miniature version of Kate, not sure if that’s awesome or worrisome!
This is a very short novella, under 70 pages. I was able to finish it in one sitting. I really enjoyed it and thought it was a very well written novella, though I wished it was a bit longer as most novella averaged 150 pages or so. Andrews did a great job of incorporating a solid plot with humor and action and since most readers starting this novella have already read the Kate Daniels series; there were no issues with needing to build a backstory or foundation for the world and its characters. We learned a lot in this short story, which I’m positive will play a bigger role in the final books. I’m excited to see how Andrews plans to finish this amazing series. If you’ve been under a rock and haven’t read the Kate Daniel series, I highly suggest it! Start at the beginning with Magic Bites!