Magic Rises - Ilona Andrews I waffled between 4 & 5 stars because there are others in this series that I liked better overall. But as I thought about it I realized that several times during this book I turned back pages to re-read scenes. Not because I needed clarification but because they were either so good (Curran's rock throwing scene - from the minute Kate smacks him on the nose for scaring her rescuers, bad lion!) or because they were jaw dropping in a "no way!" manner (the Iron Dogs reveal, Aunt B's fate, the panacea). So any book where I do that I figure deserves 5 stars for me.

A lot happens in this one to move the overall arc forward. Hugh is a fount of information about Roland and you have to wonder what his motives are and how truthful his information is. There's no doubt he's an evil guy, which Kate sums up nicely when she delineates the differences between him and Curran, but he's smart and charming enough to make you forget that at times. I think the only thing I didn't like about Hugh was the whole love triangle, or quadrangle as it were. But even though I didn't particularly like it, I have to admit it hooked me and I had to peek at the end to reassure myself.

The pack does not come out of this one unscathed. Without spoilers there are both losses and gains that will have a lasting impact on the power structure of the pack. Kate takes another step in learning about her powers inherited from her father. I always love anything about Kate's heritage and her powers. I saw one reviewer call them "so deliciously dark" and I think that puts it perfectly. Kate already struggles with how not to abuse the power she has, it will be interesting to see her as she grows in power to maintain her heart and soul. The reveal that Roland may not be the only big gun awakening is also interesting. Will Kate have more allies than she can dream when she takes on Roland?

This continues to be one of my top UF series. I know that people complain that there's a longer wait between books than in a lot of UF but I realized that my top 3 (Kate, Mercy Thompson, Harry Dresden) really only release about one a year. So while I wish there was another one I could start tomorrow, I also don't mind waiting for quality.