Narrated by Renee Raudman
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication date: July 31st 2012
Length: 12 hrs 43 minutes
My rating: 4.5 stars
When several shapeshifters die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea and her former lover, Raphael Medrano, must work together to investigate the crime.
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 . . .
Ilona Andrews completely monopolized my attention until I flew through the Kate Daniels series and all the novellas the winter of 2012. When I looked at the dates I couldn’t believe it had been so long because the series still burns pretty bright in my memory. It’s taken me a year to get back to this series, and I might have been a little hesitant to pick this up because Gunmetal Magic stars Andrea and Rafael instead of Kate and Curran. To be honest, I was a little worried I wouldn’t love it as much as the rest of the series, but I shouldn’t have. Andrea and Rafael’s story was just as compelling and captivating! And I relished getting to know these two better.
Andrea is in a bad place after being forced into retirement by The Order of Merciful Aid, when they find out Andrea is a shapeshifter. She’s still licking her wounds over that, and to make things worse is the situation with Raphael, the love of her life. At best her relationship is in limbo, at worst, things are over. Raphael feels Andrea betrayed the shapeshifters by putting The Order first in their last epic battle. But when several shapeshifters are murdered at Raphael’s job site, these two must put aside their differences and work together because Andrea is heading the investigation.
There’s a load of emotions Andrea needs to sort through in this installment. Her sad and damaged past, her rejection by the order and her true self as not only a shapeshifter, but as a Beastkin, an oddity even to her own kind. All of these things seemed to have come to a head since her ousting from The Order. On top of all that is the pressure from the shapeshifters to join or move out of the area. Yet, this must take a back seat, and I love how the personal issues are interwoven with the danger and mystery of the investigation. Witnessing Andrea process and deal with everything won her a place in my heart right next to Kate.
While Raphael and Andrea have their share of speed bumps, their feelings are intense, and passionate! I was irritated, alternately at both of them. They are both so clearly in love with each other you know these two HAVE to work things out. Out of everything I was most interested in how this played out, and the story did not disappoint.
Kate and Curran make appearances, and there’s enough to make you swoon at their love. Curran, as usual is oh-so-possessive! Kate and her sense of humor as usual had me cracking up more than a few times. I’m really warming up to Ascanio after this installment and his mother, Martina was just what the doctor ordered for Andrea.
Reading Gunmetal Magic made me realize how much I missed these characters and the brilliance of Illona Andrew’s writing. If you haven’t read the Kate Daniels series, you are definitely missing out. It’s one of my all-time favorites!
As for the audio performance, Renee Raudman’s narration in the first book was spot on for Kate, but not so much for the male characters. That was quickly remedied (by book two) and I think she does a fabulous job with both now.