Magic Bleeds is the fourth Kate Daniels book by Ilona Andrews, and it takes place a few months after the third book, Magic Strikes, when Kate is supposed to cook Curran dinner naked because she lost a bet with him in the third book... Oops. However, dinner doesn't go as planned and the timeline jumps a few weeks to Kate, being mopey but still doing her job as a supposed go-between for the Order and the Guild. She immediately encounters trouble, of course, but this time it's in the form a guy who's spreading a plague, despite the fact that he's dead and nailed to a telephone pole. Whaaaaat?
This is another book that had some interesting components, but the plot was a bit all over the place. The book starts off with the problem of mysterious cloaked figures spreading various plagues across the southern US, and then suddenly changes track and goes off on a mysterious cloaked figure with seven mysterious cloaked figure henchmen, all with different abilities, and none of them actually appears to be geared at spreading plague. So that's kind of weird. Again, Andrews tries to tie all the mythology together (this time the "flavor of the book" appears to be Mesopotamian) but I'm not completely convinced. Both of the plots seemed interesting on their own (I definitely thought there was going to be a Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse vibe going on, but nah) but seemed to fall apart a bit when they got tied together. The cool part was that we get to meet Kate's (gasp) aunt! Who we've never heard of until this point! Okay, that seems like it was a little bit "made up in a hurry" for this but I really liked Erra despite her being, you know...evil. I actually wish she could have stayed along longer because I loved her so much. Other things to like are more of Dali (and is there something between Dali and Jim?!?!) and, oh yeah, the whole Kate/Curran thing finally coming to a head.
But there's something weird about the Kate/Curran thing, too, and that's that as soon as they're together, they (for the most part) stop butting heads. Before, they were at each other's throats every two seconds, and not in a sexy way. But they have sex and then suddenly they're all goo-goo over each other? It didn't seem to fit, and you can't convince me that all of their previous head locked moments were due to the now-relieved sexual tension. I just won't believe it. I like the part at the end, with Kate at the Keep, but that seemed to work mainly because Curran wasn't really present for it. While I appreciate there finally being movement on this front, it's also frustrating to see the dynamic of the relationship apparently change drastically just because they got naked together. Possible? Yes... Likely? No.
This was another "fun" book and I did really enjoy it, but I don't think it's quite as strong as its predecessors in the actual story. However it does make up some of that in the romance department, so I'll give it 3.5 stars out of 5.