Ilona Andrews’ story, A Questionable Client, is a prequel to her award-winning Kate Daniels series. In a world beset by magic waves, Kate Daniels works as a mercenary. She is tired, hungry, and there is foul-smelling blood on her boots. All she wants to do is to go home, but when Mercenary Guild offers her a job she can’t refuse, she finds herself protecting a man against Russian wizards.
As a prequel to the review of this Kate Daniels prequel, lol, I wanted to know more about the writing process a husband and wife team use. I went searching the internet to get more information. I got lost for days reading about Ilona and Gordon. I love research and learning about people and this was a journey I thoroughly enjoyed. The most informative interview is on the Fantasy Book Critic website (http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2010/09/interview-with-ilona-and-andrew-gordon.html). The reviewer was very prepared and had questions that I would have never thought to ask (kudos). The interview is from September 2010. The part that really said it all for me was this:
“…I have heard that your 1st book [Magic Bites] was originally written in 2002, who’s idea was it originally [amongst the 2 of you] & what made both of you decide to write it together.
A) It was totally Ilona’s idea, I helped because we are a team and while individually we may be pretty good, together we are great. Well, at least I think so.”
Gordon is absolutely correct, they are great together and it especially comes through if you follow their blog. (http://www.ilona-andrews.com/) Believe me, it is one of the sites I check everyday. Word of warning, don’t go reading anything on their site with anything in your mouth. Most likely it will end up on your screen or all over you!
As previously mentioned, Ginny and I are trying very hard to get ALL the Ilona Andrews books reread and reviewed. This short was written after the series started but would actually be the first Kate Daniels story on a timeline. This prequel can be found in the anthology, Dark and Stormy Knights edited by P. N. Elrod first published in August 2010. This prequel is also available as an e-book in Magic Graves (including a short story, One For The Money by another favorite author, Jeaniene Frost) published in September 2011.
I always and I mean always wanted to know the back story between Kate and Saiman. I felt like I was missing something. How they met is alluded to in the beginning of the series but the tension between then seemed too high for Saiman to just have been a ordinary protection detail for Kate.
This short reveals a whole different insight into Kate’s and Saiman’s relationship/friendship. It also shows us Kate before she gets involved with the Order and her life as a Merc. She seems very solitary in the story as I’m used to Curran and the friends she has gained as the series progresses. As this is a short story it is very hard to say anything that won’t reveal too much. Let’s just say, read it and enjoy the story.
If you’ve read the series beginning with Magic Bites, you can almost tell this short was written after. (I’ll explain that more when I review Magic Bites). Even though A Questionable Client is a short story, it IS a complete story. It doesn’t feel rushed, the storyline is complete and the pacing and timing are fantastic. Sometimes I read short stories that seem a bit frantic with the author trying to fit so much into a small space. This short doesn’t have that feeling at all. Yes, it’s a quick read but extremely enjoyable and informative.
I’m having the time of my life rereading this series. I’d forgotten so much.
(This might upset some fans but the fact is, I give out very few 5 Star ratings. I always leave room for improvement. A 4 Star or above is a FANTASTIC book to me.)
My rating: 4.25 Stars
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