Magic Shifts is the first in the new direction for Kate, Curran and Julie. They’ve moved out of the compound into a nice house in the suburbs where the most they have to worry about is getting along with the neighbors (Curran sneaking up on the mailman in lion form and saying “hello” didn’t help with this).
At least that’s the theory. In practice, Kate’s responsibilities have just increased vastly and so have their enemies. Fortunately, they’re tough as nails and have lots of friends. So when a missing shape-changer case turns into a whole lot more they’re ready to handle it.
One knows, of course, that ultimately Kate will overcome, but the path is still absorbing. I read Magic Shifts in a single day; just couldn’t put it down.
There’s an interesting parallel here between Kate’s and Anita Blake’s life path – from freelance mercenary to queen of the city. I recently read an interview with Ilona Andrews where they describe Laurell Hamilton as one of their role models (appallingly; Ilona Andrews’ paranormal adventure is much more interesting than Hamilton’s), so perhaps that makes some sense, but I also think it’s a natural evolution of the character.
This is a transitional story, so in addition to the story itself, there’s a lot of stage setting. I am looking forward to seeing what comes next.