A generously sized short story at over 60 pages, Magic Stars gives us a lead in the mind of Derek as he partners with Julie on a seek-and-revenge job while Kate and Curran are out of town. They go from one violent exploration to the next, with some downtime talking in between them.
If you're a fan of the series, this short story is important reading because it reveals some stuff about Julie in the background that is important to the overall story (Roland, her relationship with Kate). I already knew all that was revealed regarding Derek, it was just nifty being in his head for a change. He's a favorite character of the series for many. Shippers of the two may be more content as well, depending on how you look at it.
Overall it was interesting but wasn't totally filling my series addiction. There was too much mindless action while I preferred the style that's usually filling Kate's full length novels. Kate stories may be heavy in action, too, but they have that pause and depth in between. Here the emotions of Derek came across almost as being read to us, told instead of shown, I already knew his history and background but it didn't add anything new for me. I don't think I'd care reading through Derek's head for a full-length book based on this.
The start and ending were the best parts. So much revelation from Julie when they talk, and that ending gave me a spine shiver. Excited on where that may lead, but we'll see.
“Every time you see a problem and walk away from it, you set a new standard.”