Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review: Magic Bites

Magic Bites

By:  Ilona Andrews

Publisher:  Ace

Publish Date:  March 2007

Format:  Paperback, UK trade, 260pgs

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st book in Kate Daniels series

Recommendation:  Yes, you got mystery mixed with a whole magic filled world.  What else screams Urban Fantasy?

Book Synopsis:
Atlanta would be a nice place to live if it wasn't for the magic...

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear while guns fail to fire and cars refuse to start.  But then technology returns and the magic fades as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes a living cleaning up those magical problems.  But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shape-changers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings - and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery.  As Kate's pressured by both sides to find the killer, she realises she's way out of her league - but she wouldn't have it any other way.

First Sentence:
I sat at a table in my shadowy kitchen, staring down a bottle of Boone's Farm Hard Lemonade, when a magic fluctuation hit.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Kate works for the Mercenary Guild, when magic causes troubles and the cops can't or won't tend to it the Mercenary Guild is hired to do the work, and wants nothing to do with The Order a close friend, of her deceased father, has asked her to join.  Sitting in her kitchen drinking magic kicks in and Kate receives a visit from a vampire controlled by Ghastek who leaves Kate wondering about the dear friend of her family, Greg.  Making a quick call she finds he was murdered and the mystery starts.  Kate wants to investigate Greg's, the now late Knight-Diviner of The Order, death.  She finds it easy to sit in his seat as she is hired to investigate by The Order, maybe too easy.  It seems Greg thought to include Kate in his strong protection spells on his office and left clues in his notes on an investigation he was working on.  Kate now carrying the power in the name of The Order, now gets to meet supernatural people in high positions no one else meets.  To find Greg's killer and maybe finish the case he started, all to hear about other deaths...

First I have to name drop... Melissa of Mel's Random Reviews is so kind, she gifted this book to me for celebrating the blogoversery this past summer.  Then I got kicked in the arse to read this book... thank you... Bastard Books, Skyla Dawn Cameron, Dina James... seriously I did enjoy it and rushed to order Magic Burns.

Kate is a no nonsense kind of girl, my kind of character really.  I love the knife yielding and the "I can kick your arse" feel I get from her.  Oh yes, she has her moments she knows she is over her head, but what I love is she does NOT let it show.  And by the end of the book I learned she is much more than simple but the best part is she is not conceded and self-centered because of it... although maybe that is why she is all kick-arse.  Hmmm...  She knows she's not an investigator, but does a fine job at it.

I enjoyed meeting Curran, but for me I loved Derek.  Oh Curran really grew on me and I loved his Alpha ways.  He has such banter with Kate that they made me chuckle as they bickered like a couple little kids.  Such a head butting here over strength and power show.  All at full gusto when these two are in the room together.  But Derek is the poor sap that got stuck in the control struggle, but he is a strong "side kick" (in a way?).  Oh and I felt bad for Crest!  But I think Derek is right in his perception of Kate and Crest's relationship... I think there is one much better suited for her... ;)  Then there is the father figure Mahon, I just wanted to hug him, I loved the rule he played.  I do want to see all these characters again!

Now, we have magic here but we also have vampires and shapeshifters. The magic world building here was a little hard to follow at moments and with the on/off but nothing to slow me down in continuing the story.  I like that vampires are a puppet type in this book.  They are controlled and used to see without leaving home, through necromancer magic by a particular group of people in this world.  The shapeshifters are very neat to see as well, and I enjoyed the way their beliefs were brought out in the book with the help of Derek.  I look forward to seeing these different pieces of the same world again, soon. 

I enjoyed the storyline here.  The mystery kept going and the pieces falling together.  I never suspected the end.  I do look forward to reading Magic Burns, which is now on my shelf to read.

I read this book for my own enjoyment.


jenn said...

Great review, Melissa! I'm so glad you liked the book. The Kate Daniels series is one of the best out there and Derek is my favourite character in the series, aside from Kate. If you loved him in this one, you'll be obsessed by Magic Strikes! Can't wait to hear what you think of Magic Burns!

Anachronist said...

A lovely review of a series I learned to like. I have my issues but overall the books are really good!

carol said...

I read this and remember liking it, but now I can't remember a single character except Kate and Curran. I was reading your review thinking "who?".

Mel said...

Yay! So glad you finally read this! Derek is a fantastic character - and one of my favourites as well. Andrea is great too!

The series really does get better and better - wait until you get to Magic Strikes and Magic Bleeds...they will blow you away! :-)

Blodeuedd said...

I need to read book 4 but I do not have it yet :( A friend was supposed to get it since she ruined another book

Skyla Dawn said...

Mmm, Curran... <-- Skyla's response to everything.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

CURRAN! I like him although I've never met him! LOL There is a short story with his POV on smashreads. Just look up her name. I have that one and STILL haven't read it. I so need to. I mean... he sounds so hunky... and so does Derek. :D

Anonymous said...

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Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Jenn - THank you! And so glad to hear you loved Derek too! :) Oh, now I can't wait for Magic Srikes! I need to get to reading. ;D And so glad to hear he is around in the future. :) Thank you!

Anachronist - Oh, thank you! And so glad to see you enjoyed it too! And that the series is a good one over all. :)

Carol - Oh, wow. :D Well, glad I could remind you of Derek and so :)

Mel - Yes. *hanging head in shame* So sorry it took so long to get to it. I really wanted to read it sooner, but that time thing... I really am looking forward to Magic Burns and the rest of them. :) Thank you!!!

Skyla - LOL! You are just in love with Curran. I loved him, but I really enjoyed Derek too. :D

Melissa (Books&Things) - Oh yes! I want to get those short stories. I have them on my list. :) And oh, you do need to meet these men. ;D

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

yesss! Another fan of Ilona Andrews bagged :))) The cool things about these books? They just get better and better, and Curran is more and more delicious... Yum! Looking forward to your reviews for the rest of the books :)

Anonymous said...

Ah, so you got book-bullied into reading this book, eh? But with such stellar recommendations, no wonder!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Wishing to know more about necromancers, I've read books in which they are mentioned but never have a starring role, I think this might be a good read for me, or do you have any better suggestions?

Melliane said...

It's one of my favorite series, so happy you liked this one. I'm sure you'll love the other ones. Can't wait to read your opinion. It's so difficult to wait for the 6th book (so long to wait).

read online books free said...

Good review. I liked the story its so good, i must say the author has written a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing the post.