Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1)
- Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes 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 her living cleaning up these 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 shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league—but she wouldn't have it any other way...
Hello all. I was once again allowed to raid Mel’s EXTENSIVE library, with her firmly pointing the way towards this UF (but with a smattering of swords ‘n’ sorcery) novel. After reading it I felt compelled to write a review, even if only as an apology to Mel for the fact that I have coughed my way through the last 3 films we have watched at the cinema (anyone got a new set of lungs I could have??!!). That aside, this book definitely deserves to be reviewed as it’s a whole lot of fun.
Magic Bites it set in a compelling future where magic and technology are both firmly in existence, but never at the same time. This premise creates a wonderful cast of people that can just as easily shoot a gun or drive a car, as they can erect wards and behead vampires. Our heroine Kate Daniels exists perfectly well in the technological world, but it is when the magic surfaces that she comes into her own. With her power words, magical sword and solid training, she is another butt-kicking, strong female lead that we can all appreciate. I especially love the fact that her mouth can quite often run away with her, leading her into trouble when she least needs it (a Kate Daniels/Harry Dresden mouth-off would be the stuff of legend!).
Your basic whodunnit at heart, Magic Bites has plenty of action and intrigue, although I did half guess the killer very early on (one of those ‘it can’t be that easy, can it?’ moments that has you second guessing yourself until the moment you’re proved right). There are also plenty of ‘auxilary’ cast members that I cannot wait to hear more from – particularly Saiman (a shape-changing character in search of the perfect male form, but with such an amazing brain that people are willing to pay $26 a minute for his help!) and Curran (the Beast-Lord of Atlanta who packs so much testosterone I’m surprised people don’t literally swoon in his wake).
All in all an excellent start to a series I will literally be begging Mel for. One for fans of Patricia Briggs and Carrie Vaughn, 8.5 out of 10.