winged reviews
Adult, Review / December 9, 2011
Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsMagic Bites
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Publisher: Gollancz
Date: September 2010
260 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Buy the BookGoodreads

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…

I don’t know what I was expecting from this book, but what I got certainly wasn’t it! I didn’t love it, but it grew on me a bit the further on I read. I think my main problem was that I didn’t fully understand everything that happened in the story.

So I’m not even going to attempt to try and describe briefly what the plot is about because I really don’t think it could be done briefly. There was just so much happening!

I did find the general set up to be really different to other urban fantasy books I’ve read. For one thing, the protagonist—Kate—is not human. So we, as the reader, don’t go through that initial phase of discovering vampires, or werewolves or magic existing because the main character is not really human herself and so we already know from the start that these creatures exist. We are immediately thrust straight into Kate’s world as a mercenary, wielding magic and a magic sword, fighting vampires (and these are the most disgusting vampires I’ve ever read about!) and other horrid creatures.

Kate finds out that a friend of hers has been murdered and so she takes it upon herself to find out who did it (through various means) and ultimately wants to get her revenge. She makes new friends along the way. One of which is Curran, the Beast Lord. I liked Curran. He’s one of the things I really did like about this book. In fact I think it was their relationship that I liked. They were really funny together, and I found myself chuckling a lot when I was reading Kate & Curran scenes… which was nice. I wish there were more of these scenes though. There’s a lot of action in this book. And gore. And I feel I must warn any potential readers that you may not want to be eating whilst reading a lot of this book because I made that mistake and was actually put off my lunch one day!

Unfortunately what I didn’t like was the fact that the storyline was too complicated. I still don’t fully understand how things worked out the way they did. Kate would come to conclusions all of a sudden and the result of these conclusions would be something huge. Like some huge revelation. But then it wouldn’t really be explained properly and I found myself getting frustrated with this. And although I think the world building is probably one of the most in-depth and creative I’ve ever read, I don’t like how a lot of this wasn’t fully explained either. Like the matter of how/why technology works for some part of the day and magic works for some part of the day. There was no explanation for this (that I could find). You just had to accept that that’s how things were and unfortunately, for me, I like to understand what’s what when I’m reading.

I’ve been told that the stories get better in future books. That more is explained and that the romance kicks up. But I don’t know if I want to have to ‘work’ to get to the books that are better… I feel like they should be good from the beginning. So I will probably read the rest but maybe not for a while.

3.5 Stars

2 Responses to Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

  1. Kate says:

    Yup, once you get to the second or third book they just tell you things up front that you had to figure out before. When I went back and re-read this one recently it didn't really live up to what I remember – but the rest are amazing! You've already heard me gush about them though, so I'll stop now 🙂

    Good review!

  2. Alison1805 says:

    lol Kate you're not the only one who gushes about this series so I will definitely return to it and finish it at some point. Hey I did love Touch the Dark though…

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