Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1)
Title:  Magic Bites
Author:  Ilona Andrews
Publisher:  Ace Books
Publication Date:  March 2007
Format:  Paperback, 260 pages
Age Group:  Adult
Series:  Kate Daniels (Book 1)

Kate Daniels lives near and works in Atlanta at a time when magic and technology fight for control of the city.  When the magic is up, anything mechanical refuses to function but the untrained sorcerer can cast a spell and the monsters come out to play.  As the magic ebbs and tech regains a hold, paranormal problems tend to remain.  Kate's job as an independent mercenary is to take care of these problems.  But when her guardian is murdered and she begins to investigate, Kate finds herself in the middle of a very dangerous situation and in way over her head.

I've heard a bit about the Kate Daniels novels here and there and they have been on my 'to read' list for a while now.  I really wasn't looking to start yet another series though because I have so much trouble keeping up with the ones I am already reading.  Then I read the short story A Questionable Client in the anthology Dark and Stormy Knights and I knew I had to start reading this series.

Kate is a great main character.  She is tough yet realizes her own vulnerability.  She has a smart mouth which gets her into more trouble than it gets her out of.  Her sense of humor is dark and twisted which fits perfectly with the tone of the story.  There are many things about Kate that are hidden and we are given small clues throughout the book to a larger story.  I'm really looking forward to learning more about Kate in future books because there seems to be so much more to discover.

The story is intense and moves quickly.  Kate must navigate so much unfamiliar territory in this book and I could feel how unsettled this made her.  Andrews uses great descriptive passages but does not waste words going on excessively.  There are few moments to stop and ponder the larger meaning of events because something is always happening.  This keeps Kate off balance throughout the entire book as just when she thinks she has things figured out something changes and the questions become more than they seemed at first glance.

Another thing that I loved about this book is that the vampires are really creepy.  They are not human in any way and they most definitely do not sparkle.  The were-creatures have some humanity to them since they do have a human form but they are still presented in a darker way than in many books today.  The darkness of the monsters seemed more real than some of the lighter versions we've been seeing in books recently.

I am really looking forward to continuing with this series and seeing what happens to Kate next.  Thanks so much to my in-laws for giving me Magic Bites for Christmas.  No one had any expectation of a review.

Related Post:  My review of Dark and Stormy Knights edited by P.N. Elrod

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