Newest Review: ... very recently Magic Bites had actually been sitting on my to-be-read shelf for almost a year and I blame the cover for putting me of... more
Magic Bites will have you hooked...
Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews
Member Name: InchyInchy
Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews
Advantages: A great fun, entertaining and fast paced read
Disadvantages: None, if you like Urban fantasy then I would recommend reading Magic Bites
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
--- Book Synopsis ---
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 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. 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...
--- Review ---
"It's a reflex. Hear a bell, get food. See an undead, throw a knife. Same thing, really."
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (wife and husband writing team) is the first book in the adult urban fantasy series starting Kate Daniels, who is fast becoming one of my favourite kick-ass heroines to read about.
Thankfully I am not, but if I was only given three little words to sum up Magic Bites I would have to say:
I found that the story was immensely EASY to get involved in and it took me no time at all to get invested in the characters and the whole book kept me ENTERTAINED to the point you I nearly burned the dinner, I really should stop reading when cooking! And for me Magic Bites was a really FAST read because I just couldn't put it down and I read the book in no time whatsoever.
Until very recently Magic Bites had actually been sitting on my to-be-read shelf for almost a year and I blame the cover for putting me off picking it up sooner. Yes, yes, I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but it does contribute. And I was a little worried that the story wouldn't live up to the high expectations I had about it, especially since Magic Bites has received some absolutely glowing reviews (all you have to do is check out GoodReads for yourself if you don't believe me). The Kate Daniel series and Ilona Andrews in general are loved by a lot of people, I didn't want to be let down and I'm glad to report that I certainly wasn't.
If I'm completely honest for the first thirty or so pages of the novel was not the best and it started off like a poor imitation and failed to set itself apart from some of the other great urban fantasy books out there. It took me those thirty or so pages to warm up to Kate and it took me a while to warm up to the world building, which I did find a tad confusing to start with. However, when the book found its stride, the pacing was fast, the action was constant and although the very basic story was similar to alot of other urban fantasty books I've read it was still unusual enough, well written and with some great characters that all made Magic Bites stand out.
In the opening books to a series, especially a series that has the potential and drive to go on for many books there is a really fine line between info dumping to help the readers come to grips with the author's world and not providing quite enough information for the setting to make sense. This is one area where I felt that Ilona Andrews failed, it wasn't really until the end of the book that certain aspects of Kate's world finally clicked into place for me. I don't really want to say too much for fear of giving anything away but the world suffers from ripples of magic flowing around and when the magic strikes technology fails until the invisible magic wave recedes and you can once more click the light switch on for instant illumination. On the plus side of being a little confused about some of the smaller world building details I am looking forward to reading more about Kate's world in future books. It's quite a unique concept for an urban fantasy world and it combines magical aspects in a less high fantasy way that makes it feel more gritty and real. And although I did take a while to get to grips with Kate's world it's a memorable place and it does help make Magic Bites stand out from a very saturated urban fantasy market.
One of the main reasons that I enjoyed Magic Bites as much as I did was that there is also no shortage of interesting characters and I loved Kate more or less from the beginning, she is a fun, feisty and snarky individual. It may all sound like a tired combination in the paranormal romance genre but I still liked her and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better as the series progresses. And if I'm honest I may be developing a bit of a fiction crush on the very masculine male lead Curran -The Beast Lord extraordinaire. Yes that's right I did say Beast Lord, the world of Magic Bites is full of all types of shape shifters, from the more typical wolf like animal to rats, snakes and cats. It's also a world where necromancers (along with their super creepy and far from sparkly vampires) and magic orders exist, there really is a lot going on but after you get into the story it is easy enough to keep up.
For me the ending of the book was perfect, it wrapped up all the main plot points within Magic Bites but left some massive cliff hangers about who Kate Daniels really is and some pretty charged steamy tension between Kate and Curran. Ilona Andrews definitely did a great job at leaving just enough open story threads to start the beginning of some intriguing potential series wide plot arcs. It's becoming a BAD trend in series books lately (especially the YA genre for some reason) to just stop mid swing rather (and in the middle of the story) than ever end a book. That when I do read something that feels complete it makes me even more keen to pick up the next book in the series rather than roll my eyes, throw the book at the wall and get all sulky over not being given any conclusion to a story that I have become attached too.
Really despite a little bit of a slow beginning my one major complaint with Magic Bites (and it's not really a serious one) was the lack of pages, it was by far too short. The book only comes in at 260 pages and I flew threw it finishing it over a couple of days, I could have read more, I wanted to read more and although the main story arc was wrapped up I wasn't done. Ah well, I suppose it just means that I will have to go and track down book number two.
Magic Bites won't be winning any literary awards any time soon but if you are after something fun with some entertaining paranormal and romance moments complete with a crime story and a kick ass heroine then look no further.
Overall, the book definitely gets a four out of five star rating from me and I don't think it will be long before I pick up the next in the series, in fact I am sure it won't be.
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews comes highly recommended from me.
Genre - Adult, urban-fantasy
Published by Gollancz Fiction (Sept 2010)
Paperback 260 pages (£6.99)
Summary: Four out of five stars