Newest Review: ... that his emotions are manifested in a realistically male way. This book catches up with Kate some two or three months following her first... more
Second in the series but certainly not second best...
Magic Burns - Ilona Andrews
Member Name: InchyInchy
Magic Burns - Ilona Andrews
Advantages: A fun, fast read that will keep you hooked
Magic Burns is the second instalment in the Kate Daniels urban fantasy series and I'm still just as hooked now as I was when I finished the first book Magic Bites. If anything Magic Burns is just that bit better than the first book, as the characters are more developed and the story was much less predictable.
--- Book synopsis ---
As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate's going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.
When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, Celtic god Morfran supersedes goddess Morrigan for witch coven worshippers of the Crow, and sea monsters from the Underworld enter via the Cauldron of Plenty. Kate starts looking for Pack maps and 13-year old Julia's witch mother, and ends up uniting shapeshifters and vampire zombie controllers to save the world.
--- Review ---
"He put the book down. "As you wish." He rose and walked past me. I lowered my sword, expecting him to pass, but suddenly he stepped in dangerously close. "Welcome home. I'm glad you made it. There is coffee in the kitchen for you."
My mouth gaped open.
He inhaled my scent, bent close, about to kiss me...
I just stood there like an idiot.
Curran smirked and whispered in my ear instead. "Psych."
And just like that, he was out the door and gone.
If I am honest I liked Kate a lot in the first book but in Magic Burns she's really started to flesh out and become one of my favourite urban fantasy characters of the moment. She's a sword wielding, magic controlling, bad ass with a heart of gold and with a whole range of witty comebacks that will keep you entertained. And probably one of the highest praises I can give Illona Andrews is that in a very saturated urban fantasy market Kate Daniels stands out, she's memorable and makes me want to read the next book in the series.
In the first book a lot of Kate's abilities and magic where kept quite mysterious and only really hinted at, but in Magic Burns we finally get an idea of what Kate is and where she came from. In fact all the characters and the world building is much stronger in the second book while the writing and pace remain at the same fast speed making Magic Burns a book I tore through in a couple of days. When I started reading I couldn't stop.
As well as Kate, I loved that Magic Burns as with Magic Bites certainly does have some very bizarre and weird moments, for example meetings inside a giant tortoise for one - who thinks of that? But it works and it makes the world of Kate Daniels stand out. There are also some new characters as well as some familiar and fun faces that make a return. Derek the teenage werewolf side-kick makes a much stronger appearance in Magic Burns and I loved the introduction of Julie the orphaned child that will forever change Kate's life.
However, that kind of brings me onto one of my main (but not really large) complaints with the series so far - the world building is still a bit confusing and although I got to grips with Kate's version of Atlanta in Magic Burns there were still times I felt a little disorientated. The world seems to not only be one where magic and technology alternate, when magic is up technology is down and vice versa but it is also quite a post apocalyptic world with large segments of the city of Atlanta are left in ruin, destroyed or forever altered by the magic waves. However, please don't let that put you off trying the series because although it took me a while to get my head around the world building it is one of the best constructed and most original world building that I've read in a while.
The reason I love instead of just like this series has to be the relationship between Kate and Curran. Curran is the Beast Lord of the Atlanta Pack of shape shifters and he is one seriously masculine male lead that just makes my knees quiver. There is no doubt that Kate and Curran have one of those tension filled, chemistry fuelled relationships that you can't stop reading, but unlike the majority of adult Urban fantasy their relationship is developing throughout the books rather than them instantly jumping in bed with one another. I enjoy the series as a whole, but I do keep going back to these books to read about Kate and Curran.
In fact I dare anyone to read this series and not start developing a bit of a fiction crush on Curran...
Magic Burns is by far not a perfect read but it is sheer entertainment and I happily spent most of a weekend absorbed in Illona Andrews writing and I look forward to doing so again. Bring on book three - Magic Strikes!
Magic Burns by Illona Andrews definitely gets the full five out of five stars from me and comes highly recommended if you are looking for something a bit different in the urban fantasy genre.
Genre - Adult, urban fantasy
E-book - 288 pages (October 2010 - Gollancz)
Summary: Five out of five stars