Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

I’ve seen rave reviews of the Kate Daniels books in the blogosphere and they have made me intensely curious about these books. They were my Want Books pick a couple of weeks ago. I felt like I was on a treasure hunt while I was looking for these books. Only the second and the fourth are available at my local bookstore, Fully Booked and they said they could order the rest but I didn’t want to wait 4-8 weeks to get the books. Luckily, I saw that Book Basket was selling a used copy of Magic Strikes so I grabbed that right away. So I already had the latter three books but not the first one! Good thing one of my friends was on vacation in the States and was kind enough to drop by Barnes and Noble to get a copy of Magic Bites for me. Finally, I could start reading the series! I got it on Saturday and I stayed up late last night to finish reading it.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

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’m a huge fan of epic fantasy and not so much of urban fantasy but I always say that maybe that’s because I still haven’t found an urban fantasy series to love. That may change with this series. Magic Bites was an engaging, fast-paced, action-packed story set in a modern-day world where magic exists together with technology. Whenever magic flares, technology shuts down. I loved the worldbuilding in this one. There are necromancers who control the undead (vampires) and they have a long feud with the shapechangers, humans who can take on certain animal forms. The cast of characters is excellent as well. Kate Daniels is a smart, sassy, sword-wielding, kick*ss heroine who deals with problems brought about by magical activity. She’s accompanied by a set of secondary characters that are fascinating in their own way.

I can’t wait to read the next books in the series. I want to know more about Kate, who her father is, what her power really means. Since all of the book covers feature Kate and a lion, I think it’s safe to assume that the relationship with Curran will progress throughout the books. I would love to read about that as well. All in all, it seems like a promising series and I’m excited to read more about this world. I’m glad that Wednesday is a holiday over here (inauguration of our new president) so I have more time to read.

I also have a favorite quote from somewhere in the middle of the book. Kate was on a date with Crest, the handsome plastic surgeon and she just asked him why he’s interested in her:

“Have you ever met someone and felt… I don’t know how to describe it, felt a chance at having something that eluded you? I don’t know… Forget I said anything.”

I knew what he meant. He was describing that moment when you realize that you are lonely. For a time you can be alone and doing fine and never give a thought to living any other way and then you meet someone and suddenly you become lonely. It stabs at you, almost like a physical pain, and you feel both deprived and angry, deprived because you wish to be with that person and angry, because their absence brings you misery. It’s a strange feeling, akin to desperation, a feeling that makes you wait by the phone even though you know that the call is an hour away. I was not going to lose my balance. Not yet.

To those who’ve read the series, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this book and for those who haven’t, I encourage you to give it a try. I’ve seen Kate Daniels compared to Mercy Thompson (another series that I should delve into soon) but for some reason, this book reminded me a lot of Robin McKinley’s Sunshine.

28 thoughts on “Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

  1. I LOVE this series! I dont think the first book was perfect, but the series just gets better and its impossible to not fall for Curran =) I have to say that the newest book, #4, is the best so far!!

    Great review!


  2. Larissa, that’s what I heard too! I mean I’ve heard people say that the series gets better with the latter books. That’s why I’m really looking forward to reading them. 🙂 I hope to finish the rest of the books within the week.

  3. Oh, man. This is going to be one GREAT week, then. 🙂

    They really knock it out of the park with the worldbuilding, don’t they? It enchanted me from this very first book. And Kate. I love everything about that girl.

  4. Angie, I know! I have a felling it’s going to be a great week. I just hope I don’t stay up late EVERY night of the week because I can’t stop reading. Yes, I really liked the worldbuilding in this one. I like that magic ebbs and flows and technology conks out when magic is present. I love Kate! Such a snarky girl.

  5. Hi Chachic,

    It’s Blooey (was in Sanggu also, if you remember me). Just discovered your book blog, link exchange tayo! 🙂

    I read a lot of YA also, although not so much the paranormal ones 🙂

    Will join Filipino Book Bloggers also 🙂

  6. Charlotte, I do hope you give it a try. I’d love to know what you think. I’m not much of an urban fantasy fan myself but I’m trying to change that. 🙂

  7. I’ve checked this book out from my local library twice now, but both times I was in the middle of reading another stack of books, so I didn’t get around to reading it before the due date. Argh! Apparently I need to place another hold request & bump it to the top of my reading pile once it arrives. Hope you enjoy the rest of the series! 🙂

  8. I love the worldbuilding here.
    When you get a chance, try to read On The Edge also. Same author, different world. I think I like it even better.

  9. Curiously today I went back to the gym after after maaaaany weeks and I started reading this on my reader, I spent one hour on that bicycle!!!…Kate really kicks asses and I might have found the perfect way to make the most of my gym’s membership

  10. Violet, hope you can borrow this again from the library soon. 🙂 I know how hard it is to prioritize which books to read when you have such a huge TBR pile. I have so many unread books that other people have been urging me to read.

    Mayakda, I’ve seen that book and I was wondering if it’s any good. Really, you liked it better? I would have to buy that while it’s still available here.

    Emily, I don’t even work out! So you’re way ahead of me even if you haven’t been to the gym in a while. It’s funny that you spend such a long time on the bike because of what you were reading. 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying the series as much as I am.

  11. Amazing! Not just the Kate Daniels Series but also Sunshine by Robin Mckinley.

    This is my day for discovering fellow Pinoy urban fantasy readers. I also have just discovered Book Lady’s Bookshelf.

    Here is the link to my reviews of our fave series – . Will review Magic Bleeds soon.

  12. artseblis, are you a Filipino book blogger as well? Have you seen my post about the Filipino Book Blogger directory? 🙂 I hope you can join!

    I’m only on the second Kate Daniels book but I hope to finish the whole series within the week. I’ll check your reviews when I’m done so I won’t pick up any spoilers.

  13. I am SO DANG HAPPY that you finally were able to get your hands on a copy of this one. Kate is just plain awesome. Love her to death. I am giddy just sitting here thinking of all the fun you are going to have reading her story for the first time! Yay! Love these books.

    And yes, if you can track down the Mercy Thompson books next. Those are so fabulous things as well.

  14. Michelle, I’m glad the wait was finally over! I really felt like I was hunting for treasure while I was looking for these books. So glad they haven’t disappointed, I’ve been enjoying reading them. 🙂 I’m now in the middle of Magic Strikes and I can’t wait to finish it but at the same time, I don’t want it to end.

    The Mercy Thompson books are already in my wishlist. Goodness knows when I’ll be able to grab copies.

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