Title: Magic Bites
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Book #1 in the Kate Daniels series
Publisher: Ace – an imprint of Penguin
Publication Date: April 1, 2007
Genre: Adult – Urban Fantasy, Romance
Format: Gifted Paperback
Synopsis from Goodreads: Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic…
One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.
In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight.
But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…
At first this book really confused me. It introduced characters that I had no idea who they were right away without much backstory as to how our main protagonist knew them, and it had a lot of situations and phrases that I was unsure of what exactly was going on in the book. I thought that the plot was kind of slow as a result and I wasn’t sure that I would actually enjoy the book.
But then things started to hit the fan more and more and I found myself completely compelled by what was going on. This didn’t happen until close to 100 pages into the book, but at least I started to enjoy it more!
In this world of magic and creatures we have Kate, who is a twenty-five year old mercenary for hire who is just surviving in her day to day life in Atlanta. She has a bit of a tongue on her and she uses sarcasm and humor to help her release any sort of nervousness she has in her. A lot of the times the joke flies over the person’s head to whom she was saying it to, but a few times I snort-laughed because I thought it was funny. She definitely has the makings of a strong female lead and I am looking forward to seeing how her character develops and where she goes from here because through the first half of the book, Kate was trying very hard to be the “tough one,” but as the book progressed I could see hints and glimmers of her vulnerability and how killing and losing people was taking a toll on her emotions. It was very subtle, and I wish there was a bit more development emotionally, but it was there.
Curran is the Lord of the Beasts. The Free Beasts, that is. He’s probably in his late twenties/early thirties and he got to his position because he’s the strongest. He is a werelion – meaning he has a human form, a beast form (a massive white/gray lion), and a mid-form (a form between human and beast). And he’s kind of kickass. Well, I liked him. He was kind of mysterious at some points, but he has a really strong temper on him. He can control himself sometimes, but other times Kate just gets under his skin and he attacks her – and she’s not afraid to attack back. He was definitely a character I found intriguing and I am interested to see how he develops. We got to see a bit more emotionally from him in that we got to see how he reacted in certain situations, putting others before himself, and how the Pack always came first. He took a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders, but I think he did so willingly.
There were several side characters with prominence, such as Crest, Bono, Mahon, Derek, and a few others, but I think if I explained too much about them that it might give too much away. Just know that I am definitely excited to see where Kate goes with the Pack, even though she’s not a part of it or anything. I can see her definitely developing friendships there and probably have a lot of involvement together, too.
I personally loved the different kinds of “factions” that lived within this world.
- You’ve got the People, who are necromancers and kind of human. They can control vampires and the undead. They’re kind of creepy, in my opinion.
- Then you’ve got the Shapechangers, who are a large group and there’s different kinds: werecats, werewolves, lynxweres (they were animal first, then turned human-ish), etc. These were the most fascinating to me.
- Then you’ve got your normal humans, and some humans have magic. And it’s just really cool. These are the mercenaries, the cops, the citizens, etc.
I think that this book was a good start, albeit a confusing start, to this adult urban fantasy series, and I am definitely excited to read it.
I would recommend this book to people looking for a strong heroine in adult fantasy – and a slow burn romance, because that’s what I’ve heard about it. It’s fast paced and the story does pick up after the first 100 pages, I promise! The world is interesting because there’s a lot of modern references, even though it seems to be placed about 200 years from now, I think, and it has characters that you can love, hate, feel for, and points in the plot that make you laugh, smile, shudder, and more.
I gave this book 4/5 stars and recommend it!