Saturday, 14 July 2007

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews


Kate Daniels lives in a world where magic and technology struggle to exist together. As a mercenary she makes her living clearing up magical problems but she's about to find herself caught between The Pack (shapeshifters) and the People (necromancers).

One of the best (and my favourite so far from a new author) urban fantasies I've read this year. Kate is a feisty no-nonsense heroine, who doesn't let the fact she's not as strong as some of her adversaries stop her from doing her job. Although this is written in first person we only know what Kate tells us. A part of her is kept hidden, not only from the other characters but also from the reader. It suggests Kate has a secret she mustn't even think about - but intriguing hints are dropped that I hope will be followed in the next book.

The book is peopled with interesting creatures and characters.

Saiman a problem-solver (I'm not quite sure what he is) who charges $26 a minute for his time. Yes I am that sad that I had to work out the hourly rate if Kate had him work for her for thirty seven minutes and was charged nine hundred and sixty-two dollars. :)

The Lord of the Beasts (Curran) a shapeshifter alpha you believe could rule - uncompromising and ruthless, he's prepared to do what is necessary to protect his people. This is not a romance but he and Kate have quite a chemistry together. :)

There's an intriguing new take on vampires, rather than sentient beings they are driven by appetite and are controlled by necromancers. They reminded me slightly of the monsters from Resident Evil. It's mentioned that they are constantly evolving (or maybe devolving) from a human base form and are an 'abomination in progress'. Scary.

Whenever a character says "I missed something" it makes me think as a reader I have too. I love stories where you want to think about the mystery and aren't 100% sure about who did what. If I had any gripes it would be that towards the end Curran blames Kate for misidentifying the upir when it was actually he who made the suggestion. There could be some kind of shapeshifter politicking going on there, but it seemed a tad harsh. And caused me to flick back a few pages to see who actually said what.

Actually have loads of favourite bits from this book, but will try to restrain myself.

Favourite line:-

"Why won't you ride a horse!" (Kate)
"What?" (Curran)
"A horse! Horse!" (Kate)

Okay this is taken out of context, but by the time you get to this sequence the characters of Kate and Curran are so alive that I could just picture this scene and Kate's frustration comes through so clearly in the dialogue.

Lovely sequence starting on p75 where Kate is trying to take a shower but the phone keeps ringing. Boy did I identify with this.

And a Star Wars line at the bottom of page 242. Hope this doesn't mean they are related.

Okay I'm stopping now. :) Go and read it already.

Recommended for fans of Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series, Wen Spencer and Kat Richardson.

Book #2 Magic Burns to be released 2008


Anonymous said...

Wow, an A+ review. :D

I do agree that this is a really good read; I tried to make it last as I was in Europe and short of books at that time, but I didn't quite make it since I read the entire book during a train journey. I love Curran, and his interaction with Kate is so interesting. Kate reminds me a big of Mercy in Patricia Briggs's books, but there is sufficient differences between them that I wasn't too hung up on that.

LesleyW said...

Yep, I was torn on whether or not to give it A+. But I really enjoyed this.

And apart from not understanding Curran's reaction towards Kate about the upir mistake this is a great UF read.

Naomi said...

Ah, I loved Andrews' take on vampires. I'm looking forward to the second book.

LesleyW said...

Yeah - I liked the fact that they were something different.

There's an interview with Ilona Andrews here where she/they talk about the book.

And I recommend her/their live journal if you haven't read it.

Sweet said...

I'm soooo glad you loved this Lesley. I've been dying to see your review of Magic Bites. It turned out to be one of my favorite reads of the year. I can't wait to see where Curran and Kate end up. What is she? and what was ment when Curran was called a half-breed. I'm just full of questions. I really loved this book.

Nicole said...

Sounds like a good read, I'll have to pick it up.

Thanks for the rec!