Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Published by Ace on December 31, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
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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.
This special edition includes in-depth information about the world of Kate Daniels, with descriptions of its characters and factions. Explore Kate’s Atlanta like never before with answers to FAQ and a quiz to find your place there. And don’t miss the prequel story “A Questionable Client,” as well as scenes of events in Magic Bites from Curran’s point of view.
I’m a huge Ilona Andrews fangurl. I blame Ala for this, lol. Ala kept saying how good Kate Daniels was and how much he missed Kate when he finished the series, etc. While I tried to stay away, Ala enjoyed it so much that I picked Magic Bites up.
This book was the start of my obsession, lol. *shakes fists at Ala*
I now own this series in both hardcopy and ecopy. I own THREE copies of this particular book: The original MMPB, the special edition trade paperback and an ebook. What? Me? Obsessive??? Nawl! LOL
I’ve read the Kate Daniels series several times over now. I’ve read the shorts/side stories. I read the spinoff. I flew through these books – so fast that I managed not to write reviews for the majority of them. O_O Not. Good.
Then I discovered the Ilona Andrews Addicts group. And another re-read was begun, lol. This time, I told myself, this time reviews will be written! No matter how much squeeing takes place. While I will call this a review…it’s probably a little closer to my musings and theories about the series and the book Magic Bites.
So, let the
shenanigans reviewing begin!
In Magic Bites the world has suffered a magic apocalypse – tech and magic were in balance with each other but now they are swinging wildly back and forth. “[Magic] comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.” In this world there are shifters and vampires: shifters are slightly different than the typical UF shifter but its the vampires here that are drastically different: vampires are like blood-mad zombies. They don’t think – they only destroy except they can be “piloted” like a video game by necromancers. When piloted the vampires are under control of a (live) human mind but if the vampire escapes control it will kill until it’s killed.
At the beginning of Magic Bites, Kate is just or is masquerading as a common mercenary. Kate knows she is more than but she also knows she has to hide this so she tries to be the most common of mercenaries. Kate’s goal is to never receive special attention. When she learns of the death of her guardian, Greg, her grief compels her to search for his murderer so that she can avenge him.
Note: It is rather difficult for the reader to really infer how deeply Kate grieves for Greg. They had an adversarial relationship but he raised Kate since the death of her father as well as tried his best to protect and guide her. It is assumed that some of the emotional scenes were edited prior to publish but the reader can ascertain that Kate was willing to change the way she lived her life to avenge Greg. Kate was willing to step into the spotlight which would have been a huge change for her.
When Kate meets Curran for the first time, her reactions to him probably led him to suspect there was more to her than meets the eye. Someone with as little skill and power as she (is assumed to have) would not have been so bold. I believe that’s why Curran initially treated Kate as a loner and why they argued and fought so often so quickly.
Kate has an…interesting reaction to fear: she immediately runs straight for it, hopefully starting a fight with it. View Spoiler »Considering her training, this does make sense (in a very odd way). How can she defeat [redacted] if she runs when she’s scared? Kate has a “fight or fight” response, lol. « Hide Spoiler
Note: Curran, the Beast Lord. Curran is rich, strong and powerful. He is willful and used to being catered to in all ways. Curran doesn’t have a problem killing. Anything. He has an attitude a mile wide and he’s ridiculously hwat to boot. Yeah. Douchebag of epic proportions is the immediate thought…but then the readers get glimpses of something deeper, especially when Curran has Mahon show Kate the head of a murderer who’s crime scene still gave her nightmares. Clearly he cares about his people.
Shortly after learning of Greg’s death, Kate meets a guy while working Greg’s case: Dr. Maximillian Crest. Crest is handsome and accomplished but even from the first moment we meet him there is suspicion of his motivation. View Spoiler »Does he like Kate because she’s attractive and he wants to have sex with her? Does he think she would be a good trophy? What is Crest’s interest? Crest is suspicious simply because Kate is so different from him. What would make him interested even though she is beautiful? I admit that I disliked Crest on sight. As the two dated, it was clear to the reader that they would never make a real couple. Crest did not pay attention to Kate – he listened to her words but he paid no attention to her likes, dislikes or body language. He didn’t pay attention to the fact that she disliked fancy restaurants and he somehow missed that she was in serious pain during one of their dates – even though he’s a doctor.
“Derek gave Crest a derisive glance.
During the night we had moved into a somewhat reclining position and I was lying on Crest’s chest. I sat straight. “You disapprove?”
He shook his head. “It isn’t my place.”
“You don’t like him all the same, though.”
“He and you…” he made a put-together motion with his hands, fingers spread coming together but not quite touching. “You don’t look right together.”
“You’re harder than he is.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“The man’s supposed to be harder. So he can protect.”
“Do you think I’m in need of protection?” The threatening overtone crept into my voice without intention.
“He will never tell you no,” Derek said.
I stared at him until he lowered his gaze. “Very few people tell me no,” I said.”
I feel this quote above is a good explanation as to why Crest and Kate would never have made it as a couple.
I can’t quite put my finger exactly on the point where I think Curran became interested in Kate romantically. I want to say that his interest was peaked almost from the beginning but it was probably seeing her willingness to sacrifice herself for others. I also think Curran became interested in Kate because she is obviously more than she seems: she has strong magic, she is well trained and she is a [human] alpha. Kate is also not afraid of Curran which must be a plus in his book – I can only imagine the irritation Curran must have when dealing with women who are afraid and/or nervous of him. Plus the courtship between alpha personalities must be stressful. « Hide Spoiler
This is just a small (but random) sampling of the many things running through my head while re-reading Magic Bites. What killed me were the clues: there were so many clues in this book that I just…missed during the first read. Every time I read this series I get more and more out of it.
I highly recommend reading Magic Bites and the Kate Daniels series. Of course, i am a little biased. I love Kate Daniels, Curran and the entire cast of characters in the Kate Daniels series. The side stories are just as entertaining as the full length books. Magic Bites is the weakest book in the Kate Daniels series but I was hooked from very early on.