Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #2
Published by Ace on April 2008
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
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Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…
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, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…
Welcome to another edition of “MrsJ trying to review a book she’s read too many times.” In this edition we will watch her attempt to review book two of the Kate Daniels series, Magic Burns.
Magic Burns takes place a few months after the ending of Magic Bites. Kate is still a Mercenary but she is now the Liaison to the Mercenary Guild for the Order as well. Derrick (from Magic Bites) comes to her Order office to ask for official help for the Pack: Someone has breached Pack security and stolen important maps. Kate [reluctantly] agrees to lend her assistance and starts investigating the crime.
Note: Kate is not a good detective – she is a mercenary but somehow keeps getting tossed into the mystery business. Kate is perfectly aware that she is not a good investigator – but she tries her best so she does get results…just in a slightly different manner than most investigators.
…a feeling flooded me, a feeling of being too dumb to see what was under my nose, of being scared, hounded, and alone, dashing about the besieged city, blundering from one mistake to another while all around me people died.
What I needed was a big fat clue. A mysterious note laying it all out. A deity popping out of then air and explaining it to me. Hell, I’d settle for an annoying old lady with a knack for solving mysteries.
I actually stopped and waited for a second to see if a clue would fall out of the sky and land at my feet. The Universe declined to oblige.
Why is Kate reluctant to assist the Pack? Curran. Curran and Kate fight every time they are in the same room together so its understandable that she’d want to stay far away from him – especially since she is attracted to him as well.
During Kate’s investigation into the thief of the Pack maps, she runs across a street kid who helped her and Derrick in Magic Bites: Red. Red is with another street kid – Julie – and Red calls in his favor, asking Kate to protect Julie. Then Red runs off. Kate learns that the missing maps are just a small piece to a larger puzzle and that Julie’s (missing) mom is part of it all.
Note: The introduction of Julie – who becomes a permanent character and has at least one spinoff – was really interesting to me. I could see how quickly Julie became important to Kate which said something (to me). Within hours of taking responsibility for Julie, Kate was calling Julie “my kid.”
In the course of protecting Julie, Kate ends up hurt and at the mercy of Curran again. lol Curran stakes his claim on Kate the first time he sees her again after the ending of Magic Bites. This is very early in Magic Burns so it makes me question WHY? What has happened and why did Curran make this decision? I mean, don’t get it twisted. Kate is hawt. She may not be the classical European beauty but she’s exotically attractive and she moves like an assassin. She’s deadly with both magic and a sword and to underestimate her is to sign your own death warrant… Maybe Curran finds that sexy. I probably would, lol.
I glanced at him and saw a lion. He didn’t change, his face was still fully human, but there was something disturbingly lionlike in the way he sat, completely focused on me, as if ready to pounce. Stalking me without moving a muscle. The primordial urge to freeze shackled my limbs. I just sat there, unable to look away.
A slow, lazy, carnivorous smile touched Curran’s lips. “Not only will you sleep with me, but you will say ‘please.’ ”
I stared at him, shocked.
The smile widened. “You will say ‘please’ before and ‘thank you’ after.”
Nervous laughter bubbled up. “You’ve gone insane. All that peroxide in our hair finally did your brain in, Goldilocks.”
She made me think of Curran again. “Men are dumb bastards,” I said.
She nodded. “Women aren’t much better. Whiney bitches, most of them.”
So now we have Kate. Kate has Julie (who’s mom is missing and presumed dead) and Curran and a mystery on her hands. Magic is cresting and crashing with disturbing quickness and she needs to discover what’s happening before things really get bad. Kate has managed to figure out that the flares + the mystery = a deity trying to enter our sphere and that could cause destruction for the entire world.
One of the things I liked the MOST about Magic Burns is not the further development of the Kate + Curran relationship (though I love that), it is the emphasis on Kate the Badass.
They kept coming, enclosing me in a tight ring of flesh. I killed without comprehension, not knowing whom I had dispatched to the cauldron’s depths. They were shapes, obstacles in my way to [redacted], and like a well-tuned machine, I mowed them down, unthinking, unrepentant. Every maneuver I tried worked. Every cut found its victim. A curious elation came over me – they were so many and I hoped they wouldn’t end. This was what I was born for.
I could go on killing forever.
Suddenly the Fomorians broke and fled the gluttony of my swords. The field opened before me. The combatants crashed against each other, thrown back and forth, the lines between attackers and defenders no longer clear. Mad shapeshifters ripped into monsters, their eyes crimson with rage. Witches howled, loosing spells and arrows. The air steamed with blood. The clamor of swords, the pain-laced cries of the injured, the screams of the shapeshifters, and the groans of the dying melded together into an unbearable cacophony. Above it all the merciless sun blazed, bright enough to blister the skin. This was hell and I was its fury.
I raised my sword and killed again, with a smile on my face.
Kate is the numero uno badass woman in my book. Magic Burns was really about one lesson and one lesson only: Don’t fuck with Kate. Kate will kill you.