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118 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Urban Fantasy
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 as she investigates the murder of her guardian she's about to find herself caught between The Pack (shapeshifters) and the People (necromancers).

One of the best urban fantasies I've read this year. Kate is a...
Published on 18 July 2007 by Lesley70

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Series With Potential
In this book, we see technogoly duel with magic. It's set some time in the near future and sees magic work somewhat like magnetism. When the "magic field" is strong, the world goes dark, technology (everything from phones to cars) doesn't work, and skyscrapers collapse. The problem is that the "magic field" isn't always present, so there are times when you need the old...
Published on 23 July 2008 by Jamie Bowen


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118 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Urban Fantasy, 18 July 2007
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 as she investigates the murder of her guardian she's about to find herself caught between The Pack (shapeshifters) and the People (necromancers).

One of the best 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 up 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, the Lord of the Beasts 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 something that he actually did. There could be some kind of shapeshifter politicking going on there, but it seemed a tad harsh.

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

Book #2 Magic Burns to be released 2008
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars loved it!, 27 Sep 2007
I really enjoyed this book. I sometimes think that urban fantasy kind of books over-explain things, but here, the magic/tech waves, the city in ruins, the magical beings etc were all presented in a straightforward way. It's nice to see vampires as something other than the coolest kids in town. I like the relationship potential not being guaranteed and the general emotional distance of the heroine felt right. I hate hate hate the title, so much so I wouldn't have read the book if it hadn't been particularly recommended to me. And the cover didn't help either, I thought it and the title both screamed young adult, so then I was a bit unprepared for the blood and gore (but not unwelcoming!).
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic DOESN'T Bite!!!, 9 Sep 2007
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'Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic...
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 rose, 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 bizzare killings-and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realises she's way out of her league-but she wouldn't have it any other way...'

I LOVE it! 'Magic Bites' is the first novel in a terrific action packed, intriguing new series (so-far a confirmed duo).
Kate is a stubborn, tough, witty 'heroine'. I love the fact she feels the need to keep everyone at 'arms length', but makes friends and allies constantly. Amongst the interesting plot, you gradually learn some of Kates background and it makes you want to learn more.
Kates growing powers, 'love interest potential' with the Beast Lord-pack king of the shapechangers, a series of interesting characters are just some of the things that make you want to go back to visit this 'bloody' brilliant world!!! I cannot wait for the sequel 'Magic Burns', in March 2008.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So enjoyable!!, 2 Sep 2009
I really loved this book. I didn't expect to, thought it might be a bit overdone and boring but not at all. I really like the first person narrator protagonist, Kate, who's a mercenary with a lot of the traits you can imagine coming along with such a job and with a very no-nonsense, butt kicking attitude though not in a cheesy annoying way. The great thing about Magic Bites is the density that is fit into such a short novel - there are loads of minor characters that I can't wait to see more of, a world that whilst it uses the usual magic/urban fantasy elements manages to do it with a unique idea (technology and magic waves, the crumbling city setting, etc), plus a gripping mystery and action based plot.
Yes, there's a lot packed into it, which makes it quite an onslaught of info/characters/ideas, but I think Andrews manages to do this without any of the fluffy info-dumping many authors get caught up in, which makes it a book you need to concentrate pretty hard on, but it's so exciting that it's well worth it.
The romance is also so well done, since it is barely romance at all (no actual sex in Magic Bites) but the guy who's the main romantic interest is extremely hot (yes I do get crushes on characters in books, sad but true)!
I can't wait to read the sequel (it could easily be read as standalone but there's lots of setup for another storyline in the future).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ooh, this is good!, 28 April 2009
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I ignored this book for a year or so, despite it coming up regularly on my list of recommendations. I did that terrible thing and judged the book by its cover. And boy, was I wrong. This is a dark, fierce world and the author shows us it in amazing detail, managing to introduce vampires, shapeshifters and magicians in such a way as to avoid cliche. I loved it.

It's hard to compare this book to others. The writing style and treatment of romantic interest is more like an actioned-up Stephanie Plum adventure, while her pace and imagination vies with that of Karen Chance. But as I said before, it's way darker, and all the more impressive because of it.

I'm one of those people who likes loose ends and the sense of a bigger mystery that will be unraveled over many books. This series does that really well. I can't wait for more.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Urban Fantasy, 8 July 2007
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 as she investigates the murder of her guardian she's about to find herself caught between The Pack (shapeshifters) and the People (necromancers).

One of the best 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 up 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, the Lord of the Beasts 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 something that he actually did. There could be some kind of shapeshifter politicking going on there, but it seemed a tad harsh.

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

Book #2 Magic Burns to be released 2008
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'What kind of woman greets the Beast Lord with 'here, kitty kitty'?', 25 Jun 2009
This book was excellent. I started it a few months ago but sort of got side-tracked and for some reason didn't pick it up again until recently (I was craving something gritty and this was near to hand). I feel stupid for putting it down for so long! Magic Bites isn't very long, but maybe that's part of the reason for the high quality -- the authors cut around the extraneous stuff to leave a well flowing and compelling murder mystery. Magic Bites is a genuine urban fantasy. There's very little romance (thank goodness) and refreshingly, vampires are rabid animals rather than hunky well muscled men just looking for a good time. This book is dark. It reminded me quite a bit of the earlier Anita Blake novels -- a supernatural 'realistic' murder mystery.

Kate Daniels is the protagonist. She's also a poor mercenary. Kate lives in a kind of alternate Atlanta where magic is well and truly out -- leaving the inhabitance to suffer the effects of magic as it constantly wipes out technology in unexpected waves. The Andrews do a wonderful job of detailing the world in which Kate lives. For instance, cars do not work when there a magic wave hits; so people have to favour horses as transport unless they have a car powered by magic.

Kate soon finds that her guardian Greg has been murdered and she won't rest until she finds out what has happened to cause his death. To solve the case she goes to the Order of Merciful Aid and is drafted to the case on a more official basis. The mystery of Greg's murder draws her into the ongoing friction between two powerful groups: the Pack and the People. The story sees her attempting to balance her own interests with the Packs and solve the crime.

Kate's world is inhabited by some interesting characters. Like Derek the shapechanger and Saiman; an odd being. And of course Curran, a believable alpha who has a slightly mischievous streak but is firstly noble and dedicated to his Pack. I particularly found him interesting -- it was a small detail, but his name really suits him. Curran's tension and dynamic with Kate was one of the best things about the book in my opinion. I look forward to learning more about them all. Kate herself is tough minded and clever. But not too much that she can't humble herself and thank people for helping her, or be vulnerable. She also has a wonderfully self-deprecating sense of humour and it was nice to have a protagonist who doesn't over do it on the snarkiness (it can get annoying).

The world building is very impressive. I was surprised how such a convoluted world could be so well drawn in such a small expanse of story. Yet the authors pull it off with aplomb and there's no disjointed feeling of having them interrupt the narrative flow to drop in masses of information about the way the world works. Magic Bites offers a very unique, gritty view of how magic affects humanity and the results of such a force existing in the world.

I highly recommend this book. Especially if you're looking for something that's gritty and focuses more on plot development and character, rather than romance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars kate & the Lion...., 29 Nov 2009
By 
A. Milnes "Annabanana" (west yorkshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When I first picked up this book I found the first few pages hard work, (for some reason which now baffles me) now however, after reading this (again) and the other two follow up novels, I find I'm hooked!!
Firstly, the strong female lead with a mysterious past is probably not anything new to avid readers of fantasy or paranormal novels, however in this book it works well. The links and plot development of magic, the futuristic urban type setting and shifters is interesting and easy to be drawn into. Easily finding yourself drawn too or relating to a variety of characters.
As I await the release of book four, ( not until November next year! why cruel world? lol) I'd say its a good start off point for people who prefer the urban fantasy genre or simply enjoy the advantages in plot and characer that a series of books can provide compared to stand alone books.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable debut, 6 July 2007
By 
R. Shutler - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
What it says on the back

'Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic...

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 is a nice, easy read. There's nothing too complex that you have to stop and rewind through everything you've just read but its not so simple that your mind goes to sleep either. The plot is engaging and the details are well thought out. The odd sentence and paragraph lets you know that Kate's story isn't finished yet but the main plotline is wrapped up nice and tidily by the end of the book. Kate is what you might call an 'alpha' woman; aggressive, mouthy and independant but refreshingly she also isn't so determined to go her own way that she puts herself in suicidal situations, she accepts help when she needs it. Romance takes a backseat to the rest of the plot but there is potential to play with in future books. I believe the second book will be titled Magic Burns.

I found this book very enjoyable and well worth reading, especially if you like Patricia Briggs' Moon Called and Michelle Sagara West's Cast in Shadow.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant start to a fantastic series, 6 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels) (Paperback)
Set in the future in Atlanta where the world is split in either 'magic time' when magic dominates and nothing technical (cars, phones, guns lights etc) works, or in 'tech' where nothing magic works. No-one knows when the magic will fall, and the landscape is now littered with buildings that couldn't stand up to the magic. It's an interesting world filled with Shapeshifters, mages, beasts and vampires. Kate Daniels is a great heroine, she's got an intriguing secret past which comes out slowly over the books and alot of what she does and how she acts is due to that secret history. She has been bought up to be a fighter, a ruthless machine in some ways that forms no connections and takes extreme measures to make sure no-one figures out who she really is. Despite all of this, she's a good person and when her guardian Greg dies at the beginning of this book she feels she owes it to him to find out who killed him. She starts working at 'The Order' which is a magical policing agency where Greg used to work so that she can try and find his killer. This brings her previous solitary work life into the path of the Shapeshifters, and in particular their leader, King of the Shapeshifters Curran (mini swoon).

Ilona Andrews (husband and wife team, Ilona and Andrew) have written the first book in a series that gets better and better. They've created such a rich world full of 3 dimensional characters. Kate is such a great character, she's funny, clever and mouthy. The baddies are horribly bad, the goodies are sometimes justifiably bad too, but for the greater good!

The romance in this series is a slow burn, if you like your romance quick and passionate you'll be disappointed, but I urge you to stick around and watch the romance flourish, you'll be rooting for it and cherishing every scene.

I love this series, I can't tell you enough how much I love it. Ilona Andrews is in my top 3 urban fantasy writers, the writing is consistently good, inventive, and funny. The interactions between the characters are so good.

I'm so sure you won't regret getting started in Kate's world.
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Magic Bites (Kate Daniels)
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels) by Ilona Andrews (Paperback - 9 Sep 2010)
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