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119 of 123 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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119 of 123 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 Sept. 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 Sept. 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 A brilliant start to a fantastic series, 6 Jun. 2012
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So enjoyable!!, 2 Sept. 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Kate Daniels book 1, 22 May 2011
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
In Magic Bites we are introduced to an interesting new world where magic and technology can't coexist. When the magic is high electronics everywhere start to fail and with the magic levels constantly fluctuating it is impossible to rely on technology to keep you safe. We are also treated to an unusual form of vampires - these aren't your sexy vamps that appear frequently in urban fantasy but are instead evil beings who are constantly in a state of blood lust and are only able to function under the control of a necromancer. They certainly make lethal pets and I have to admit the necromancers are almost as scary!

Main character Kate Daniels is a loner, she has a few trusted colleagues but doesn't make friends easily and prefers to do things her own way. As a magic user she could choose to work for the Order of Knights, an organisation that offers aid to people with magical problems, but not one to stick to the rules she is happier as a mercenary drifting from job to job. When her guardian is murdered she is determined to track down his killer but with clues pointing to both the necromancers and the pack (shape shifters of all kinds) she doesn't know where to start. It looks like she may have to turn to the Order of Knights for assistance if she wants to figure things out. With disappearances amongst both the pack and the necromancers each are blaming the other and look to be on the verge of war. Kate must discover who is to blame before humans get caught in the crossfire.

Like any first book in a series there is a lot of time spent setting the scene and introducing us to the world which meant the first part of the book is a little on the slow side but the action really picks up towards the end and made for a thoroughly enjoyable read. I liked Kate but I was particularly intrigued by Curran, the leader of the pack. I've heard a lot of good things about Curran and although we don't know a lot about him at the moment I have high hopes for future books. There is definitely chemistry between him & Kate but I liked the fact that this wasn't over done in the first installment and gives us something to look forward to as the series progresses. Magic Bites is a promising start to a series and I'm looking forward to reading more, we have a lot more to discover about Kate and the world she lives in and I'm sure it will be an interesting journey!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant New Urban Fantasy, highly original, 27 Mar. 2011
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I absolutely loved this book. It's so good to find a new 5 star series. I already am planning to recommend it to anyone and everyone.

It is an Urban Fantasy, so for anyone who needs a romance storyline all wrapped up neatly within the first book, you might not enjoy it for that reason alone. But I, for one, am quite happy to have a slow burning love story, cast over several books. It's all in the anticipation people! And there is a clearly a potential love interest here. Just as soon as they both get over themselves, and stop annoying the hell out of each other. Love it! I think it's great when they start off hating each other, it makes it all the sweeter when they finally concede defeat. In this case. I'm not sure who will break first. There was a kiss, but that was only really done for distraction, to stop the other person from thinking about how scared they were.

There are oodles of weird creatures in this book. It makes a refreshing change to have some new ideas in this area. There were Shapechangers, Necromancers and various other magic users. There were hints left here and there that Kate herself has some big secret concerning her genealogy. Although we know she has magic right from the offset, she, for some reason has to be really careful about her blood. Always making sure that if she bleeds anywhere, she cleans it up or burns it. Like as if someone were to smell or sample her blood, they would find out what bloodline she came from, and I'm guessing this would be bad. As I said, there were only clues to this so far, no actual answers, so I have no idea what the big deal is, but I am very intrigued at this point.

Another interesting twist was that, although this series features vampires, they are not the sexy, sparkly, gorgeous-looking creatures that many authors portray these days, but rather disturbing, insect-like creatures that scuttle about on the ceiling. They are also mindless, and have to be controlled, or "navigated" by a necromancer or necro-navigator. They were completely gross.

I like the whole idea of the world being post magical Apocalypse, with crumbling buildings and other leftovers from the tech age, before magic took over. It was also something new that I haven't read before. And for me to find something new with the amount of books in this genre that I read, is always a bonus.

I really liked Kate. It's so nice to find a protagonist who you just love. That's not to say she's not flawed, because let's face it, who would want to read about someone that wasn't in some way. Her smart-ass retorts are just hilarious but she doesn't quite know when to switch it off, which is so going to get her in trouble one of these days, I'm sure.

I cannot wait for the next one but at the same time I almost want to put of reading them because I don't want to run out of them...
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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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