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117 of 121 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 J. Bowen


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117 of 121 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
By 
'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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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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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 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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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic Bites -not!, 13 May 2007
When I bought this book I was honestly expecting your typical pale copycat urban fantasy of the type that seem to be spring up everywhere these days in the wake of the success of Laurell k. and Charlaine Harris,but I was very pleasantly surprised.Yes ,the story does involve werewolves and vampires and there are echoes of Anita Blake in the heroine Kate Daniels but despite this I was totally gripped by the story and the relationships between the characters and was compelled to read the whole thing through in one sitting.This is obviously the first of a series of books and I can't wait to see what happens next.Read it, you won't regret it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovedthisone!, 6 Sep 2007
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LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this book. Although not a clear romance, there is obviously a developing one between Kate and Curran, Beast Lord. Nice that it doesn't happen too quickly and there is a big time bomb to do with Kate's bloodline, obstructing the relationship, yet to be revealed. It's not made out to be a huge mystery, you can pretty much work out who her biological father is, enough hints are dropped along the way in the book. As for Kate and Curran, they are two very dominant characters jostling for position in their relationship, very funny at times. The tension between the two characters is great and Kate comes across as a tough but compassionate heroine. It doesn't matter if other writers have done the same subgenre with shapechangers and vampires or even if there are similarities in plot, characters or ideas, it's all irrelevant. If a book can seduce you into wanting to read more and being very impatient for the sequel, and makes you keep rereading it, then it's worked. And Magic Bites works for me. Fab!!!
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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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