Review of Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Posted October 1st, 2011 in book review / 4 comments

Magic Bites

Book #1 of the Kate Daniels Series

by Ilona Andrews

Published: April 2007
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 272 (paperback)

Purchase at:

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Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictable 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 Master 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…

The Good
This is the kind of book that grabs you from the beginning. Unlike many authors, Andrews (a wife and husband team who wrote this book) doesn’t bog down the book with elaborate explanations of her world. She integrates the basics throughout the whole book as to not bore the reader with pages of explanation.

What was even better was the actual world Andrews created. I have never come across another concept like this before. It made it more exciting to read because I never knew what was next. It was as if the normal rules did not apply, so the limits were endless.

But the best part, the thing that made me almost cry when it was six in the morning and I still hadn’t gone to bed because nothing was going to come between me and my book, not even unconsciousness, was the characters.

Kate is the kick-assiest (yup, not a real word, but it has a ring to it) protagonist ever. She is fearless, has mad fighting skills, and does what the hell she wants.

Curran. Oh, Curran. He is the Beast Lord in every sense of the word. He’s strong, brutal, and knows how to push Kate’s buttons (and vice versa).

The dialogue is down right hilarious. I literally laughed out loud for half of the book. I like those type of characters that don’t hold anything back.

The combat scenes where excellent. Very clear, concise, and interesting. Gory at times, but I like that.

The air of mystery around Kate Daniels is by far the most tantalizing part. It’s obvious there is more to her history that has yet to be revealed, which only guarantees people will be picking up book #2 Magic Burns.

The Bad
I can truly say there was nothing I disliked about this book. I guess some could find it a little too gritty and gory, but I think it made the book interesting and raw.

The Snuggly
There was a little sexual tension but there is no sex.

This is one of my favorite books (and series) I have ever read. The characters are the best part and the action is beautifully written. I actually became a writer because of this series. My protagonist is slightly based off of Kate Daniels because I believe she is one of the best characters ever created.

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4 Responses to “Review of Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews”

  1. Jaclyn Canada

    Wow, so we touched on almost the same things 🙂 I LOVE your paragraph about Kate. It’s so fun to make up words when real ones just won’t suffice. As you know, I agree with you on pretty much every score: the world being delivered in increments, the fantastic characters, and the witty dialogue. I didn’t know Andrews was a husband/wife team. I can really see why this book was your muse…I bet your character is going to be great as well. Jaclyn @ JC’s Book Haven

    • Jennifer Bielman

      We did mention a lot of the same things. I wrote this when I first started blogging. I kind of what to update it.

      I think the husband and wife team really help the male and female characters pop, with having both perspectives.

  2. Ashley Robertson

    I’m one of those people that have never read any of these books. Saw your 6-star review for one of them and that totally got my attention. I’m downloading book 1 to my kindle today and I cannot wait to dive into it! 🙂 ~AR

    • Jennifer Bielman

      WooHoo. You have no idea how happy that makes me. I swear. You won’t regret it. The only thing I would caution you about is that many people say the series really gets going for them in book 2, so if this one is just okay for you, try book 2 first before you give up on the series. I, however, love love this book like I love the rest.

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