Posted on March 29, 2008 by alanajoli
Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck merc who has enough trouble paying the bills that the last thing she needs is taking on a charity case. But when her guardian, a member of a magical group of public defenders known as the Order, is murdered, she’s determined to see the last of her family given justice. In order to do so, she has to play nice with the Order, which she left years ago due to her problems accepting authority. When it turns out that both the People — necromancers who use vampires as spies and assassins when it’s good for business — and the shape-changing members of the Pack may be involved, things quickly move from complicated to delicate. And delicate isn’t a word that anyone would associate with Kate Daniels.
Set in a post-magicolypse Atlanta (waves of magic rip through the city and shut off the “tech” regularly), Magic Bites introduces readers to Kate Daniels’s world, where vampires, lycanthropes, and blood magic are just a way of life. Her job is a violent one, and she’s good at it: she owns a magic blade that has to be ‘fed” if it doesn’t taste blood often enough, and a host of other powers up her sleeve. Author Ilona Andrews uses Kate’s voice and perspective, both of which carry wry humor and sass that propel the story forward. Conveniently, it also means she doesn’t reveal anything that the character wouldn’t want the readers to know–like Kate’s mysterious past.
Seeds to the mystery Kate has to solve are scattered throughout the plot, and though I thought I had it figured out about half way through (the characters kindly followed up on my hunch), it kept on twisting right up until the final battle. There are monsters a plenty, opportunities for daring heroics and noble sacrifices, bad guys whose evil merits sometimes scarily graphic description, and even a little bit of romance. Over all, it’s an excellent choice for urban fantasy readers who like their magic out in the open and enjoy the what-if of a world post cataclysm.
Review by Alana Abbott
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