Title: Magic Bites
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Paranormal fantasy, Shapeshifters
Publisher: Ace fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: The morning after a night of hunting was the time for serene contemplation, as sacred to the shapeshifter as meditation to a Shaolin monk.
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…
“jeans loose enough to kick a man in the throat” – quite possibly the best clothing description I have ever read. And this quote alone really sets the book’s tone and shows you how tough the heroine truly is. And what a smart ass she tends to be, a fact that I truly appreciate. Most heroines in books are gorgeous and they’re cheeky, but still respectfully so. Kate Daniels is not a stunner, she’s adequately alright looking, and she is so damn cheeky that throughout the book I constantly expect her to have her head chopped off (literally). I love the departure from traditional heroine, and this is definitely what drew me in.
Throughout the story, Kate’s mysterious powers are alluded to, and, this being probably my least favourite part of the book, not actually shown or stated. It has something to do with blood, and that’s all I really picked up on. Maybe if I read through the book again, I’d pick up on more information. I had expected this information to be revealed at the end of the book, but, even though more clues were dropped, I still have no idea why Kate is so damn special. Andrews did a great job with this – I picked up the next book straight away and I am eagerly devouring it, not only for the great storyline, but also because I want to know! (Can you tell how frustrated I am?) But, all in all, it’s a fantastic by-line within the story.
Andrews really twisted the modern paranormal fantasy genre on its head. Not only through the use of a dystopian future, but in the fact that whilst Kate has romantic interests, it is a very minor point throughout the story. And then there is the battle between the vampires and werewolves, a tale as old as time, but Andrews put a completely different spin on it! Werewolves are part of a shapeshifting clan that includes rats, cats and any other animal you can possibly think of. Meanwhile, vampires are far more terrifying than anything I had imagined before.
All in all, this is a great beginning to a new (to me) series. If you like paranormal fantasy books, I would recommend reading this and being thrown into an entirely new, and very unique world.