Thursday, April 27, 2017

Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites
A Kate Daniels Novel
Ilona Andrews
Ace Books

Urban Fantasy/Dark Fantasy

So, full disclosure: I’ve been having some issues lately and these issues have led to what must be the longest, worst reading slump for me to date.  I was looking around, trying to find something to jolt me out of it, and came across this series.  I’ve been meaning to ‘get around to it’ for some time.  I picked up the first book and was completely hooked!  I think I read this in two sittings, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’m so grateful to the nice people at Ace, who have provided me with (I think) the whole series, so never mind the publication dates, if you enjoy urban fantasy with a very dark slant, you will not want to miss this series!

Kate Daniels is a sort of magical mercenary, living outside of Atlanta.  She could be a part of the powerful Guild, if she chose to be, but she’s got a long-standing problem with authority.  She’s just happier working for herself.  As the story begins, she has a visitor.  It’s a vampire.  Not the Dracula kind, the animalistic kind, piloted from a distance by a magical someone.  The pilot uses the vampire to ask when’s the last time Kate saw her guardian.  Just out of curiosity. 

Kate’s guardian happens to be the Knight-diviner of Atlanta.  He’s very powerful and extremely knowledgeable about all things and all creatures magical.  Even so, he was found dead, on the street, next to the beheaded corpse of another vampire.  Only someone with a huge amount of power could do something like that, and they should have left traces.  Of course, that would be too easy.  Kate’s guardian was the last family she had left; she’s determined to find and punish whoever hurt him.  No matter who, or how powerful, that person is.

The world of this book looks much like ours, but takes place in some unspecified future.  Here, there’s magic, and there’s technology.  Some time ago, there was a huge magic surge in the world.  Since then, the magic ebbs and flows.  When magic is high, tech stuff (like cars, and lights) won’t work.  Most people and places have adjusted to this, and switch over to horses or feylamps during these times.  Magic is accepted as a given here, and there are multiple government agencies in place to oversee/regulate its use.  In theory.

While this is a first installment in a series, and there is some necessary groundlaying work happening here, it’s never obtrusive.  In fact, this is one of the few times I’ve wished for a bit more background information.  The story is complete in this novel – no cliffhanger – but there’s clearly a lot more story to tell.  I’ll be reading/reviewing more in this series in the future, so stay tuned!

Rating: 8
April 2007

ISBN# 978-0-441-01489-7  (paperback)


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