Review: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews

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4 badass paranormal stars

This series has been on my tbr forever, and I’m so glad I finally dove in, because it was nothing like what I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised! For some reason, I was thinking it was YA, but it’s definitely not! It’s brutal and gory with nasty language, nasty talk, and lots of violence! Of course, I loved it!

I did struggle with it for a bit there because you are dumped straight into a complex paranormal / urban fantasy world with little explanation of what’s going on, and an overload of information, and it took me a while to figure out what was going on and how everything works.

Set some time in the future in downtown Atlanta, magic has become a powerful force and while elements of it are always there, it comes and goes in waves. When magic is up, technology fails, spells are powerful, buildings crumble and supernatural creatures are at full strength. When magic is down, technology rules again, leaving all sorts of magical fallout.

Kate Daniels, magic-touting mercenary for hire, is a bit of a loner and makes her living cleaning up the magical messes. She is sassy, sarcastic, and a total badass, and she is all kinds of awesome! She lives in a dangerous world but she knows her place in it, and how to handle herself. I loved her instantly!

“It’s a reflex. Hear a bell, get food. See an undead, throw a knife. Same thing, really.”

When her beloved mentor is murdered, she takes it upon herself to investigate, and in her pursuit of justice she uncovers a series of kidnappings and murders and a plot to turn two of the major supernatural forces against each other –necromancers (those that control the undead – including creepy-ass vampires like I’ve NEVER seen!) and shifters/shapechangers.

Kate’s investigations drag her straight into the city’s deadly supernatural politics as we watch her sass her way through encounters with all sorts of strange creatures – both allies and enemies – to uncover the truth of a dangerous new threat.

And, of course, before too long she encounters the leader of the Pack, the Beast Lord himself, Curran, and oh my! A powerful and ruthless leader, he is dangerous, mysterious, and just a little bit sexy. I’m not quite sure what to make of him yet, but his mere presence gives me shivers, and I know I’m going to fall and fall hard for him. He and Kate have a very interesting dynamic. It’s not romance, not even real sexual tension yet, but there is definitely something building, and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold!

“Where was he? I scanned the building, peering into the gloom. Moonlight filtered through the gaps in the walls, creating a mirage of twilight and complete darkness. I knew he was watching me. Enjoying himself.
Diplomacy was never my strong suit and my patience had run dry. I crouched and called out, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”

I loved this book! Fast paced and action packed, there is a lot to take in and even though it was confusing at times, I found myself lost in Kate’s world as I tried to unravel the set up of it all, and everything that was going on. It’s dark, dangerous and full on, and that is exactly how I like my paranormal to be! The gory violence is intense, and actually kinda nauseating at times, but with smart, witty one liners intermingled with vulgar death threats and flippant insults, this is a highly entertaining read, and I was kept on the edge of my seat for most of it as Kate literally battles her way to finding the bad guy and taking him out.

This was a great start to a series that I know I’m going to love. With more bad guys on the horizon, some sensational character dynamics to explore and secrets yet to uncover, I’m excited to read on.

4 stars.


Check out our Kate Daniels series page for more information including reading order, reviews and buy links.


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