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Magic Bites by Illona Andrews Review

Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Paranormal Element: Magic, Vampires, Shifters
Series: Kate Daniels #1
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Being the series junkee that I am, I didn't possibly know why I hadn't started this series yet. I can only blame it on, not enough time and too many good books. From the start this one struck me as different. It starts out very gritty with a head first jump into a very urban fantasy world. I knew I was going to love the main character, Kate Daniels - and her world was twisted enough that I knew I would feel right at home. Paired with some excellent word weaving by Andrews and I was in UF heaven.

Kate Daniels' world is a world where Magic has gone out of whack. Flares and disturbances plague the cities, rendering technology null and strange occurrences rampant. Shifters and mages are 'out' but distrusted and are usually pretty wary of one another. Vampires are creatures to be possessed and used, unridden by Necromancers they are feral and will murder anything that comes upon them.

Kate actually likes the world she lives in, she is a live by the sword, try not to die by the sword type of girl. She makes her living as a magical mercenary and has made her way pretty well. She was doing just fine until someone kills her guardian. Rips him to pieces is more like it.

Kate can't sit idly by and let the murderer go unpunished. With permission from the Order she takes up the case and finds herself neck deep in two steps. Never one to roll over and take it, Kate pushes on, desperate to find out who killed her guardian - but she just might not survive the knowlege.

Fast-paced, gritty, full of sarcasm and wit, MAGIC BITES is the epitome of a great Urban Fantasy novel. The world building is complex and intense in its defining. The characters are robust and in-your-face. There was enough violence to keep it nasty, without the raunchy romance that drags some UF down. Yet, some good flirting to keep it alive. I wouldn't say this is the most original of pieces, snarky and intense heroine, slick and over-bearing hero are used a lot, but the world Andrews created was definitely on the very creative side of the crayon box. I think I might have a new series to have and hold -- because I'm dying to sink my teeth into MAGIC BURNS.

Recommended for adults and mature readers. The violence can be a bit overpowering and there was a fair bit of mature language and references. Series is reminiscent of the earlier Anita Blake books (not the later ones when all she does is have sex).

2/20 books


Mariya said...

OMG. Just wait til you read the rest of the series. My favorite is the third book MAGIC STRIKES. I swear that book blew me away!

I am going crazy over the newest release coming in the summer, MAGIC SLAYS. I keep on going to the authors website for more snippets...wait MORE CURRAN!!!!!hehehehe.

Anonymous said...

I will read this series if it's the last thing I do! Ok, well hopefully it won't be the last thing I do but I really want to read it :-) Great review!

Stephanie G
Paranormal Haven

Jennifer (An Abundance of Books) said...

I can't believe you haven't read this series before, I am gobsmacked! I've read all 4 books multiple times and I totally stalk Andrews' website for snippets and Curran POVs. MAGIC BITES was the first UF book I read though I had been intrigued by the genre for awhile. The world building is so detailed and Kate is a likable character.

I hope you enjoy MAGIC BURNS,
Jennifer (An Abundance of Books)

L.Blanchard said...

No, I understand. I did the same thing. I have been reading UF for a solid 5 years and somehow had walked right by these books time and time again. Then about two months ago I found Magic Bits. I read all 4 books in two weeks. I even went digital just to speed up the process. I've since become a resident lurker at Ilonya and her husband Gordon's website.

They are super fan friendly and post snippets from the book in progress all the time. I just posted something at my blog about this but Gordon co-writes the books with his wife which is one of the reason's I think the male characters are so well written especially Curran. Gordon has posted a group of scenes from the series written from Curran's Point of view for free at their website. Very spoilerish but very very fun.
So glad you enjoyed them too. Can't wait for book 5!!!


Amber (aka BBB) said...

I just bought this one on Audible during the recent sale but haven't listened to it yet.

How's the narration? I've heard great things about the series.

Danny said...

Everyone keeps recommending me those books but I never managed to start them. I guess the only reason why I was reluctant was because it seems love is a bit missing? I hope for more love in the following books!

fantasylover12001 said...

I just discovered this series last year by chance at my library. I read the first, loved it and read the next three within two months. I'm now impatiently waiting for book 4. This is one of those rare UF series that actually gets better as it goes on. The author has another series too, called On the Edge that looks interesting.

Jessica @ Laugh Love Write said...

Great post. Love the review.

I just wanted you to know I gave you an award on this post.

Jessica @ Laugh Love Write

Jennifer (An Abundance of Books) said...

@ Danny - Oh no, it's great! The characters' relationships grow so naturally and wonderfully, I love it. There is no false drama and dragged out will she/won't she for tension. You don't quite realize it with the first one, but by the end of the second book you think "Ooh", and the third book you're all. "OMG!", and 4th... le sigh. :)

Jennifer (An Abundance of Books)

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

Yay! Glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much. I just bought it two weeks ago when the Borders in our mall was going out of business and had a great sale. Can't wait to read it myself!

Danny said...

@Jennifer: oOoo Thanks so much for your comment.. I guess now I truly need to read them. I just always need love, at least a bit of tension, I can wait but I need to see that it will happen, if you know what I mean..

and.. I love "OMG" moments :))

Cem said...

Like those who said it already, just wait til you read the rest! It took me a little while to get in to Magic Bites, but I love the rest of the series. It's completely addictive and just gets better. I'm dying for book 5! Kate Daniels' is one of my favourite urban fantasy series. I love Kate, Curran and basically everything about this series just 'works' for me. Dark, gritty, and with that annoying totally 'real' quailty! ;) Enjoy reading the rest of the series!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the way you let us know what to expect in terms of language, violence etc. That's really helpful. Thanks

Redd said...

*grins* I'm glad you read it..funny I had a brief thought of the same that it was reminiscent of the early Anita Blake books. A wee bit.

I'm caught up on the whole series so don't go peek at my blog or it'll ruin it for ya! XD Although, I do put spoiler alerts.

I did enjoy your review of it. Can't wait to see what you say about the others within the series!

Vamchoir said...

I'm really getting a kick out of all the comments because I haven't read these books either ... guess I'll have to put MORE titles on my "must be read" list. LOL.

Midnyte Reader said...

I took this out of the library but didn't have time to read it. I'll have to re-visit it!

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