Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1)

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic…

Magic Bites, by Ilona Andrews, is the first novel in the Kate Daniels series. It takes place in the future, where Atlanta has been completely devastated by magic. According to the author, humans had accomplished so many technological advances in science that the boundary between mankind and the supernatural became too imbalanced. The power of magic suddenly returned with a bang, interrupting--and destroying--the metaphysical properties of cities. As a consequence, humans must also learn how to live with other beings, such as werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural creatures.

Kate Daniels is a highly-gifted mercenary who does odd jobs (magical problems) to pay the bills. Her snappy sense of humor and tendency to provoke others often gets her into trouble. When she receives a disturbing letter announcing the murder of her only close relative and mentor, Greg Feldman, she decides to investigate his death with the Order of Merciful Aid. She is also shocked to learn that her fellow knights will allow her to facilitate and act according to her wishes in the case. She sets forth to gather information and find who or what murdered Greg.

During the investigation, Kate learns that Greg had a friendly professional relationship with the Pack, which includes all were-creatures in Atlanta. She has her first contact with the Beast Lord, who controls the were-creatures and has absolute authority with all matters related to the Pack. Despite her attitude, she manages to form an alliance with the Pack and gain a werewolf sidekick (bounded by blood) to assist her during the investigations. She also allies with the Masters of the Dead, a secret organization of vampire-controlling necromancers, to discover whether Greg's death is tied to a series of bizarre killings in the city. What she doesn't realize is take true courage and strength to face her most powerful enemy yet.

Yes, I am a late starter in the Kate Daniels series, but I am glad that I considered this book. Since this is Andrews (husband-and-wife team!) first book, it has some pacing issues but the story became more exciting near the end. Kate has special powers and abilities, and her strong sense for justice and protection for others intrigues me. Despite her tough bad-girl appearance, she attempts a normal life by accepting a dinner date with a human doctor.

I think her character will grow on me. In some ways, she reminds me of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson character. I am also interested in what lies ahead for Kate as she encounters (and fights) more supernatural beings and possibly establish a romantic relationship with the Beast Lord. This was a very good introduction to a promising series. I highly recommend it.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Kate Daniels series, Magic Burns.

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