REVIEW by Dolly: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews (@ilona_andrews , @Fidget78)

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…

My gosh, I forgot how much I love Kate Daniels and the writing team of Ilona Andrews.  Just in case you didn’t know, Ilona Andrews is the wife and husband writing team of Ilona and Gordon Andrews (pseudonym for Ilona and Andrew Gordon).  Oh, what a writing team they are!

Magic Bites is the first of the Kate Daniels Series.  This series is like deep dark chocolate.  You eat it but you want more and more.  Thankfully, the Andrews deliver the chocolate with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

I honestly cannot remember what made me pick up Magic Bites.  It must have been Divine intervention (no offense intended).  I really didn’t know what to expect and that’s exactly what I got.  Something so very different from the portrayal of mystical beings that I was fascinated.  The idea that tech and magic could fight for control was a big hook with a squirming  worm attached.  The mystery of Kate’s origins, the unfamiliar depiction of vampires, (no pretty people here); need I go on?

As you can probably tell, I was entranced and immediately hit the Internet to find out what I could about Ilona Andrews.  Wife and husband writing team.  (I get tired of the line husband and wife, so I try to be different).  Wow.  Working together in the same house on the same project, hubby and I would have killed each other.  But gosh darn it, they write brilliantly together.  I always thought Gordon’s contribution was just Curran.  Well, check that.  You CAN”T say JUST Curran.  Curran is like no other.  Anyway, from reading different interviews all over the web, I found it doesn’t quite work that way.  They are definitely a team, in all things.

Not only am I hooked on their books but their blog, Facebook page, Goodreads page and twitter.  No, not a stalker.  They just make me smile and sometimes turn a bad day into a “who cares day”.  The best part is the interaction with their fans and willingness to share so much of themselves.  They don’t feel like snooty best seller authors, they’re like you and me; working to pay the bills, struggling to be parents and all of life’s little ironies thrown their way and ours.  From what I can tell, that is what they want their fans to know, they are just people like everyone else who happen to write books for a living.  Well, extremely good books, exceptional books in my opinion.  Okay, didn’t mean to go on a “I love Ilona Andrews” rant, but I do.

As you hopefully know by now, PT, does not give spoilers so writing some reviews can tax us reviewers.  That’s a good thing because I hate reading spoilers.  Magic Bites is a breath of fresh air in a field that is crowded with vampires and shape shifters and weres.  Nothing is what you expect.  The plot and storyline are wonderful.  The pacing in this first book is not quite up to the rest of the series.  (Ilona had indicated that she sometimes cringes when thinking of this book – paraphrasing her so don’t kill me).  Ilona is a perfectionist.  Magic Bites isn’t perfect but I don’t think many people mind, at least I didn’t and don’t after rereading it.  It was just the right way to start the series.  The books need to grow as the stories and characters grow.

I’ve never been to Atlanta, where the books take place, but the detailed descriptions paint a picture in my head.  The world building is probably one of the best I’ve ever read.  Everything written on the pages transforms into your mind.  I am lacking in imagination but I didn’t need one to picture whatever they described.  Great talent.

One of the highlights of Magic Bites is Kate’s first meeting with Curran.  It makes me smile every time I think of it….

…”Diplomacy was never my strong suit and my patience had run dry.  I crouched and called out, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”….

…”Kitty, kitty?” asked a level male voice…..


See, you just have to read it now to find out all about that encounter.

If I had reviewed this book back when I first read it, I would have given it 4.5 Stars.  Well, I can’t go back in time and now after reading all the other books in the series, I can’t honestly give Magic Bites 4.5 Stars.  (All right, all the Ilona fans out there, don’t lynch me.  I have to be honest here.)

My rating:  Very Strong – 4.0 Stars








Kate Daniels .5
Prequel from Magic Graves

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Kate Daniels #1

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  1. I’ve heard great things about this author and hope to get started on her works as soon as my to-read pile dies down! Thanks for the thoughtful review!

  2. Becca, thanks. I really think you would enjoy this series. The first book is the hardest to get through but it sits the stage for the whole series. Also don’t forget there are shorts that compliment the series and you absolutely can’t miss Curran’s POV.
    Thanks for stopping by.

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