Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ilona Andrews - Magic Bites & Magic Burns

Grade: B+
I really really like ilona Andrews!
Every single one of her books is captivating and such fun to read. When I saw the Flashback challenges, one of her books had to be a re-read. 
Magic Bites is the first book in the Kate Daniels series, written by husband and wife writing team, Andrew and Ilona Gordan, under the name Ilona Andrews.

Couple of lines from the book:
"All my life I was taught to stay out of the way of the powerful. Don't draw attention to yourself. Don't show off.

Guard your blood, because it will betray you. If you bleed, wipe it clean and burn the rag. Burn the bandages. If someone manages to obtain some of your blood, kill him and destroy the sample. At first it was a matter of survival. Later it became a matter of vengeance"

Magic Bites draws you into the typical Urban Fantasy setting - a city with paranormal creatures, where magic and reality live together. There are a couple of rather heavy-handed descriptions of the backstory, the history of how magic/shapechangers came to be, or the shapechanger political structure, for example. This might have been avoided, and the longer discourses could have been split up across a few books. Despite the lackluster first book, and its confusing plot, the rest of the series is stellar.

On to the Good Stuff:  The vampires here are Smeagol-esque, have talons, and crawl upside-down a lot. Creepy! Whats new is that they have no independent mind of their own, and are puppets controlled from a distance. New idea.

The supernatural creatures are varied, and so far, the authors do not seem to have run out of ideas for unusual characters. They all age and die over their elongated lifespans, and some mention of kids and family make the shapechangers, mermen, whatever,  different and believable.

Grade: A-

It is really worth getting through this first book in order to read the second, third, fourth. The series is just a fantastic example of Urban Fantasy.

"Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one."

The second book, Magic Burns, follows our fiesty heroine Kate, now works for the magical law enforcement agency. Her role gets her deeper into shapeshifter politics, and we see more character development. We also understand Kate herself better now, her fears and her lineage. Kate has to solve crimes that are an attempt to inviting Morrigan, and other deities to earth. She also has to deael with a troublesome, snarky adolescent!
The humor is quirky, sarcastic, and fills the book with some great one-liners. This just gets better as the series goes along.

Incidently, the one and only Kindle Amazon ebook I have purchased is by Ilona Andrews. The book only cost $2, so I was a staunch supporter of Amazon, in Amazon vs. evil Ebook publishers. Why anyone should have to pay $15 for a Macmillan ebook is beyond me. If you missed this piece of news - here it is 

If you like Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong, Kim Harrison, then Ilona Andrews is for you!

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  1. This is a series that I really, really want to start reading. I discovered it with the short story in Dark and Stormy Knights edited by P.N. Elrod. Now I just have to find a way to fit it into the reading schedule!

    Thanks for stopping by last week during the Book Blogger Hop.

  2. Just hopping by..I felt the same way about the series, magic Bites left me cold but I devoured the next 3 in and added them to my must read list :)

  3. @Angela - Thanks for being here! I think you will enjoy this, and I do know the short story series you mentioned.

    @bookdout - I'm glad we're on the same page!

  4. The review does sound good - I think I will get the rest of the series for sure!


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