Nov 012012
 
Review: Magic BitesMagic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews
Narrated by: Renée Raudman
Published by Tantor Media on Jan 5, 2009
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook from Giveaway Prize
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

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…

This was a book full of action and unforgetable characters. A great start to the series, I finished the book wanting to get to know more about Curran, go on more adventures with Kate, and hear what trouble Derek gets into next.

Kate was a flawed, yet likable character. She has a snarky attitude that fits the urban fantasy genre very well. She is reluctant to accept help from anyone, even though she seems to have a tendency to get in over her head.

Curran is hot stuff. He makes a good hero and counterpart to Kate, being powerful, sexy, mysterious and arrogant. He seems to irritate Kate by existing, and this makes for some great tension between them.

Derek was my favourite secondary character. He’s humourous and means well, even though nothing seems to go his way. He’s loyal and tends to be the butt of the joke. I hope he remains as prominent in future books because his presence helped lighten the mood in most of his scenes.

The story itself was fast and enjoyable. There were twists and turns that kept it interesting, yet nothing seemed beyond the grasp of reality as defined by the world building. And what intricate and exciting world building it is. The back and forth between magic and tech was unique and lent an interesting angle to the story as each time presented specific challenges and advantages.

I listened to the audiobook version and the narration was great. The voice fit Kate, and had a smooth flow. As I progressed into the story, the narration itself faded into the background with the story taking centerstage, the way a good audiobook does. I really enjoyed the narration, and will be looking for the audiobook version of the next book.

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