Friday, May 8, 2009

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book1) by Ilona Andrews (4/5 stars)

This is the first book in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. So far there are three books in this series; on her website Andrews says that she is under contract for 4 books right now. I listened to this as an audio book and the audio book quality was wonderful; the lady who reads it really captures Kate's personality. It was a fast-paced great book.

Kate receives a message from one of The People asking her how her Guardian is. When she calls her Guardian she finds out he's been murdered. Kate is bent on vengeance and decides to join forces with the Order to investigate her Guardian, Greg's, death. She finds out that a number of shapechangers and vampires have also been killed and ends up on the track of a horrid legendary creature. Will the assistance of a crazy Crusader and the Beast Lord be enough for Kate to stop the evil threatening to rip Atlanta apart?

This was a very well done book and a great debut novel. The characters are creative and engaging; and you can't help but like Kate's down to earth attitude, toughness, and dark sense of humor. There are some unexpected twists and turns in the plot that keep you on your toes; and the fight scenes are numerous and well-done. The world is also very creative; it's a world where tech and magic ebb and flow like the tides of the ocean. Magic is gaining hold and whenever magic is up; all tech stops working. This interesting alternative version of Earth makes things interesting and forces Kate to come up with creative solutions sometimes as she never knows what weapons and accessories will work at a given time.

The descriptions in this book are not for the faint of heart; Andrews pull no punches when it comes to descriptions of gore, glistening intestines ooze and people are rended into pieces of meat. So if you don't like that type of thing I would stay clear. This book is also by no means a paranormal romance. Kate does go on some dates but that is about the little of the romance of the book; Kate just isn't that kind of girl. The biting humor in this book had me laughing out loud a number of times.

Overall Andrews has created a very interesting world with a lot of depth. Her strong points are her creative characters, her awesome fight scenes, and the fast clip of the plot. The world she creates, while intriguing, is never really explained all that well. The plot could benefit from some more explanation about why the tech and magic wax and wane. Also there is a feeling of dread hanging over Kate as Kate takes so much care to keep her blood from her enemies; Kate's over-protection of her own blood is never explained very well and it was a bit frustrating to try and figure this out as well...I imagine we will get more information about this in the next book.

A great series, I really enjoyed it. I am greatly looking forward to reading the next book. I liked it a lot better than some other paranormal series out there. For example I thought it was better than The Anna Strong Chronicles and the Mercy Thompson series. For me it was about on par with the Dante Valentine books or Jaz Parks series; although both of those series have more romance in them than this book did.

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