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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Review: Magic Bites

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1)Title: Magic Bites
Author: Ilona Andrews
Page Count: 272 pages
Publisher: Ace
Genre: urban fantasy
Copy for review was purchased by me

50 words or less: Kate Daniels has made a person specialty out of cleaning up paranormal messes for money.  When her guardian is mysteriously killed and the ends in the case aren't matching up, she's hoping she can solve the mystery and come out alive at the end of the day.

Set your phasers to stun, folk, I admit it- I am the last person on the planet to read these books.  I have no idea why I waited so long to start this series but I am now an official believer in its awesomeness. 

Kate Daniels is pretty much everything I could possibly want in a heroine- she's strong and smart, thinks things through, doesn't behave in a stupid way, is loyal to the folks who deserve it and comes down like a sack of bricks on the folks who don't.  She does not take shit from anyone for any reason, which makes her relationship with Curran, the Beast Lord and the boss of all shapeshifters in Atlanta, where they live, extra hilarious.

I'm getting ahead of myself though.  The Atlanta that serves as the backdrop of this story is one where technology and magic have a very, very uneasy truce.  There's definitely a post-apocalyptic feel to the book and the fact that Kate's a mercenary who specializes in paranormal and magical...inconveniences...ties in very well with that feeling.  This is a world where literally anything can happen, and usually does.

The story is a prime example of excellent use of first person narrative, as well as excellent, realistically drawn characters.  The rules of the world and explanations for why things are the way they are logical and consistent, and the plot rolls forward at a good clip.  I was engrossed in this book from start to finish and pretty much salivating to read the rest of the series by the end.

As an aside, I've had this review waiting in my queue in awhile, but what finally motivated me to get around to writing it was this post at the Oddshots blog, which is a group blog written by Ilona Andrews (writing as herself), Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, Jill Myles, and Patrice Michelle.  When I read that the motivation for writing these books for the author team behind them was providing full escape for the audience, it clicked.  That purpose shines through in every facet of this story, and if you haven't started this series yet, I highly recommend that you do so.  Immediately.

Overall Grade: A

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