Series Review: Kate Daniels, books 1-2 by Ilona Andrews

Series Review: Kate Daniels, books 1-2 by Ilona AndrewsMagic Bites Series: Kate Daniels #1
Published by Ace on April 1, 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 260
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

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…

Magic Bites has been on my to-read list since 2008, I’m pretty sure. I had a brief period where I was really into paranormal romance, but so many of them were ish-y that YA soon won my heart. However, tons of friends absolutely love Andrews’ books, and so I did the really not recommended blogger thing where I requested the most recent book so I’d have to catch up. Based on what I’d heard, I wasn’t really expecting to like the first couple books that much, but actually Magic Bites, though in some ways a bit dated, was a lot of fun.

So yeah, it was written in 2007, and there are a couple of things that Andrews would likely write a bit differently now, because, in ten years, the book world has shifted a lot, but, given that, it wasn’t nearly as problematic as I’d been expecting. Then again, maybe people warned me more because the ship doesn’t get together yet. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kate Daniels I’m already kind of in love with tbh. When her guardian dies, Kate offers (more like insists) on investigating. Since the official magical folks want her working for them in general, they accept; Kate freelances because she does not <3 authority. Kate’s endearingly terrible at investigating. I say endearingly because she’s actually characterized this way, with her strategy being “annoy the bad guy until he comes after me.” It’s effective but dangerous as hell. Otherwise I might have been frustrated by how long it took for her to question certain things, but, for Kate, it made sense.

The world building is absolutely fascinating. I’ve read a decent amount of paranormal romance, though I’m not an expert, and this is by far the most complex and detailed world building outside of anything by Seanan McGuire. And it’s only book one. In the Kate Daniels world, a magical sort of apocalypse hit meaning that sometimes technology doesn’t work and only magic does, which has done interesting things to the infrastructure to say the least. Vampires, shifters, and all sorts of other fantasy things now exist. Of course, it only helps that it’s set in Atlanta, though there’s not too much that’s recognizable considering that all tall buildings have been leveled and road names have been changed.

Though I’m not firmly in ship territory yet, I’m potentially into Kate and Curran. Certainly, I hate Kate’s starter boyfriend; he creeps me the fuck out. HE JUST SHOWED UP AT YOUR APARTMENT. RUN, GIRL, RUN. Considering that Curran is massively alpha and Kate listens to no one, they have a pretty adorable snarky dynamic, and I’m excited to see that develop. They have an uphill battle considering that they’re a lot like Toby and Tybalt, who are bae.

Magic Bites is a great beginning. My big mistake was starting it when I didn’t have books two and three handy, so now I’m waiting for them to come in from the library. 😢

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


Series Review: Kate Daniels, books 1-2 by Ilona AndrewsMagic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #2
Published by Ace on April 1, 2008
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 260
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. 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.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

Finally! I had to wait for a friend (love you, JoJo) to ILL these for me because I didn’t plan ahead, so I had to wait WEEKS (more like 1.5 to 2 but it felt endless) for Magic Burns and Magic Strikes to arrive, but they finally came! The good news is that I’m on board the ship now, and the bad news is that I didn’t like Magic Burns quite as much as Magic Bites.

Plot-wise, Magic Burns was a bit busy for me, and I didn’t like some of the individual plot elements. Parts of the plot caused flashbacks to A Court of Wings and Ruin, which admittedly is all a personal problem and nothing to do with this book, since it came out almost 10 years previously. I could have done without the pseudo-sexualization of Julie, since it didn’t seem necessary for the plot to handle that concept in just that way. Also, I just didn’t really get why Kate felt so connected to Bran there at the end, so some emotional beats clearly weren’t hit properly.

However, I’m firmly on board the good ship Curran and Kate now. It’s not a dynamic that would normally work for me, since he’s literally an alpha with all the fucked up shit that goes with that. Like, he’s secretly courting her using lion flirting and that really works for me for some reason? Also, Kate really really doesn’t want to like him and he flirts mercilessly and they annoy the shit out of each other and that’s totally my catnip (see what I did there?).

Though I got a bit bored with the plot in this one sometimes, I really like this cast of characters, and I’m looking forward to much more time with them.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

3 responses to “Series Review: Kate Daniels, books 1-2 by Ilona Andrews”

  1. Thelma says:

    YEEEEEES!! I’m so glad you liked it! And that you’re on board with the ship (it’s one of my favorite) and Kate as a character. I love her. She is such a badass and is so messed up.
    I’m also glad you liked the worldbuilding and I totally agree that the only tihng that comes close to it is in October Daye. I wish more UF worlds were like this.
    I can’t wait to see your reviews for the rest of the serie!
    Totally unrelated : I loved your review of the latest Emma Mills book (didn’t have the time to comment on that post) and it totally made me want to catch up on her last two books ^^

  2. Sarah J. says:

    I just bought Magic Bites on Book Outlet and I’ve been meaning to read it for years. So excited to check it out and finally read it. So happy to hear you enjoyed the first two books!

  3. Shira says:

    So happy to read this! Kate and Curran are my Toby and Tybalt! 😉

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