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Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2) by Ilona…

Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2) (edition 2008)

by Ilona Andrews

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Title:Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2)
Authors:Ilona Andrews
Info:Ace (2008), Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
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Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

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I continue to really like this series. Sure, the writing isn't sparkling deathless prose, but it's functional and brings across the voice of the narrator -- very no-nonsense, down to earth, tough-talking woman. What continues to intrigue and please me is the characterisation of Kate: stubborn, pig-headed, yes, but also willing to admit when she's wrong, picking her battles, not afraid to admit when she needs help... Not afraid, even, to admit that she's vulnerable, alone, that she's not entirely happy to be without a partner. At the same time, she isn't overly sentimental about it -- though nor is she rushing into the bed of every guy who smiles at her.

Overall, it's a good balance, to my mind. There's also interesting world building -- the circumstances of the magic waves in Atlanta, the history behind Kate that we don't really get to know yet, the words of power, the different groups of supernaturals... And it's pretty well paced: there were a couple of points where it seemed to stick a bit, but I pretty much read it in one go.

I keep coming to this expecting total bubblegum, but I come away happier than I expected because they dodge so many of my pet peeves and annoyances. ( )
  shanaqui | Nov 23, 2014 |
I'm going to admit here that I didn't particularly like the first Kate Daniels book, and the only reason I continued to read the series is because I bought the first three and fifth books when Borders was going out of business.

That out of the way though, I have to say that Magic Burns exceeded my expectations by quite a lot.

After the first book, I came away with a feeling that I had just seen a play with cardboard cut outs, as opposed to real people. In my head, there was no inflection in the dialogue, no strong relationships developed, not much to keep me going through the book at a decent pace. It was short, which was it's saving grace- at least the author didn't drag out what I considered to not be an amazing plot anyway.

The second book changed quite a bit. I found myself caring more about the characters, caring what happened and sat up until I finished it. There were a few unanswered questions which bugged me, but otherwise, I found this one quite enjoyable. In my opinion, you could probably even skip the first one and start right in on Magic Burns if you wanted, because there isn't too much you'd be missing. The relationships develop far more in books two, and pretty much everybody's role in book one can be explained in a sentence, and the author does a good job of not re-hashing too much, but explaining just enough so the reader isn't confused.

I enjoyed the progression in Kate's and Curran's relationship probably the best of all. I liked the mixed messages he seemed to be sending her, and her confusion over it. It seemed very realistic and like feelings real people might actually have, which is something sometimes lacking in the urban fantasy genre. Just because the characters are "supernatural" doesn't mean they don't have emotions too.

One thing that bugs me is the constant reference to Kate's heritage without much in the way of clues and her greater purpose. She seems to have a life goal, but we don't know much about it, or why she has it, and since all of the people in her life prior to the books starting aren't around, you don't get much background on her except from the minute you walk in. And yet, she is constantly talking about how she can't form relationships because it will get her friends killed, and how she can't let anybody know where she comes from. It comes up often, and without any greater story arc, can get very annoying.

All in all, I found this an enjoyable short read. Obviously nothing too deep or thrilling, but a good distraction for my commute, and I am much more excited to be reading book three now. ( )
  kateminasian | Nov 22, 2014 |
Moreso a 4.5 ( )
  Melissa.M | Aug 21, 2014 |
Worth all of the five stars I gave it mostly for its ending, although the book is pretty damn good throught out nonetheless. Great series! ( )
  msralways | Aug 19, 2014 |
I’ve reread this book a number of times. I’m drawn not just to the action, humor, mythology and the world that’s been created, but more than that, to the characters and the building relationships. With just this second book, this series became the one where I most eagerly await the next release.

The Pack (shapeshifters) ask Kate for help when a guy who can teleport steals the highly prized, most up-to-date maps that can be found in the area. When trying to track him down she takes on a guardianship role to Julie, a young street girl who is looking for her mother, a coven member who has gone missing. It’s what and who the coven worships that causes the drama as a magic flare is approaching where magic goes nuts and very strange things can and do happen. The stakes are high and there are plenty of detailed fighting scenes.

Kate is a very kick-butt, capable, knowledgeable and likeable heroine who, like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden character, explains to the reader how things work and why she makes the decisions or takes the actions she does, often with a humorous slant to it. She needs to keep who she is and what she’s capable of doing a secret. And to protect that secret she’d been raised to believe it’s not a good idea to have a friend. But she’s becoming closer to a few characters, especially those in the Pack and with those relationships, also opens herself up to pain and heartache. I love watching this aspect of Kate, who it turns out is a very compassionate person considering her upbringing.

Then there is Curran, the Beast Lord over the Pack. Now there is an interesting relationship. ( )
  dearheart | Feb 27, 2014 |
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To the late David Gemmell. You have inspired me with your books. It was my dream to meet you, and I deeply regret your passing.
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The phone rang in the middle of the night.
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Book description
Kate goes up against Celtic gods, finds an orphan in need of protection, and fends of the Beast Lord -- all while trying to stay alive.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441015832, Mass Market Paperback)

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels knows how 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. When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shape shifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:50 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When mercenary Kate Daniels is hired to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she is plunged into the middle of an epic battle between two gods hoping for rebirth.

(summary from another edition)

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