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Magic Bites (2007)

by Ilona Andrews

Other authors: Ilona Gordon (Co-author's real name)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Kate Daniels (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4061952,646 (3.86)169
Mercenary Kate Daniels cleans up urban problems of a paranormal kind. But her latest prey, a pack of undead warriors, presents her greatest challenge.
  1. 120
    Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (SunnySD)
  2. 81
    Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (AmethystFaerie, shadiphoenix)
  3. 60
    The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay (noneofthis)
    noneofthis: For the alternate Atlanta location.
  4. 40
    Claimed by Shadow by Karen Chance (mak_mohn)
  5. 40
    Embrace the Night by Karen Chance (mak_mohn)
  6. 51
    Touch the Dark by Karen Chance (mak_mohn)
  7. 30
    Blood Engines by T. A. Pratt (The_Holy_Terror)
  8. 41
    Staying Dead by Laura Anne Gilman (Jenson_AKA_DL)
    Jenson_AKA_DL: Both of these books are slow to build urban fantasy stories with strong female leads and very light romantic UST. Fans of one would probably enjoy the other as well.
  9. 31
    Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge (TheBooknerd)
  10. 10
    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (pwaites)
    pwaites: Urban fantasy, strong female lead, and very interesting world building.
  11. 00
    Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone (pwaites)
  12. 00
    Urban Shaman by C. E. Murphy (majkia)
    majkia: very different ideas of female protags in urban fantasy
  13. 11
    Mind Games by Carolyn Crane (leahsimone)
  14. 11
    Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge (shadiphoenix)
  15. 11
    Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara (MyriadBooks, reconditereader)
  16. 11
    The Emperor's Edge (The Emperor's Edge, #1) by Lindsay Buroker (Vierran)
    Vierran: Lindsay Buroker's Emperor's Edge series is set in a semi-steampunkish fantasy world, and has fast-paced adventure with well-drawn characters, a hint of romance, and plenty of humour.
  17. 01
    Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane (reconditereader)
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» See also 169 mentions

English (192)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (195)
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
I'm probably going to review this for Bureau42 or for a video (or both), but long story short, I enjoyed the book. Kate, the book's protagonist, is an interesting hardboiled urban fantasy detective. However, the way magic works in the setting, and how the cosmology of it works falls into some of the Magic Vs. Technology nonsense that I'm not particularly a fan of. ( )
  Count_Zero | Jul 7, 2020 |
Yikes. I forgot how much I didn't like Curran or how Kate was portrayed in book #1. I really wanted Kate to take a fire extinguisher to his head and beat him to death. At one point he grabs her by the throat and tries to beat her cause she disobeyed him. How did I forget this??? The world building wasn't that great either. Things jumped around too much and did I mention I hated Curran? Like a lot.

"Magic Bites" is the first book in the Kate Daniels series. I know that I ended up reading this book back when I was in Iraq and I think I started reading the other two books after this while in Afghanistan and when I was permanently stay side. I don't know why I kept with them since the re-read brought back all of my disgust with the first book in the series.

Kate Daniels is a mercenary who starts investigating when her guardian is murdered. Kate who resisted being part of the Order or Knights of Merciful Aid. Now she is taking on a job in order to see justice done. Bodies are piling up on the People's side (humans who navigate vampires) and Shapeshifters side (the Pack led by the Beast Lord Curran). Kate isn't doing a great job navigating that mess and also seeing about dating a random guy she meets named Crest.

Kate is not the Kate that I am used to in this one. She stumbles around and tells people things they shouldn't know and or taunts them. She also seems to be a barely functioning alcoholic at times depending on the scene. We see glimpses of the Kate we are used to when she's working along side Derek or using her knowledge to fight. We don't know what secrets Kate has, but it seems big enough for something big and ugly deciding that it plans on taking her against her will. We know that her guardian and his ex-wife were close to her father and mother. But then again a lot of things said in this book doesn't match with what I know now, so part of my brain started to hurt trying to track all of this.

Curran is an asshole. He purposely tries to intimidate Kate, puts his hands on her, and then accuses her of liking attention when she refuses to do what he says. I wanted someone to beat the mess out of him.

I also hate how in the end he's the one that takes out the bad guy.

The Derek in this one sucked. He tells Kate that she needs a stronger man to tell her no. And talks about how not pretty she is. How did Kate not murder everyone?

We get our first glances at Mahon (who is not written consistently I am seeing from this book through the rest of the series) Jim, Dr. Doolittle, Ghastek, Saiman and others. And even Kate's reactions with these people isn't how we have seen her in the books in the rest of the series. Mahon is freaking reasonable which made me laugh. Dr. Doolittle si the same though at least in personality so that was nice to see. I still don't like Jim, but that's nothing new.

The writing was just okay in this one. Not a lot of things make sense due to the world building not being that clearly defined. We had dialogue, a murder mystery, and then you would read about power words and wonder where did they come from. I think the biggest issue is that Andrews hid stuff from the readers that made it hard to know what was going on with Kate and why Curran was so interested in finding out.

The ending has Kate on a slightly new path with her being a friend of the Pack. I would have passed on that last thing. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Magic Bites, first in a popular series, is a hardboiled urban fantasy with a tough heroine and a well-constructed world, and the writing is often very funny. The main character and narrator, mercenary Kate Daniels, loses her godfather and must take on vampires, shapeshifters, colleagues, possible boyfriends, and an ancient monster in the process of finding the murderer.

Kate has chosen to be on her own, and is a free-lance operative who works for clients needing magic creatures removed from their factories. Fresh from a difficult assignment, Kate is told of her godfather's death by a vampire. In this world, vampires are far from sexy and are more likely to be crawling on the ceiling than lolling on a divan in the dark. It's an interesting world, in which magic and tech waves alternate like weather patterns; sometimes making buildings crumble and cars stop working. At other times magic contrivances fail to operate because there isn't enough power for them to draw on during a tech wave. The city of Atlanta, much altered by the disaster, is the setting, and Kate must step carefully to avoid upsetting the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid (her godfather's employer), the Paranormal Activity Police Division, and the Military Supernatural Defense Units - and that's only the government entities. For most of the book, she is negotiating with the Master of the Dead and with the very appealing members of the Pack, a loose society of shapeshifters including were-rats, were-lions, and a cat-were whom Kate scratches impulsively under the chin (to his pleasure).

The book is full of action, generally well-written, and often funny and original. Kate, for instance, is fond not of bourbon, but of Boone's Farm. Her asides are sardonic and self-mocking. Kate herself has some significant secrets and some special magic powers, including the words of power her father and godfather gave her. There is some special significance to her blood.

There were a couple of spots where the writing lost my interest or confused me. For instance, two were-creatures had very similar names (Corwin and Curran) and I kept having to check back in the book to figure out which one was which. Two doctors were involved, one a very non-magical would-be boyfriend and the other providing his expertise to the weres, and again I had to check to make sure I knew which one was which. Also, an appealing young character, Derek, was briefly introduced, served as a companion, and then dismissed, and he apparently only served the purpose of being an audience to Kate's explanations of the world. However, the world-building was interesting and original and generally avoided urban-fantasy clichés, the antagonist was sufficiently scary, and the action was well-enough written to keep my interest. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, first in a popular series, is a hardboiled urban fantasy with a tough heroine and a well-constructed world, and the writing is often very funny. The main character and narrator, mercenary Kate Daniels, loses her godfather and must take on vampires, shapeshifters, colleagues, possible boyfriends, and an ancient monster in the process of finding the murderer.

Kate has chosen to be on her own, and is a free-lance operative who works for clients needing magic creatures removed from their factories. Fresh from a difficult assignment, Kate is told of her godfather's death by a vampire. In this world, vampires are far from sexy and are more likely to be crawling on the ceiling than lolling on a divan in the dark. It's an interesting world, in which magic and tech waves alternate like weather patterns; sometimes making buildings crumble and cars stop working. At other times magic contrivances fail to operate because there isn't enough power for them to draw on during a tech wave. The city of Atlanta, much altered by the disaster, is the setting, and Kate must step carefully to avoid upsetting the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid (her godfather's employer), the Paranormal Activity Police Division, and the Military Supernatural Defense Units - and that's only the government entities. For most of the book, she is negotiating with the Master of the Dead and with the very appealing members of the Pack, a loose society of shapeshifters including were-rats, were-lions, and a cat-were whom Kate scratches impulsively under the chin (to his pleasure).

The book is full of action, generally well-written, and often funny and original. Kate, for instance, is fond not of bourbon, but of Boone's Farm. Her asides are sardonic and self-mocking. Kate herself has some significant secrets and some special magic powers, including the words of power her father and godfather gave her. There is some special significance to her blood.

There were a couple of spots where the writing lost my interest or confused me. For instance, two were-creatures had very similar names (Corwin and Curran) and I kept having to check back in the book to figure out which one was which. Two doctors were involved, one a very non-magical would-be boyfriend and the other providing his expertise to the weres, and again I had to check to make sure I knew which one was which. Also, an appealing young character, Derek, was briefly introduced, served as a companion, and then dismissed, and he apparently only served the purpose of being an audience to Kate's explanations of the world. However, the world-building was interesting and original and generally avoided urban-fantasy clichés, the antagonist was sufficiently scary, and the action was well-enough written to keep my interest.

The book is apparently written by a husband-and-wife team, according to the jacket, and they also have written another series. It’s nice work and I will be reading the next book in the series.
( )
  dmturner | Jun 29, 2020 |
Honestly, as long as I'm just focusing on the Urban Fantasy Romance angle of the tale, it's fine, but when it comes right down to all the weres and the types of vamps, it's all pretty much old hat.

So What's really good about the series? The character development. So far it's a pretty solid introduction and the meet-cute is pretty funny. Our MC is kind of a mess with her magic and her sword, but that's okay when the big bad kitty decides he likes her and wants to "help" her.

The vamps do have an interesting twist in species and the whole magic system also has some interesting twists, especially in how all the races tend to mix and match in subtle, almost SF, ways. In fact, I do rather like how the SF features of the world don't play nicely with the magical, and vice-versa. It kinda requires everyone to keep a nice balance going on, but of course that's not really happening with our main couple. It's mostly magic and genes and a lot of power eating. :)

No problem. Like I said, a decent introduction. I probably wouldn't have cared enough to continue with the series based on this, alone, but because there's a TON of rave reviews surround this whole series and because I know that UF in general has this problem of slow-starting, I really don't have any problems being patient.

It's not like the setup is bad, and I have the benefit of having read a few of the Inkeeper books, so I'm already a fan of the authors. :) Looking forward to reading more!
( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Some really good twists, definitely worth reading and some great hooks for upcoming books! ( )
  avonar | May 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ilona Andrewsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gordon, IlonaCo-author's real namesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
del Rosario, KristinInterior text designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fiore, AnnetteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward,Chad MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my daughters, Anastasia and Helen
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I sat at a table in my shadowy kitchen, staring down a bottle of Boone's Farm Hard Lemonade, when a magic fluctuation hit.
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Every city has one of those neighborhoods -- dangerous, sinister places -- so treacherous that even the criminals who prey on other criminals shun them. Unicorn Lane was such a place. Thirty city blocks long and eight blocks deep, it cut through what used to be Midtown like a dagger. Half-crumbled skyscrapers stood there, mute witness to the past technology, the husks of GLG Grand, Promenade II, and One Atlantic Center, gnawed down to the bones by magic. Rubble choked the streets and sewage overflowed from the busted pipes in foul-smelling streams. Magic pooled there, lingering even in the strongest of tech waves, and hideous things that shun the light found refuge there, among the dark carcasses of gutted high rises. Lunatic mages, vicious, perverted loups who feared a death at the hand of unforgiving Pack, Satanists, and rogue necromancers all ran to Unicorn, for if they could make it there and survive, no lawman on this earth would force them out. Unicorn Lane held on to its own.

Hell of a place for a rendezvous. (chapter 3)
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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
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