I really enjoyed this book. I know it's the first in a series, but it could stand alone. I think a lot of times, especially when a series is "planned" before the first book comes out, an author does not take the time to fully "create" a character, instead letting them emerge over a series of books. I feel like I could have walked away from this book and been just fine. Although my one complaint is that you never fully understand the extent of Kate's power, or how she became so powerful; I hope it is fully explained in the next book. It was a great story with some original ideas. I liked this book much more than "Staying Dead" (Retrievers, Bk 1) by Laura Anne Gilman, even though they both have some things in common. So if you liked that one, I think you'll love this one! 5 stars!! (And I'm super-picky about my paranormal, so that's a huge honor!) Also, this is NOT a "paranormal romance;" Kate goes on some dates, but there's no sex or even heavy petting.
This was a surprisngly good read. The heroine, though pretty bad-ass, has more trouble than suitors, gets depressed, is maligned by the world and though she is, of course gorgeous, she handles everything with grit and intelligence. Can I tell you this is rare in the paranormal/romance genre? Well, it is! I don't think I've ever read a book were the main love interest writes off the heroine as a liar and a psycho. it was...refreshing. the action is top notch and though the villain is a little convenient it's easily forgiven by the grippingly interesting world Ms. Andrews has created. I can't wait to here more about the Crusaders. And the Shapeshifter... all I can say is YUMMY! Enjoy!
Kate Daniels lives on the outskirts of a futuristic Atlanta, where both magic and technology exist in "waves" (one crests, another falls, everyone goes on with their lives, but magic seems to be winning). She is a mercenary with some magic skills, rather a rule breaker and impulsive, she is loathe to join the Order (sort of the magic police, independent of the actual police) - their rules and code are too stiffling for her, no matter how much her guardian Greg tries to get her to join. Greg is the knight diviner in the Order, and one day Kate gets notified of his murder. True to her nature, her reaction is to exact revenge on his killer, even if she has never done detective work before. Her style is to shake things up and get people so mad they reveal themselves, which doesn't help her very much with certain powerful people. Examples include the necromancer puppetiers that control vampires, the Pack of shapeshifters, and the killer who is even worse than either of these. Very enjoyable novel, in a style that reminded me of Patrica Brigg's Moon Called and Blood Called. Kate is an intelligent and likeable heroine, a tough, no-nonsense girl, with maybe one major personality flaw - her mouth! Sometimes I was amused about what came out, other times I winced at her ability to get herself into trouble by speaking, especially with the Curran, Lord of Beasts. I am eagerly awaiting the second book of this series (coming out in 2008!), and will most likely pre-order it. Highly recommended. I read this book in a day, I couldn't stop.
I listened to this book on audio, found myself terribly confused, stopped and checked over at Goodreads to make sure I hadnt started yet another book mid-series. Nope, this appears to be book one. Phew. That news didnt help with my confusion though so I started over. There is a lot going here and the reader is thrown into the magic filled world of Kate Daniels rather abruptly. The author often references things/people/events that happened previously that only fueled my confusion. I think I just have to admit here that these current Urban Fantasy books are too much for my brain to handle.
Despite my state of confusion, I mostly enjoyed this one. Kate is an engaging, if not by now, quintessential UF heroine. Shes on her own, shes tough, she dresses in a non-frilly way, shes attractive and she knows lots of beautiful, otherworldly men and gets embroiled in a whopping big paranormal mess. Its fast-paced fun and I didnt find myself nodding off at any point.
Kates guardian has been murdered and shes determined to ferret out exactly what happened. This snooping brings her into contact with many a gorgeous beastie, paranormal being and a cosmetic surgeon (dont ask, hes kinda boring anyway). She stumbles into a potential vampire/werewolf war during her investigation which forces her into close proximity to Curran, Lord of the Beasties, who is a bit of jerk but warmed up to me towards the end..
I liked Kate. She has a sharply honed sense of humor that I enjoyed. This book is on the dark side of UF, there is gore, violent death and, imagine this, a heroine who makes it through the book without sleeping with one or more of the hunky guys in her midst. She thinks about it but doesnt follow through. Im sure this will change in upcoming books; really it has to, doesnt it? Or else Id start whining about the lack of sex but for now Im happy with the way this one ended. Too many writers go for the quickie sex and dont bother with the slow build. I also loved the scene where the young wolf (Derrick?) mentions that someone is prettier than Kate and he gets a lecture on etiquette. It was nice to see that men werent totally going gaga for her at every turn.
I hear they get better as the series goes along so Im hoping for the best.
Ok, when I started this book, I thought: Man, this has it all! Mystery, magic beasts, spikes of dark magic, great fight scenes, and a main character I can like and appreciate.
In all honesty, I wasn't wrong. The book delivered on all of those aspects, and kept me reading. I wasn't on the edge of my seat, but I wanted to see what would happen in the end.
Instead of picking up steam however, the closer I got to the end, the more the plot dragged. I became sick of never really seeing who the true culprit was. I always thought that would be the end of the book, but it never was. It just seemed to go on and on.
I finally had to put it down about a chapter and a half before the end. After all of that. All the plot twists, characters and wild magic things had my head spinning, and at the end I just didn't care anymore.
I was disappointed. For a book that started off so well it became cumbersome and anti-climatic. Three stars.
I am currently very much into paranormal romance books. This book didn't really do much for me. I found some of the stuff she wrote about confusing. I read over it but didn't mean anything to me. I think there are better paranormal reads out there. I am not going to read any more from this series.
It took me a year to the day, but I finally finished this book! I had a hard time getting past the first couple of chapters - they just couldn't hold my attention, and the world took some getting used to, with its alternating phases of magic and tech in an alien future Atlanta, Georgia. Kate Daniels is a mercenary who cleans up the problems magic leaves in its wake. When her guardian is killed she is determined to discover who did it, and it brings her in the midst of a brewing war between the vampires and shapechangers.
The story picked up somewhere in the middle and actually piqued my interest after all. However, I really could not see what the rave reviews were all about. I thought both story and character lacked depth and the end was rather abrupt, but it does have potential. I was intrigued by the secret of Kate's origin and a little disappointed that it was not revealed here, but that does encourage me to read the next book. I did enjoy it overall, but this isn't a keeper. Good thing I got it from a friend's Kindle account for free!
This book is hard to get into. The author is not very good at writing in a way that allows the reader to visualize the world in which the characters live in. Plus she refers to things as if it is something you should know already even though nothing was written previously on it and the author doesn't explain what she is referring to. So your left wondering what is she taking about? Even though I had trouble getting into the book I did like a few of the characters so I finished it. I have the second book already because both were given to me so I am going to read it next. However had I not already had the second book I'm not sure I would've continued with the series. At the end of the book your left with no real idea as to what Kate's powers are. Or her background. But I liked her and Curran.
What an amazing cast of characters! First you have Kate. Snarky, mysterious, sometimes clueless, always in the thick of things whether she wants to be or not. Then, of course, there is Curran. Intelligent, aloof, inscrutable. And, don't forget Atlanta. Yes, the city itself is an important character. I love that!
I've been reading a lot more "dark" books lately - this one did not disappoint! The setting, the unusual take on vampires and zombies, the shapeshifters, the necromancers - all add to the overall mood of the book. Why did I wait so long to find these books and read them? I honestly don't know..... I will be reading the rest of the series, and hopefully sooner rather than later.
One of my new favs! I am now following the authors FB page. My friend gave me the entire series (up to book 5 at this point) and I tore through them one after the other! Now my husband is making his way through them as well. Kate is tough, but not overly unrealistic "badass" attitude, just more confident in her abilities, with a small list of people she can trust. Definately start this series!
A quick read! I started this one and couldn't put it down until it was done. While the main character is a little too 'tough' for believability at times, she is interesting and engaging. I will be looking for the next book in the series.
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.
I was torn between three and fours for this book. On one hand I thought it was kind of awkward, but on the other hand it kept me entertained. I finally decided on three and a half because it was interesting enough that I only reflected on the things it was lacking once I was done reading it.
In a lot of ways my reaction to this book is just like my reaction to Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton. I can see the potential for a great series and I enjoyed my time reading it, but it was also awkward and the pacing felt off.
I never really felt that I got to know any of the characters, even Kate. There was a lot going on so it wasn't as noticeable until the end. When I stopped and reflected I realized that all I got was a surface look at the life of Kate Daniels. I hope that as the series goes on I get to know her and the secondary characters better.
I liked Kate's attitude. I can see that it has the potential to grate on me, but right now I like it. When she gets scared she just gets more confrontational. She knows that she's not the biggest, baddest chick in town, but she tries her best anyway. However, even though I like her attitude, I still think she needs to tone it down. You don't need to mouth off to every single person you meet. I know Kate admits she's not subtle (definitely not) but a little tact would be nice once in a while.
The description of the vampires were pretty unique. Comparing them to insects was a very good way to make sure I thought they were creepy and disgusting! I got the willies thinking about having a conversation with someone who was speaking through someone else's mouth.
Curran seems like he's going to end up stepping up to the plate with Kate. Either that or he'll kill her. It will be interesting to watch their dominance games one way or another. I wonder if Kate truly can do to Curran what she did to Derrek. Bet that would earn her an enemy for life. What was up with his attitude? Even after Kate showed that she could hold her own he kept thinking of her as a glory hound and willing to make stuff up to keep herself in the spotlight. Doesn't he ever talk to Jim? Maybe do a little research... Nah, that would make sense. I found him interesting and powerful but also really cocky and a pretty big jerk. Nick was right, he does have tunnel vision. Hopefully he doesn't continue like this.
A couple things bothered me though. There wasn't enough information on the Order and the Guild. I didn't feel any connection between Kate and her old mentor, so her determination to be involved in the case didn't really make sense. What is magic in this world? I want to know why there are surges of magic and why tech stuff only works sometimes. Explain your world for the love of God! Where are the straight humans? What do they think of the magic, People, weres, etc.?
I was also bothered by the situation that came up with Crest. He seemed like someone who could deal with Kate's life. He fell asleep against her door after waiting hours for her. He brought her food and let her sleep on his chest. He was nothing but nice to her! I felt no connection to him and didn't care about him one way or another, but the way Kate acted toward him pissed me off. ***SPOILER***Out of no where Curran goes off on some half-baked theory about Crest being a bad guy. There didn't seem like a lot of supporting evidence to me. Why was she suddenly on board with Curran's stupid idea. Don't go guns blazing with your posse to the poor guy's house. No wonder he dumped you. You acted like an ass.***End SPOILERS***
Throughout the book there's hints about how special Kate is and how she has to hide it. As soon as I read about Kate's dad keeping notes on that guy I figured it out. Now, we weren't out and out told, so I suppose I don't know for sure if I'm right... but I think I am. So, if I'm right, how exactly did that work out? Guess I'll have to read the next one to find out.
This is a good book leaves a lot of unanswered questions which will hopefully be answered in next book. I guess the object of a book is to be so interesting you cant wait to read the next this is how it is.
Excellent novel where magic and supernatural beings are part of our everyday world---at least in Atlanta! The heroine is kind of dark and isolated, but she has a sharp sense of humor that keeps her from being too depressing. I look forward to reading the next in what is obviously meant to be a series. (It better be!)
I started this book, then put it down because I was confused by the alternate Atlanta with its ebb and flow of magic and technology. I had trouble keeping track of who belonged to what group. I hated the way vampires were depicted (I hated the vampires in the Twilight Saga too). But once I finally got a good grasp on what was going on- I LOVED it!! I'm not big on writing reviews, but this is one to encourage you to keep reading!!!
Ilona Andrews is a husband/wife writing team, and their books have become my new favorites. With intriguingly different characters, hilarious dialogue, and non-stop action, these books are among my favorites. There is just one good line after another, and you cannot put them down. Ilona Andrews is relegated to the science fiction section of the bookstore because they are fantasies, but these books could also easily be in the romance section, albeit the intelligent romance section. I highly recommend all their books but when reading the Kate Daniels series, you will enjoy them the most if you read them in order. They are addictive!
This begins like it's a series book but not the first one. Very confusing...like coming in on the middle of a conversation. Kate Daniels, is a magic mercenary, a lot like Anita Blake...(she has a boatload of power but doesn't let others know to what extent). Curran, the local Lord of the Beasts is a huge werelion.
Something is killing off vampires and were-beasts in Atlanta and Kate and Curran join forces to determine and defeat whatever is causing such destruction.
This urban fantasy novel is heavier on the fantasy than many of these series-- being set in a world where technology and magic alternately work depending on the "weather." I found the heroine a bit too knee-jerky of a jerk at times (Why do strong women always get portrayed as smart a$$es who don't know that it's dumb to risk their lives just to say a wise crack?!!!) But, the world is interesting and the mystery is equally intriguing.
I wasn't certain I was going to like this urban fantasy but it ends up being fun, exciting and quite imaginative. I liked the Atlanta the authors created - a world where magic rules at times and technology at other times. When magic is in control monsters emerge and characters with power abound and technology fails and vice versa.
There is an abundance of "blood and gore," more than many can endure but the authors write well. The characters are intriguing, vacillating between supporting the hero and testing her.
The heroine is Kate Daniels, mercenary extraordinaire and poor as can be much of the time. She is fiercely independent, insecure at times and has a habit of getting herself into big trouble, often by spouting off before she thinks. Her job is to find and eliminate the law breakers in this futuristic world - rogue Vampires, changelings, monsters, and anyone who abuses the powers he may have.
The vampires and werewolves can become tools for necromancers who called the People. Were-creatures may become infected by the Lyc-V virus. When a lycanthrope consumes humans, they become a vicious creature. The lycanthropes group is known as the Pack, with codes and hierarchies for self-discipline.
The story actually begins when Kate's guardian is murdered and she sets out to find the murderer. Her adventures are wild, gruesome, and unbelievable but if you are up for moving into a world where nothing much is normal you will enjoy this one. Even Kate has some kind of power but we have yet to discover the source.
Kate Daniels is now one of my favorite characters. She is just so mouthy and strong while being totally aware of some of her faults and personality. I just adored her!
Really funny at times and I literally laughed out loud at several points, a really unique take on urban fantasy especially in regards to the vampires, loved that its wasn't just you run of the mill vamps and werewolves but a menagerie of other creatures. It was like the usual rules of the genre just didn't apply here, which could have totally failed but was instead really refreshing!
Great use of secondary characters as well. Suddenly they would be pushed to the forefront and you sit there thinking crap, I should have been paying more attention to them!
Definitely had a Patricia Briggs 'Moon Called' feel too it with regards to Kate and Curran and the politics between all the races, and I loved it. Can't wait to read the next installment!
This was a very good paranormal fantasy featuring mercenary Kate Daniels who is not intimidated by anyone - not even the leader of the Shapeshifters. While trying to solve the murder of her friend and guardian, Kate manages to earn the trust and respect of various factions. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Magic Burns.
I enjoyed this book. It was recommended to me by a friend. I am very into paranormal type books. I thought there was a bit too much back story here that wasn't explained but i liked Kate enough to continue reading and to want to pick up the second book as well.
The world-building was fantastic, but the heroine wasn't anything unique or original and felt like any other urban fantasy, 1st person heroine out there. I'm not bothering with the rest of the series, because the characters just don't do it for me.
I enjoyed this book, but felt that I was thrown into a world that was not properly introduced. Kate is a mercenary with unknown magic. She becomes a part of the agency her guardian worked for after he is murdered. Curran is the Beast Lord who oversees the shifters in the "new" world. A battle between vampires and shifters puts Kate in the middle. 3.5 stars
Anna Q. reviewed Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Bk 1) on
I really enjoyed reading this book, Kate Daniels is a strong willed fighter who has a sense of humor. I started looking for the next books as soon as I finished Magic Bites. And anything else by Ilona Andrews.
I think if I could only read one urban fantasy series for the rest of my life, it would be this one. And that's probably not even a legitimate claim I should make, since my experience with UF has been limited so far (changing this summer though). But Magic Bites is smooth, witty, and even--dare I say it?--sweet at appropriate moments. It is truly a respectable accomplishment in UF.
Kate's world is an easy one to get lost in. Ilona Andrews does a fantastic job of world-building so that you never doubt even for a second that this could exist. Kate herself is an excellent protagonist, with just the right touch of strength, snark, sexy kick-butt abilities, and vulnerability. Indeed, both the world-building and the characterization in this book are so good that it's hard to decide which one is better, which one made this book for me. Supporting characters are highly memorable, branding themselves in my mind even a week after I finished the book. I can't wait to delve into the future books in the series and catch up with them all again, as I'm sure they'll give me no end to the entertainment, suspense, and envy that Ilona Andrews can write so well.
Aside from occasionally over-written passages (lush descriptions and UF don't mix too well) and a plot that sometimes meandered (though I could barely detect, what with the terrific narration going on), I can't really think of anything else wrong with this novel. When I reluctantly finished this book, I immediately began to look about acquiring the other books in the series. I have no doubt that I will finish this series by the end of summer, and then I'll join the legion of fans breathlessly waiting for the next book in the series.
Highly entertaining urban fantasy, with a very interesting take on mixing modern and magic elements. Magic has been getting stronger for the last 100 years or so, and when a magic surge hits, technology stops working. The main character is a magic-using mercenary who helps clean up after a magic surge.
An absolute struggle to read. None of the characters were interesting, especially the main character, Kate. Kate is a complete caricature of a leading, strong woman with no payoff whatsoever. Her gruffness seems forced and unnatural and like too many other fantasy females, her powers are used in the battle between males with her taking no real authority. The introduction to this new future magic world was incredibly forced and it felt like everything is dumped on you at once without explanation (also the magic world building is completely uninteresting). The forced innuendo into Kate and Curran's feelings about each other was painful and completely unbelievable.
Overall, this book was an absolute mess and I consider myself a saint for getting through it.
I don't know if things get better further into the series, and I have less than zero desire to find out.