Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)

by Ilona Andrews

3.58 of 5 stars 24 ratings • 13 reviews • 42 shelved
Book cover for Magic Bites

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Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)

by Ilona Andrews

3.58 of 5 stars 24 ratings • 13 reviews • 42 shelved
Ilona Andrews invites you to experience the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series featuring the intriguing fantasy world of mercenary Kate Daniels…

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...
  • ISBN10 0441014895
  • ISBN13 9780441014897
  • Publish Date 27 March 2007 (first published 1 March 2007)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country US
  • Publisher Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Imprint Ace Books
  • Format Paperback (US Mass Market)
  • Pages 272
  • Language English


Avatar for weendizzle

Rowena 3 of 5 stars
This book started off really slow and I felt like I was waiting forever and two days for something to actually happen. I'm glad that I stuck with it because I ended up enjoying the story. This world that Andrews created is colorful and it's complex and I'm mighty curious to see what happens next with our kickass heroine, Kate Daniels.

Avatar for theliteraryphoenix

Kate's just a mercenary.

She dropped out of school, and is living her own life, relying on odd jobs to make her ends meet.  At the beginning of the story, she only has about $1500 to her name, but that's okay.  Why?  Because she's good at her job even if she's a little cheeky, and things always work out in the end.

When her mentor is killed, Kate is brought in to investigate the case by one of the three magical law enforcement factions.  Her search leads her to the underbelly of the city, where she meets and befriends the beast lord, and is led in a million wrong directions.  Will she ever discover the true killer?

I have no feelings about Kate.

Kate Daniels is not a bad character.  I've met her before - in supernatural thrillers, in D&D-style fantasies, in adult vampire books.  Nothing about her really stands out.  She's a little like Anita Blake, but less snarky and driven.  A little like Calaena Sardothien, but not with half the charm.  She's a completely forgettable character, but she serves her purpose.

I really can't pinpoint anything that makes Magic Bites stand out as exceptional or must-be-avoided.  It's another magical realism book set in the American South with tones of Sookie Stackhouse, although with a strange twist on vampires that you have to read about because I'm not quite sure where that version of Nosferatu came form.

Overall, the writing was okay.

Seeing a theme here?  This was definitely a middle-of-the-line type of book for me.  Nothing about the writing really stood out as beautiful or engaging.  Things just sort of chugged along, like a loyal freight train, moving forward at a steady, reliable pace.  There were a few moments where I had to smack my forehead and ask, "Seriously?  Did I just read that?" - including a comment from the female protagonist about how a man could beat her and honestly the fact that there are so many uncomfortable sexual comments that I was cringing.  I can deal with a bit of heat in my books, but this was just AWKWARD.

You get that general feeling of lost-ness from Kate as well as you follow her story.  She talks to a contact, goes on a date, talks to a contact, goes on another date... and nothing really seems to tie together.  This bothers her too, as near the end of the book she's digging for a better solution and feeling strongly that the killer is still out there.

And the bit with her sitting on her lawn guzzling wine and using herself as bait is just all sort of cheesy?

I don't know, guys.

This book will appeal to fans of paperback fantasy thrillers.

I definitely had my time where I was obsessed with Anita Blake... and I still have some of those books on my shelves.  But if I'm being really honest, there's only so much time in the world for mediocre books and I don't really want to dive into another supernatural series that I'm really not invested in.  That's what I feel about Kate Daniels, although honestly?  I think that she'd really appeal to others.

The magical world here has potential, but needs to be expanded, and it felt a little like the authors were uncomfortable in this skin (Ilona Andrews is actually Ilona and her husband, or so Goodreads tell me?).  I hear as the series progresses, the books get better, so if you're into monster-hunting mercenaries in Atlanta, stick with it!

For myself, I'll stopping here.

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Avatar for cocktailsandbooks

Serious world building in this first book, but I enjoyed it. Kate is a bad ass heroine who gave us glimpses of that soft center she tries to hide. Curran is a bit of a d-bag, but I have a feeling he's going to be the one person that pushes Kate as this series progresses.

Avatar for chelssik

Chelsea 3 of 5 stars
I had a rough start to this one. I found there was too much descriptions for things that didn't matter and not enough for things that did. I was glad that my copy of this book had some extra content in the back because I was lost without it. I thought the world building was lacking quite a bit, mostly because I honestly had no clue what this world was this magic. I was lost and confused until about half way through when the real action distracted me from the lack of world building.
The good part was the characters. I found them all really interesting (though again, lack of descriptions where it needed them) but I noticed there was a serious lack of women in this first books, besides our main character of course. It was nice in the way that I was rooting for some romance but it sucked in the way that I would have really liked some more female characters to be badass with Kate.
While I'm still a little iffy about this book, I'm still really curious to see where the story goes and I'll probably try to continue on with the series.

Avatar for nitzan_schwarz

3.5 stars

2016 Re-Read
Fun as the first time, but I'm still firmly in the opinion the later books are far superior. This one feels slightly abrupt, in a way? Like, suddenly something happens out of the blue, and the villain is not fleshed out and is, again, abrupt.

But don't judge this series based on this book - it gets better and better with every book.

Avatar for pinkadot89

Angie 2 of 5 stars
Magic Bites is a book that I've wanted to read for a long time, but just never got to it until now. And now, I'm sadly disappointed. It jumps straight into the action, which normally isn't a bad thing, but in this case I needed some build up. Kate's guardian has just been murdered and she's dead set on discovering who did it and then killing them. But I don't know Kate. I don't know Greg. And I certainly don't know the nature of their relationship. How am I suppose to care about what happened to him?

I wanted to like Magic Bites, but I just never got into it. Kate is a down on her luck mercenary who takes care of magical problems. She's also not what she seems, even to herself. She's also no wilting flower and won't let anyone get in her way in solving this murder. But like I said, I didn't care. This was an emotional thing for Kate, but I had no attachment to her after five pages. I still didn't feel anything for her by the end either. I was just reading to be reading.

What I did like about Magic Bites, but didn't get enough of was the world building. I love this idea of magic surging and overtaking technology. However, I was quite confused about it for much of the book. All we really get about the situation is that "magic is up, tech is down." I kept imagining magic as a solar flare that just destroyed whatever tech got in its way. I wanted to know more about why it happens and how long its been going on. It's obviously a huge deal, since there's suddenly all kinds of magical beings roaming the earth. I didn't really understand anything until I read the bonus material, which should be supplementary, not the entire explanation.

I'm just disappointed in Magic Bites. I absolutely love the idea of the base of this world, but there's not enough world-building for me to make up for the boring plot. I do want to know more though, so that might be enough for me to at least pick up the second book.

Read more of my reviews at Pinkindle Reads & Reviews.

Avatar for layawaydragon

layawaydragon 5 of 5 stars
Love Kate. Love this original world building. It's a perfect urban paranormal. I read through the whole series up to date without stopping.

Avatar for silvarawilde

Silvara 3 of 5 stars
Check out my other reviews, discussions and link ups at Fantasy of the Silver Dragon.

"What kind of a woman greets the Beast Lord with 'here, kitty, kitty'?"

I love how sarcastic and funny Kate is. She knows how she should act around vampires and werewolves, but she doesn't always do so. Especially around the Beast Lord. She makes mistakes and owns up to them. She admits she is lonely, but she is also unafraid to call the men in her life on the stupid things they sometimes do. She has lines she will not cross, and she also has a strong sense of right and wrong. She has a magic sword that actually drools.

I also was amused by the fact she chose to sit on her porch and get drunk at one point. Daring the bad guys to appear by the very fact that she was drunk enough to have slower reflexes.

Curran, the Beast Lord was arrogant, dismissive and violent among other things. Part of it fit because he is THE Beast Lord. All other shapeshifters bow to him, no matter their species. But some of the power plays he did were fairly silly since Kate is not a shifter. He needs to tone it down a notch or three unless the secret is that Kate will end up the Beast Lady at some point? I don't know, I haven't read the synopsis of the other books. But even so. I did like him, and his sparring with Kate was some of the best funny moments in the book.

I didn't guess who the bad guy was. Partly because I was distracted by Kate and Curran. Partly because I wasn't trying to figure it out. The ride to get to the end of the book was too amusing, and the fact Kate was so bad (and supposed to be so bad) at figuring out the mystery helped suspend my curiosity about who was ultimately responsible.

If you like urban fantasy with smart-mouthed characters you need to try this book.

This review was originally posted on Fantasy of the Silver Dragon

Avatar for linda_un-conventional-bookworms

Linda 4 of 5 stars
Very nice introduction to the Kate Daniels series, I enjoyed myself a lot reading this!

Avatar for kimbacaffeinate

The story takes place in Atlanta where magic and technology battle. Here we meet Kate Daniels a sword-wielding human who is more. There is magic in her blood, and until now she has spent most of her life in seclusion, but when her guardian is murdered Kate is determined to seek her revenge.

The world Andrews introduces us to is filled with paranormal creatures from vampires, weres and shifters to strange abominations caused by breeding. A council governs the paranormal world and magic as well as others seeking to gain power. It was simple, yet complex.

The characters are fairly fleshed out, and all have unique voices. Kate is unapologetic, from the clothes she wears to the method she will use to kick your ass. I loved her, and I see so much potential in her for growth. Curran is lord of the beasts, and I am anxious to see how his role plays out because, OMG the man needs a smack. He is controlling, aggressive and oh so arrogant! I got angry at myself, because the big lug wrapped managed to sneak into my heart.

Magic Bites is dark, bloody, and filled with potential. I slipped right into the story and connected with Kate and many of the characters. The villains were creep-tastic notching up the tension. We witnessed necromancy and carnage with some kick-ass scenes as Kate investigated her guardian’s death.. I love raising the dead. The plot had great balance with intense action scenes, quite moments and a dash of humor.

The narration by Renee Raudman was good. She gave the characters clear voices, and I was easily able to follow along.This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer