1. “Magic bites” by Ilona Andrews


“Magic bites” is the first book in an urban fantasy series by Ilona and Andrew Gordon. The series is set in a postapocalyptic Atlanta, Georgia, where magic and old-fashioned technology alternately have the upper hand. Thus, at times magic flows through people, animals and cars, while at other times technology renders the magic wards on your house useless. The main protagonist is Kate Daniels, a kick-ass mercenary whose blood gives her magic abilities.

The story begins when Kate’s legal guardian Greg, the knight-diviner of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, is brutally killed by an unknown magic creature. Endorsed by the Order, Kate investigates Greg’s death, with the help of unlikely allies such as Nick, a crusader, and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts. He is a werelion who heads up the local pack of lycothropes. Together they embark on a dangerous journey that will put their wits, magic, and fighting skills to the ultimate test…

“Magic bites” is a promising start of the series for several reasons. Firstly, it creates an exciting universe with lots of potential for future urban fantasy novels. Secondly, the characters are interesting both in terms of their personalities and the relationships between them, particularly between Kate and the Lord of the Beasts. Thirdly, “Magic bites” was fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable.

When I don’t give it full marks, however, it’s because the plot is ridiculously predictable. Thus, it frustrated me as a reader that Kate took ages to figure out who the killer was when he practically spoonfed her hints throughout the book. Moreover it annoyed me that Kate insisted on hiding her magical abilities to her companions throughout the book when various events make it clear there is no other explanation. Whether these flaws are the sign of an author (couple) that is just inexperienced or, worse, that seriously underestimates the intelligence of the readers, I don’t yet know. Nevertheless I enjoyed the setting and the characters of “Magic bites” so much that I will give Ilona Andrews the benefit of a doubt and read more of the Kate Daniels series before I pass final judgement.

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