(Kate Daniels #1)
Release: March 27, 2007
Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up paranormal problems. Atlanta has two factions struggling for power. Masters of the Dead are necromancers who control vampires. The Pack are a paramilitary clan of shapechangers. When Kate's guardian is killed, she is caught between.
Review by Rose Red:
Magic Bites is the first book in a series that I wish that I had started earlier than I did. I absolutely LOVED it! Kate Daniels is a mercenary who cleans up paranormal messes. When she gets news that her mentor and guardian was murdered, Kate takes on the case. To find the killer, she is thrown into the world of shapeshifters and the People and their vampires.
I've been a long time fan of urban fantasy/paranormal romance and this book is nothing like anything I've ever read. The world-building is fantastic! The world is a character all itself. Magic Bites takes place in a post-apocalyptic Atlanta where technology and magic are at war with each other. And magic has struck back with a vengeance. It's feeding on technology. The city's skyscrapers are no more than dwindling piles of granite and steel, and machinery, vehicles or electrically powered objects can fail at any time. You never know when tech or magic will have the upperhand, but magic is getting stronger. Not to mention, the magic made it so all types of supernatural creatures are real. There are shapeshifters, vampires, witches, and more. This world is pretty screwed up and that makes it so interesting. You literally have no idea what could come to Atlanta. And Andrews doesn't stick to traditional lore for her supernatural. Vampires aren’t sleek and sexy; they are grotesque and misshapen, blood crazed creatures, lacking any of the characteristics that once marked them as human. They are super creepy.
Actually, the world kind of reminds me of the gritty, post apocalyptic world Robin McKinley created in Sunshine except it's more diverse with the creatures and the magic. I love the idea of the magic and tech asserting themselves at ever-changing intervals and the effects that has on our protagonist. The world building was flawlessly integrated into the story, and I never got hopelessly lost in it, though I was completely immersed. I really like reading about how people have adapted to the magic waves.
The characters are as awesome as the worldbuilding! Kate is such a compelling character. She's tough and not just because she has to be since she fights and hunts things for a living. I absolutely adore Kate. Not only does she kick ass and have a smart mouth, but because when she does talk, she can back it up. Well, unless she’s trying to aggravate the Beast Lord, Curran. But he's one tough son of a gun. He's called the Beast Lord for a reason. Kate’s not perfect. She makes mistakes and she has flaws! Sometimes she even makes rash decisions. And this is probably one of my favorite things about her – when she does any of the above, it doesn’t always turn out the way she wants. A majority of the time, she has to accept the consequences of her actions. I’ll say it again, because I think it’s something that’s missing in a lot of urban fantasy I read – Kate’s (and truly all the characters) actions have consequences and they don’t just go away. They have to be dealt with. And it’s not always easy. Another thing to love about Kate is that she has a personal code of conduct, and she sticks to it. Honestly, there’s not one thing I didn’t love about Kate. Impressive, considering how difficult it is to make me truly love a heroine.
Besides Kate, there are so many wonderful characters! Derek, Jim, Aunt B, Doolittle, Ghastek, Nick, Saiman, and Curran. Oh, Curran! I can’t even describe how much I liked Curran, the Beast Lord of Atlanta. He’s arrogant and eminently sure of himself – with good cause. I was a bit wary of him at first but I really liked him by the end of the book. The verbal sparring between Kate and the Beast Lord is fantastic! Curran is someone who demands instant respect and Kate chafes at authority figures. I can't express how much I love their interactions. There wasn't exactly a romance between Kate and Curran, but there is a tangible sexual tension that made me giggle and smile whenever they had scenes together in the book.
The story moves at a very quick pace, with lots of action set in a fabulously complex, detailed world. I highly recommend this series if you haven’t started it already. Magic Bites is an amazing urban fantasy story that will leave you wanting more!
Recommended for fans of:
Hounded by Kevin Hearne
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron