Michele Lee's Reviews > Magic Bites

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
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May 20, 08

bookshelves: fantasy, urban-fantasy
Recommended for: urband fantasy and female sf fans
Read in May, 2008

“It took a qualified wizard to detect a summoning in progress. It only took a half-literate idiot with a twitch of power and a dim idea of how to use it to attempt one. Before you knew it, a three-headed Slavonic god was wreaking havoc in downtown Atlanta, the skies were raining winged snakes, and SWAT was screaming for more ammo. These were unsafe times. But then, in safer times, I’d be a woman without a job.”

That paragraph, about a page in, sold me on Magic Bites. It stars Kate Daniels, a mercenary who handles odd jobs in a world where technology and magic are warring– and technology is losing. In a Magic-punk version of Atlanta, Kate is stunned to learn that the city’s knight-diviner (a prestigious member of the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, the guardians of the city) has been murdered. A friend of her father’s Greg was also Kate’s guardian, and the closest thing to family she had.

Barely taking time to grieve, Kate launches herself into investigating Greg’s murder, more than willing to let the Order use her attempts to cover their own, quieter investigation. What she discovers puts her in the middle of the vampires and werecreatures, both of who have suffered loses similar to Greg’s murder, but neither is willing to admit to outsiders what they know and both want to blame each other, threatening to tear the city apart in a supernatural beastie war.

Andrew’s world threatens to leave the realm of urban fantasy altogether, building a city where magic and tech flip off and on in dominance, tearing at each other in constantly flexing waves. Andrew’s characters too, are the battered survivors of the decaying city, each urban fantasy breed–from vampires to shape shifters and beyond– have a made over, wilder representation in Kate Daniel’s world.

Magic Bites is a book that jumps headlong into mythology and magic, leaving the reader charmed and definitely wanting more. Similar in feel to Jim Butcher’s Dresden series this series is sure to be a stand out in the world of paranormal fiction.

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