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I Belong

Blogger Bully Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

The blogging community is small and the paranormal blogging community even smaller. We all know each other to some degree.  One of the bloggers I know better than most is Abigail from All Things Urban Fantasy.  She and I launched our blogs within a month of each other in 2009 and she has been an invaluable resource, sounding board, co-host, and fast friend ever since.

Until now…

It pains me to have to call her out, but Abigail is a Blogger Bully!

We talk shop all the time and always recommend books to each other.  But recently, it’s gotten ugly.  See I haven’t read one of Abigail’s favorite series, and she hasn’t read one of mine.  Naturally we started trash talking and threatening each other until…Blogger Bully was born.

Once a month, Abigail and I will bully each other into reading a book we love that the other hasn’t read.  First up for me is Ilona Andrews’ MAGIC BITES while Abigail will tackle Nalini Singh’s ARCHANGEL’S KISS.


Title: Magic Bites

Author: Ilona Andrews

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Kate Daniels (Book 1)

Publication Date: March 27, 2007

Format: Paperback, 272 Pages

ISBN-10: 0441014895

ISBN-13: 978-0441014897


Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic… One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…

Quick & Dirty: A layered and complex world with kick-butt action and intriguing characters make this one captivating urban fantasy read.

Opening Sentence: I sat at a table in my shadowy kitchen, staring down a bottle of Boone’s Farm Hard Lemonade, when a magic fluctuation hit.

Excerpt: Chapter 1

The Review:

Things never seem to come easy for Kate Daniels.  She’s a down on her luck mercenary struggling to make ends meet.  Kate works for the Guild, taking on difficult jobs that involve magic or supernatural creatures.  Her world comes crashing down when she finds out that Greg, her guardian, has been murdered.  Hired by the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, Kate sets out to investigate Greg’s murder and is determined to find the killer by any means necessary.  Navigating the dangerous and brutal streets of a magical Atlanta, Kate realizes that getting to the bottom of Greg’s murder won’t be easy.

I can’t believe it took me so long to read Magic Bites.  I bought the first three books in this series back in 2009 because I’d heard so many great things about them.  Unfortunately, the series has languished in my massive TBR pile until I was challenged by a fellow blogger.  I’m definitely glad that I stepped up to the challenge because Magic Bites is a killer urban fantasy.  The underlying tone of this story is dark, gritty, atmospheric and the world is complex.  Andrews offers readers a fresh take on vampires, magic and the supernatural elements are unique.

Kate Daniels is a dynamite urban fantasy heroine.  I fell in love with her character almost immediately.  She has a great personality and a really cool sword named Slayer.  Kate manages to be a sympathetic character even though she’s super badass.  She has so much power, yet she doesn’t flaunt her many abilities.  Kate can be sarcastic, funny and down-right difficult to deal with, but she also has genuine vulnerability.  She’s very much alone and it’s not easy for her to rely on anyone.

Curran, the Lord of Beasts, is also a great character.  He’s the Pack King, the lord of the shapechangers.  I haven’t been this truly fascinated with a character since Barrons from the Fae Fever series.  Mysterious, arrogant, and dangerous, you just don’t know whether to embrace him or run from him.  When Kate first happened upon this kitty, kitty, it was electric.  I love their interactions and I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops.

The world-building really sets a new standard in the urban fantasy genre.  The magical and post apocalyptic alternate Atlanta is quite imaginative.  Magic exists in many forms in this world and its essence is just about everywhere.  This world has many supernatural creatures and they have many rules within their own structure.  The Masters of the Dead are necromancers who control the vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary group of shapechangers, controls the were-beasts.  There are too many other impressive elements to this world to describe and I don’t want to spoil too much, just know that this complex world will blow your mind.

Overall, Ilona Andrews proves that they know how to tell a captivating story.  Obey, Kill, Protect, and Die – this world is deadly.  Magic Bites has wonderful characters living in an intricate fantasy world that will give you chills from its intense, creepy paranormal elements.

Notable Scene:

When life backs you into a corner and offers you no escape, when your friends, your lover, and your family abandon you, when you’re at the end of your rope, panicked, alone, and losing your mind, you know you’d give anything to make your problems go away.  Then, desperate and eager, you will come to Unicorn Lane, seeking salvation in its magics and secrets.  You’ll do anything, pay any price.  Unicorn Lane will take you in, shroud you in its power, fix your problems, and exact its price.  And then you will learn what “anything” really means.

Every city has one of those neighborhoods – dangerous, sinister places — so treacherous that even criminals who prey on other criminals shun them.  Unicorn Lane was such a place.  Thirty city blocks long and eight blocks deep, it cut through what used to me Midtown like a dagger.  Half-crumbled skyscrapers stood there, mute witness to the past’s technology, the husks of GLG Grand, Promenade II, and One Atlantic Center, gnawed down to the bones by magic.  Rubble choked the streets and sewage overflowed from the busted pipes in foul-smelling streams.  Magic pooled there, lingering even in the strongest of tech waves, and hideous things that shun the light found refuge there, among the dark carcasses of gutted high rises.  Lunatic mages, vicious, perverted loups who feared a death at the hand of unforgiving Pack, Satanists, and rouge necromancers all ran to Unicorn, for if they could make it there and survive, no lawman on this earth would force them out.  Unicorn Lane held on to its own.

Hell of a place for a rendezvous.

The Kate Daniels Series:

1. Magic Bites

2. Magic Burns

3. Magic Strikes

4. Magic Bleeds

5. Magic Slays

You can visit Ilona around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

FTC Advisory: I purchased a copy of this book.  In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.

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Blogger Bully Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, 9.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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7 Responses to “Blogger Bully Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

  1. Smash AttackNo Gravatar

    Great idea. :)

    Thanks for the review. This has been lingering on my TBR shelf for a while now, too. I need to pick it up. :)

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  2. MariaNo Gravatar

    Woohoo! I love this series and can’t wait to read the newest book….I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. Gordon and Ilona are a great writing team and they really do a great job with both the romance and the world building that takes place. Kate Daniels is one of the best Kick-Ass heroines of all time!

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  3. PatriceNo Gravatar

    Blogger Bully is a great idea! I’m so glad you “forced” each other to read these books. These series are two of my favorites! And Ilona Andrews, especially the Kate Daniels series is absolutely an auto buy and read until the wee dark hours of the night for me. Kate is a great leading lady, strong but flawed, and there is growth to her character throughout the series. Curran is impossible, and one of my favorite heroes. :) The world environment and other characters are some of the most fully realized I’ve enjoyed. If I can remember them, that’s some good writing! lol I cannot wait for the next book, Magic Slays, it’s out in May! Hooray!

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  4. DaelithNo Gravatar

    Keep reading. Curran and Kate get better with each book.

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  5. Rain maidenNo Gravatar

    i have these on my TBR shelf. I plan on attacking them this May. I also loved the Edge Series by this couple.

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  6. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]No Gravatar

    Ha! In your face! I knew you’d love it :) And seriously each book in this series trumps the previous one.

    And seriously thank you for turning me on to Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. I’m going to be speeding through the rest of the series as soon as possible.

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  7. EdnaNo Gravatar

    So glad you got bullied into reading this. It’s one of my favorite UF series. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the rest of the books. It only gets better.

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