Sunday, October 14, 2018

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews

Narrated by Renee Raudman
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

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…

“What kind of a woman greets the Beast Lord with 'here, kitty, kitty'?”
Firstly, I think the cover is a misrepresentation of the story. Yes, she's a strong female woman with a sword, and there are shapeshifters, but it doesn't really capture the essence of the story. I love the Ilona Andrews duo, which is what led me to this series after reading their Hidden Legacy books, but I wouldn't have chosen this one on its own. Also, Curran isn't a lion per se... he's much more than that, so I think putting a lion on the cover was a little misleading. The descriptions for his beast form describe him as massive and imposing, and unlike any creature she's ever seen before. I believe she mentions him being gray with faint stripes.

Despite my issues with the cover, I enjoyed this book immensely! Stories like this are my kryptonite -- magic, snarky female characters that kick ass, shifters or shape-changers, and other paranormal creatures. I also really liked the mystery surrounding the Kate, and the subtle threads that were woven into the larger story. Kate is someone or something special, and she is adamant about keeping her blood a secret. If she is injured during a battle, everything has to be destroyed before she can leave. For some reason, Kate cannot leave a single trace of herself behind, and she's also unwilling to share that secret with her companions.

While we don't get definitive answers about Kate and what she is, there are clues and conversations that address the mystery. I'm curious to see what's so special about her, and why her blood is so powerful. Her secret is going to come out eventually, obviously, but I liked that it wasn't the main focus of the book. She's trying to figure out who killed her guardian and friend, which leads her all over the city and puts her in contact with the different factions.

I loved Kate's snarky personality, and that she spoke with bravado even when she was scared. She chose to use sarcasm and humor to get through dicey situations, but she could also back up her words with actions. She might not be as strong as Curran and some of the others, but she could hold her own in a difficult situation. She was such a fun perspective!

I read a few reviews for this one, and I noticed that people didn't like the romance, but I honestly never thought she was romantically interested in anyone. She enjoyed the company and companionship of someone, but he didn't challenge her or understand her world. It was obvious Kate didn't have deep feelings for him, but I'm looking forward to her future possibilities…

Bonus: I wasn't able to solve the mystery before everyone else -- yay!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was exactly what I wanted, and it took me no time at all to get through the audiobook. I stayed up late and cleaned the house (more than I usually do) just to listen a little longer. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, and I'm happy there are so many!

Question: For those of you that have read this series, are all of the books from Kate's perspective? Do they switch POVs at some point? Thanks in advance!


29 comments:

  1. I haven't read this series but I've heard good things about it.

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    1. I highly recommend it! I enjoyed it from the beginning, and it only got better as the story progressed.

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  2. Yay! This is one of my all-time favorite UF series! I thought this was the weakest book in the series and each one only gets better so you're in for a treat if you thought this was good! All the books except for some of the short stories are in Kate's POV. Gunmetal Magic (Book 5.5) is in Andrea's (Kate's best friend) POV and it's a full length story. The stories are amazing and I love the humor interspersed throughout! Hope you get to the next one soon, Lindsi! :)

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    1. Have you read their Hidden Legacy series? I'm so excited for Diamond Fire and the wedding!

      If you thought this was the weakest book of the series, and I love it, I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in the series! I'm already on hold for the second book at my library, so I should be getting it in the next week or two. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

      Thanks for letting me know about the POVs. I haven't met Andrea yet (I don't think she was in the first book...) so I'll have to wait and see who she is. I like that her book is still a full story! The humor is wonderful, and I'm often smirking at all the snark. She isn't afraid to puff up her chest and make her opinions known.

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    2. Wait -- was Andrea one of the shifters?

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  3. Oh my gosh, your Snarky icon is perfect!

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    1. Haha! Thank you! I made a few for snarky, but I thought this one was more seasonal. ;)

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  4. I adore this series and you are reading it at such a great time since the last book was just released. It really is a favorite and just gets better as it goes.

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    1. Awesome! I love hearing that it only gets better! The LAST last book? It's the final book for the series? I didn't know it was still an ongoing series -- how exciting! :)

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  5. This is such a great series! I am kind of jealous that you are still able to experience it for the first time. This is a series that just gets better and better with each book. The main books are from Kate's POV with a book from Andrea (her best friend) and a novella from a couple of other key characters. Enjoy!

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    1. I feel that way when people start to read Harry Potter for the first time, or The Iron Fey series. It was such an amazing experience, that I wish I could do it all over again! I'm really happy to be starting this one now with the final book just being released. I won't have to wait for the next one! I'm happy there are a few novellas mixed in, too. I don't think I've met Andrea, though someone else mentioned her in a comment. Was she one of the Curran's shifters, or someone in a later book?

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  6. I’ve heard such great things about this series and since it’s my favorite genre I’m kinda shocked I haven’t picked it up. You’ve reminded me I need to get to it!

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    1. Yay! Read it with me! Have you read their Hidden Legacy series? It's SO GOOD. I really loved this one, so I'm happy my review made you remember. <3

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  7. I haven't heard of this author, but I'm going to have to look this up! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I love a snarky heroine!

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    1. You should also check out their Hidden Legacy series! Burn for Me is the first book, and it's one of my all-time favorites! I started this series because I loved the other one so much.

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  8. The books are Kate's POV *nods* I loveeeeeee this series

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    1. I'm getting good vibes from everyone! Yay! I can't wait to read the next one. <3

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  9. I haven't tried this author yet but I keep hearing such great things about her books. Kate sounds awesome. I'm a big fan of snarky heroines. :)

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    1. Oooh, yes! You must! I adore their Hidden Legacy series, which is what prompted me to try this one. I am in loooove! :)

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  10. I agree that it is a bonus to still be guessing and trying to figure the mystery out along with the characters, to me that is a good author. Great review, glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. I get a little bored with the story when I figure things out before the characters, so I love it when I only learn things when they do. It makes me feel like I'm experiencing everything with them! I also enjoy the shock factor and being surprised -- it's so much more fun that way.

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  11. Wonderful review Lindsi, I've heard such wonderful things about the Kate Daniel's series, maybe one day I can find time to read it.

    I always find extra things to clean so I continue with the audiobook.

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    1. I hope you find time soon! I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to start this series, but I'm also a little glad that I did. I believe all of the books have been released now, so there won't be a wait!

      Right?? Cleaning is such a great excuse to stay up and listen to an audiobook. Plus, no one bothers you because they're afraid you'll ask them to help clean something. ;)

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  12. Gunmetal Magic is the only one from a different POV and it rocked on audio too!

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    1. Good to know! Have you read all of the books in this series? I think the narrator for the Kate Daniels series is the same one for the Hidden Legacy series. It's been awhile since I've listened to Burn for Me, but the voices sound similar.

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  13. I've had this book on my kindle for-ev-er! And I'm so glad to hear how much you enjoyed it! I really need to binge this series, and it's always the best jumping into one that is already completed. Here's hoping you love the rest of the series too. :)
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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    1. Okay, so you definitely need to move Shadow of the Fox and Magic Bites to the top of your TBR! They're two of my favorite reads this year. I intend on binge-reading the Kate Daniels series, but I'm on hold at my library for book two. Apparently, I'm not the only one that decided to start the series right now. :)

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  14. Yay! Such a good series. The first wasn't my favorite but I still enjoyed it. They get SO much better. I don't think anyone mentioned but there are freebie scenes I believe on Amazon or their website that are from Curran's POV. Scenes from the books just switched. Was fun to read those after just to get a little more to things.

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    1. I thought the first book was informative without feeling wordy. There was a lot of world-building, but I also felt like I'd been there before. Ilona Andrews is such an amazing author duo! No one has mentioned the free scenes on Amazon! Thanks so much for sharing! <3

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless