Really great urban fantasy novel!
Ilona Andrews has created an alternate universe; an Atlanta some time in the future where magic has begun to surge and change the landscape of the world as we know it. Now the world alternates between the magic and the tech. Kate is an independent mercenary working for the Guild, protecting people from nasty magical creatures. But she is hiding a power no one else can imagine.
When her former guardian is murdered, she goes to the city to try to solve the murder and exact revenge. She gets pulled into an apparent war between the Pack, a group of shapechangers, and the People, or "Masters of the Dead" who control the vampires (very
The first half of the book is very bogged down in the details of the world Andrews has created. It is so different from our own that it takes awhile to really get a feel for it and understand. I had hard time focusing for the first 100 pages or so.
But once I sunk into the story, and started to really understand the world building, I no longer felt mired in the detail and suddenly was very engrossed in the mystery. Not only did I start to understand her world, I started to really enjoy it. It's creative and, well, magical.
The story itself is great. Andrews weaves a wonderful mystery full of twists and turns and surprises; a truly unpredictable novel.
The characters are just as good. Kate is a kick ass heroine, the kind who's brazen and tactless, confrontational and snarky. But unlike so many of her genre counterparts, you get to see that behind it all she's as scared as anyone would be in her shoes, and she can actually admit when she makes a mistake.
Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, is an alpha male, plus some. He was so different from any other alpha male I've read. He's not super broody, and he's not the "king with the heart of gold." (He may have
a heart of gold; he's just not that "type.") He's ruthless and cavalier, and does what he has to do to protect his people. And he hates peas.
Full of wonderful details, gruesome fight scenes, fascinating characters and a truly magical world, Magic Bites is a near perfect urban fantasy novel. I knock it down a star for the slow start, but once it gets going you won't be able to put it down.