Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Renée Raudman
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Published by Tantor Media
Published on: January 5, 2009
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 9hrs & 6 mins
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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…
Between Ilona Andrews’ killer writing style and Renée Raudman’s outstanding performance I never stood a chance at standing up against the awesomeness that is Magic Bites. I wasted no time in writing my review for this one because Magic Burns is already calling my name and I didn’t want to get the books mixed up. First-rate world building, unique spins on the usual paranormal suspects (i.e. vamps and shapeshifters) and a heroine who’s as skilled with a sword as she is with her smart mouth are only a few of the things that this novel has going for it. I don’t really need a new series to obsess over but I think I found one all the same!
From the moment I first set foot inside Kate Daniels’ universe I knew that I was a goner. Andrews blends paranormal and fantasy elements together to create a world that’s all her own. It’s clear that before she started writing this series, Ilona put a lot of thought into the mechanics of her fictional reality by establishing set rules that govern the tech and magic waves. The learning curve was pretty steep in the beginning and I have to admit that I did struggle with the large number of terms that are introduced early on. Having listened to the audio version of this story I can’t help but wonder if I missed out on the hardcopy’s glossary. That being said, her world building alone makes this book a 5 star read.
I can’t come up with enough glowing adjectives to do Renée Raudman’s performance justice as the narrator of this story. She stepped into Kate Daniels’ shoes as though they were her own and seamlessly adopted the heroine’s personality quirks. All of her character voices are distinctive yet consistent and she even goes that extra mile by playing with her pitch whenever someone is mumbling or shouting. Raudman does an impressive job of conveying the darkness of this story and succeeds in being truly creepy when the plot demands it.
After reading this first installment I can now understand why Kate is at the top of many readers’ favourite heroine lists. Her problems with authority, sarcastic inner monologues and motto of “stab first, ask questions later” make her my ideal female protagonist. When I wasn’t laughing at her snarky one-liners I was marveling at her impressive fighting skills.
Magic Bites was everything that my fellow book reviewers told me that it would be. Once again I find myself stuck eating a piece of humble pie for having doubted them. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to start Magic Burns.
|Recommendation:||If you’re looking for a truly unique experience and world building that’s out of this world.|
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