Title: Magic Bites
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace Books
Series: Kate Daniels Series, Book #1
Source: My personal copy
From Ilona Andrew's Website:
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…
This has my favourite pair of characters in of all time, Kate Daniels (our heroine) and Curran (Beast Lord). The plot is pretty good and easy to follow, starting with Kate's guardian being murdered whilst investigating the disappearances of young women as part of his job as the Knight Diviner for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid. Kate subsequently decides that she will find and slowly and painfully kill the one responsible so begins to do her own investigation. Naturally she ends up right in the middle of a nasty situation, involving vampires, shape-shifters and the Order. The plot has many good twists and turns, that lead to a pretty interesting conclusion where the reader is left wondering if there is more to some characters than meets the eye.
Sharp witted, sarcastic Kate is a mercenary for the Guild. As a Merc she doesn't earn much but she gets to do what she's best at...killing things. She carries a sword called Slayer everywhere with her in a back sheath. Her waist length dark hair is usually kept in a plat (practicality I suppose). I think she lets it down once when's she's out to dinner in an elegant dress with heels that, having being seriously injured earlier, were uncomfortable to say the least. As for her features... well she says 'Beautiful I would never be. Striking, that I could manage', which I suppose sums her up. Kate has a tendency to piss off the wrong people including the idiotic head of the Order but namely Beast Lord Curran who she meets during her investigation. You can't tell if they hate, like or even respect each other and that is what makes the scenes between these two engaging and pretty funny. Kate has a knack of getting under Curran's skin with her retorts, comments...basically her general behaviour, and vice versa. Curran is the Beast Lord, the leader of the Atlanta shape-shifter pack. He looks younger than his 30 or so years and is supremely strong, has short blond hair and is heavily chorded with muscle. He has a handsome face but his nose looks to have been broken at some point, which according to Kate means 'someone must have pounded his face with a sledgehammer' as shape-shifters heal rapidly. Curran does not take kindly to people undermining his authority, unfortunately Kate does this with practically every breath, starting with the comment 'Here Kitty, Kitty' what she first meets Curran. He the ultimate alpha male and wants Kate to do exactly as he tells her, when he tells her....All I can say is dream on buddy, Kate is hardly a pushover. The interactions between these two never fail to bring a smile to my face. I hope they keep this up in books to come because it's just fantastic.
Mystery and intrigue surrounds both Kate and Curran's pasts and heritage as they both seem stronger than your average Merc or shape-shifter should be, what with Curran being over 5ft tall at the shoulder in his lion form...and striped somehow. Though Kate especially seems to have an interesting past as she says she was brought up knowing how to kill and it's very important to her that no-one gets a hold of her blood...something I am looking forward to discovering the reason behind.
This is just fantastically written and the characters are amazing, the connection with the reader is great, and you can't help but love Kate. I immediately ran to my computer to order the next in the series hoping it will be just as good! I'm telling you after you read this you will want to follow Kate anywhere, just to see the havoc she and Slayer will cause.
My Rating: 5/5