Magic Bites – Kate Daniels # 1 Review

Magic Bites

Synopsis (from 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…

Buy Now: Amazon

Reread: August 31, 2020

I just finished rereading this book in anticipation of reading the rest of the series. I’m glad i did.  In the 3 years it’s been since I read it, I seem to have forgotten almost all of it.

On my second time around, I loved it just as much as the first time, and my original review (below) stands. There’s little else I can say about this book that I haven’t said below.

Other than that, I am pumped to keep on with the series.

Original Review: June 14, 2017

Many Urban Fantasy novels begin with a main character who is seemingly ordinary, a college student or waitress or private investigator, etc. Suddenly, this ordinary person is thrown into a situation that changes their whole world, everything they ever believed to be true and they discover they are somehow special and possibly needed to save the world.

This novel isn’t like that.

Kate, our lovely protagonist, has known about magic her entire life. She grew up being taught about magic and the different types of magical creatures that exist. In the world of this novel, magic isn’t a secret. Some might think that the world building in this novel is flawed, that it doesn’t explain how the world works properly. Personally, I liked the way things were presented. The novel is narrated from Kate’s point of view so she already knows how the world works. It would seem out of place if she were suddenly to start explaining things to the reader. Read between the lines (as the saying goes) and the workings of this world aren’t difficult to figure out.

The plot may seem a bit generic at first. Kate’s Guardian and mentor (the last person she considers family) has been murdered and she volunteers to investigate for her own personal sense of justice. Murder and revenge is a common story, but this plot doesn’t unravel the way you might think. During her investigation, she gets tangled up with Necromancers and Shapechangers while also being pursued by a human doctor. Despite the short length of the book, nothing feels rushed and there’s more than enough action to keep a reader satisfied.

Kate is a strong, independent, kick-ass female character. She knows exactly what she’s capable of and, more importantly, what she’s not. Though, that’s not going to stop her from trying. She may not be able to defeat 8 shapechangers at once but that doesn’t she won’t take down as many of them with her as she can. She will kick ass and shoot her mouth off at the same time.

As evidenced by the fact that the series is still ongoing, there is still a lot to learn about Kate and the world she lives in.

Overall, I give Magic Bites 4.5 stars out of 5. I would have given it 5 but some of the overbearing alpha male characters were a little stereotypical.

Have you read Magic Burns? What did you think?

Codex Alera – Series Review

I have decided to review this series overall instead of going back and reviewing each book by itself. Though I did review Furies of Calderon after I first read it.

I have decided to review this series overall instead of going back and reviewing each book by itself. Though I did review Furies of Calderon after I first read it.

The story follows series protagonist Tavi, beginning when he is 15 years old and living on his uncles steadholt as an apprentice sheepherder.

This world’s magic comes from creatures called furies. These furies inhabit everything imaginable and are a huge part of every day life for the people of Alera. The people usually have their own fury, or furies, associated with a specific element (earth, air, etc) and that person is generally strong in that area. The people can also use the furies that live around them to assist in other types of fury crafting.

Tavi has no ability to use any kind of fury craft, therefore, he has no furies of his own and is considered to be a freak among his kind. Because he is also small for his age, he is constantly bullied.

Tavi is a classic underdog type character. You really can’t help rooting for him. Although he lacks the very thing that defines his people, he doesn’t let it hold him back. Instead, he has learned to adapt and has become extremely clever when facing his problems. What most people would resort to using fury craft for, Tavi has to find a whole different way. His resourcefulness serves him well throughout his journey and makes him a formidable opponent to those who would seek to do him, or those he cares about, harm.

This series is full of political intrigue, action, love and lots of little twists and turns.

I really enjoyed the characters in these books. Each one is unique, deep and complex. As the reader, I empathized with them, hate them, and loved them. Even the “bad guys” are interesting, with unseen motives that make you wonder once you discover them.

The magic system is a unique one and such an integrated part of the culture of Alera, the people and social structure are defined by it. I always love reading new and unique magic systems.

There wasn’t much I dislike about this series. The first book is a little slow in comparison to the rest but it lays good groundwork for what follows.

Jim Butcher is an amazing author. I’m sure he’s best known for his Harry Dresden series, which is a magnificent series. It was wonderful to see the switch in tone and setting, which seemed effortless. Maybe one day Jim Butcher will grace the world with further tales in world of Alera.

My overall rating for this series is 4 out of 5 stars. It is excellent and I would recommend it to any one who enjoys fantasy.

Have you read the Codex Alera series? If so, what did you think?

WWW Wednesday August 26, 2020

WWW Wednesdays. This meme was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm but was revived by Sam from Taking on a World of Words. It’s a place to talk about the books you’ve been reading, plan to read and have read.

To take part all you have to do is answer the following questions:

What are you currently reading?
What have you recently finished reading?
What are you going to read next?

What I am currently reading: First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher

What I have recently finished reading: The previous five books of the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher (Furies of Calderon, Academ’s Fury, Captain Fury, Princeps Fury)

What I plan to read next: That is not yet completely decided. I am either going to dive into the Kate Daniels series by Illona Andrews or begin my reread of the Symphony of Ages series by Elizabeth Haydon.

Adventures in Mobile Gaming – Merge Dragons/Magic

As I mentioned in my previous post about Cat Game, Merge Dragons and Merge Magic were two games that I got really into during my 4 months working at home.

Both games are essentially the same. In one game you have different sorts of dragons that you can collect and merge to create better ones. In the other game, you have creatures such as dryads, centaurs and pixies.

Above is my current camp in Merge Dragons and below is my current garden in Merge Magic.

Other than the colours, they’re pretty similar.

As the names suggest, the main action of these games is merging objects together to create new objects. There are levels you can play and quests you can complete in your camp/garden to get stars. The regular yellow stars give you items. The purple stars give you gems. As with anything in this game, the more you merge the stars, the better items you get. Always merge your stars to their largest size.

On weekends, there are special events. Usually the games rotate between weekend so that there isn’t an event in both games at the same time. But, other weekends, there is an event in both games and then you have to get crafty. (More on that later)

Events give you a whole new map to heal, collect items for points and complete quests. Completing the events will get you awesome stuff, which always includes a new dragon/creature or two.

While the events give you awesome prizes, completing them can be tedious. In order for your dragons/creatures to work at harvesting stuff, the game needs to be open and in the event. No progress will be made if the screen of your phone or tablet is locked. This means that I usually leave the game running while I’m doing other things and let my dragons/creatures work away.

Considering it can sometimes take the whole weekend to complete an event, the developers having an event in both games as the same time can be quite annoying. If you play both games, you may have to get creative. Personally, i have two iphones, though I only use one as an actual phone. I can switch between games on different phones. Hardcore nerd? Yes, yes I am.

What I really love about these games is that there is always something to do. Even if you never play any of the levels or participate in the events, there always so much going on in your camp/garden (especially when you have more than a few dragons/creatures) that you can easily spend hours playing. And if you decide that you don’t want to play for awhile, your dragons/creatures will still be there when you return like no time passed at all.

I would highly recommend one or the other of these games. If I had to choose one over the other, I think I would choose Merge Magic. This is purely for aesthetic reasons and nothing to do with the game itself. I just happen to like the colours and the creatures better in Merge Magic.

Would I recommend playing both games? Yes and no. I like and enjoy both but as you get higher in levels, unlock more of your camp/garden and get into the events, playing both games could get demanding.

Either way, the choice is yours. Play both, play one or play none!

Do you play Merge Dragons or Merge Magic? I’d love to see your progress in the comments!

Thanks for reading.

Adventures in Mobile Gaming – Cat Game The Cats Collector!

During the 4 months that I worked from home ( due to Covid 19), I found myself less inclined towards reading and more towards playing games on my phone. I started out mostly playing Merge Dragons and Merge Magic, but the game I want to talk about today is Cat Game.

From the name, I’m sure you can guess, this game is all about cats! You start off with a tower with only one floor and a basic cat. As you send your cat out on deliveries you get supplies to craft materials and unlock new cats. You use the materials you craft to create various decorations for each floor. Each time you level up, you unlock a new floor.

Sounds pretty simple right? Sounds like it would get boring pretty quickly? Well, it would if it weren’t for the events. The events are my favorite part of the games. There are two types of events: mini events and club events. Mini events consist of 3 parts that last 5 days and are spaced a few days apart. For these events, you gain points for doing exactly what you would normally do playing the games. Prizes include gold (the currency of the game) new cats, new decorations, gems and special keys to get special cats.

If you are part of a club (and it is highly recommended that you be part of a club) you also earn points collectively towards prizes.

The other type of event is the Club Event. This is the same basic idea, but instead of using the standard gold, you play mini games to earn tokens that you use to craft materials and those materials are used to create a special floor with it’s own special cats and decorations.

As with many mobile games, there are options for in game purchases (with real money) that will get you exclusive floors and exclusive cats. There are a few to choose from including a Garfield floor.

Sounds like fun?

Well, if you like cats, this is certainly a cute and fun way to pass some time. Want to follow my progress and see all the cute cats I collect? Follow me on Instagram .

Do you play Cat Game? Let me know in the comments.

Announcement – August 22, 2020

After much thinking and deliberation, I have decided to change the name of the blog and basically rebrand.

Initially, this was supposed to be a blog for book reviews. However, I am the type of person who will become really into one thing while losing interest in other things. This means that I don’t always spend most of my time reading. I may get really into a mobile game, or watching Netflix shows or doing jigsaw puzzles. It all depends on my mood and what my weird brain feels like doing.

So, on that note, this blog is going to change. It will still include book reviews, as books are always going to be a favourite thing of mine, but it will also branch out into other things. Whatever I’m feeling most into at the time will dictate what shows up on this blog.

I hope those who already follow me will enjoy the new content and hopefully some new people will be attracted to my broader thoughts.

Expect new content soon!

Random Update – August 17, 2020

Sooo, it appears that I haven’t posted anything here since March, which coincidentally ( or not so coincidentally) conensited with Covid-19 getting pretty bad and the whole world shutting down.

Like many people the world over, I started working from home at the very end of March, and following the advice of medical professionals, I stayed at home as much as possible. I really only went out to get groceries or for a walk.

Being inside all the time with nowhere to go, one would think that a book lover would devour books! So I assumed as well, but, unfortunately, that was not the case. Instead I fell into a book slump and have only read about 4 books since my last post. Not great considering it’s been around 5 months.

During this time of physical isolation, many people turned to social media to make up for the lack of contact. I did not do this.

So, what did I do? Well, instead of losing myself in another world of a book, I instead lost myself to mobile games and youtube videos. Probably not the best way I could have spent my time, but what are you gonna do?

Well, the world has begun to open up again and I’m back working in the office, and wouldn’t you know it, my motivation to read has returned! Hopefully, there will be some actual content posted soon! Til then, adieu!