Urban Fantasy Book Review – Magic Bites – Kate Daniels # 1 by Ilona Andrews

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?

Ships From The West – Monarchies of God #5

Ships from the WestSynopsis (from Goodreads): In the five Ramusian kingdoms, an entire generation has lived in peace. But when old enemies clash, the fate of Normannia will be sealed-once and for all.

Buy Now:Amazon Barnes & Noble


“The Thrilling Conclusion!” Or so says the cover of the book. Was it thrilling? Maybe a little. Was it conclusive? No, not at all.

My initial impression of the book was that it was unnecessary. It starts off 15 years after the events of the first four books. The main plot of books 1 – 4, being the war with the Merduks, was concluded in The Second Empire. the whole time i was reading this book it felt more like the start of a new part of the series rather than a conclusion. the ending certainly wasn’t conclusive at all and left a lot of loose ends.

A lot of this book was spent introducing the next generation, the children of the characters from the previous books, and filling in what’s happened during the past 15 years. But, as is typical of most of the characters introduced in this series, the new people we are introduced to fall flat. They get so little of the spotlight that the reader never really gets to know them and what we do see of them is not essential to the overall plot of this book.

There is, however, a lot of action in this book. There’s a lot of slaughter and death, so if you like any of the characters, don’t get attached. they’re probably going to die.

What saved this book and made it worth reading, for me, was the character of Corfe. He is my favorite of all the characters and really get the spotlight. His journey in the book is probably the only reason I kept reading.

I give Ships from the West 2/5 stars.

The series overall, I give 3/5 stars. It had a good amount of action to the keep the reader interested, and the battle scenes were amazingly described. I enjoyed the character of Corfe Cear-Inaf and the sort of sub plot of the tragic love between him and his wife, Heria. They both suffer a great deal and never truly let go of the pain of losing one another.

As for what I didn’t like, I think this far outweighs the things I did like. There is a definite lack of strong female characters in this series. The female character I did like, gets very little page time, but at least what time she did get wasn’t disappointing.

The third person omniscient pov that this series is told in is, for me, very irritating. I don’t know which character is currently the focus from time to time and I find that confusing. I much prefer pov’s that focus on one person at a time.

There were a lot of loose ends that were left over at the end of book five, (the conclusion) and little things that took place that just seemed unnecessary.

I’m happy to be finished this series, and while I don’t regret reading it, this isn’t a series that I will keep to reread in the future.

Have you read this series? What did you think? Please leave any thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for reading!