Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews Review {with Audiobook Notes}

Posted September 10, 2014 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 8 Comments

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Published by Ace/Penguin
Publish Date: March 27, 2007

384 Pages
Source: Book – Library, Audiobook – Library
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N 

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…
 (from Goodreads)

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

My Thoughts:  I’ve seen so many people rave about the Kate Daniels Series
There are a couple of things that I really liked about Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) and a couple of things that I am not really so sure about…SO! I’m going to make a short list and hopefully this will help me decide if I should keep going with the series…

Things I liked about Magic Bites

1. Main character Kate Daniels is awesome. Kate is a mercenary that is out for justice. She will not only tear your arm off and beat you up with it — she will show her vulnerable side and weaknesses! She is a great mixture of strong and weak, and she knows how to go after what she wants. She is also very cheesy, and she wears it like it is glamorous. I really like her for who she is. Plus she makes that updated book cover look AMAZING. 

2.  I like the crazy world that Kate Daniels lives in. It’s like this super-neat futuristic Atlanta metro-area that goes a little haywire depending on how magic ebbs and flows. Basically magic and technology can’t reside in the same space all that well, so when magic flares up, technology shuts down for a while. 

Things that I didn’t love about Magic Bites

1. You know, I began reading and listening to this book and found myself drowning in information. After I got about halfway through it, I realized that I was lost in what was going on beyond the first scene or two. I actually went to the author’s website and spent some time reading about the world and the two main characters…THEN I restarted the book. This helped and the second time, I was less confused. 

2. Even though I liked the world that Kate Daniels lives in, I can’t say that I think it was built really well for me. Does that even make sense? I can visualize the world as it is, but I cannot admit to having much knowledge about WHY it is that way or HOW it came to be that way. This frustrated me throughout the entire story, probably because I loved the idea behind the world so much. 
3. There is way too much descriptive language used in this book. OH MY GOSH. Every. Thing. is described in detail for us. Every. Thing. 
Here’s the thing: some of my reading friends that love this series – y’all, if they love a book, I take it seriously. So THAT is why I restarted the book for a second time instead of DNF’ing it after getting halfway through it. YES, it helped, but I have to admit to still being a bit confused. I wonder if all of the books are the same way – very description and full of information? Is it just ME that had a hard time with this? I wonder if I should push through and move onto the second book? Taking away much of the description and adding some characterization and world-building would make Kate and Curran (the Beast Lord) and the world so much more full and fun.  
PEOPLE SAY THIS SERIES GETS BETTER. I’ve seen blog posts and reviews for the more recent books with tons of CAPSLOCK and !!!! in them, so perhaps I should stick around a little while longer? 
Should I stick with this series? I like Kate Daniels and her world quite a bit! I’m annoyed by a few things, but I will never know if the series gets any better (like everyone says) if I don’t stick it out! 
If you’ve read these books – should I drop this series or keep going? Will I get a better feel for the world? Will I feel more of a connection with Kate? What about those pesky descriptions? 
Audiobook Notes:  The audiobook format of Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews is published by Tantor Audio and is 9 hours and 6 minutes, Unabridged. It is narrated by Renee Raudman who voiced a very believable Kate Daniels. I would easily recommend the audiobook format of this book for a first read or reread, and if/when I continue with this series, I will be listening to the audiobook format as I read along with a print/ebook copy. Recommended. 

About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


8 responses to “Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews Review {with Audiobook Notes}

  1. Ooh! This series has been on my radar forever. I am determined to read it someday. Also, I have heard from multiple people that it gets so much better after the first book. However, I don't know whether the world building or descriptive language changes. I suspect that as you get into it, you'll get to know it better though. So fun you picked this up! Let me know if you continue.

    • It kind of made me chuckle a little bit because shifters and were-things are my least favorite of all of the creatures BUT I did love Kate enough to consider another book and I'm so intrigued about the world. I wonder if my connection with Kate and Curran will grow stronger if I continue reading?? I picked it as a "fun" read because people are going nuts over the latest release. But I wasn't thrilled about starting over and being confused. So IDK! I just hate missing out on something great!

  2. There is an awful lot of information in that first novel. You're so right. I think I might have had an easier time because I started in the middle of the series (as I'm wont to do…) but keep going! Such an awesome series.

    • Oh that's awesome, Mary! I'm usually too quirky to start in the middle of the series, but I might have preferred it in this case. STILL if it gets better, I probably will continue. Thanks so much! (:

  3. "She is also very cheesy, and she wears it like it is glamorous." Um LOVE this description of Kate! So spot on, though not remotely like any I've read before.

    Not at all sure what to recommend here. My Kate Daniel loving heart is screaming YES YES KEEP READING IT'S SO FREAKING GOOD ESP BOOK 3, but from what you've said about issues with the world and the descriptive language I'm not honestly sure if you'll get into it…because that's kind of the way it is. D: Let me know if you do continue though, I'd love to hear further thoughts!

    • I think I'll give the second book a shot and see? I can't get over how much everyone loves these books and I want in on that fandom. Also, I really trust your opinion and I know that you love them. But I would REALLY love to kick out a but of that language – maybe I can learn to laugh at it. (:

      Also, that Boone's Farm stuff. Help me! Kate is so awkward.

    • Hey Ash! YES I had to wait FOREVER for the first book! When I saw that it was in, I grabbed it right away. Now there's no telling how long it will be before the rest of them are in, but that's okay – that's how I know people love them, I guess (:

      And I'm SO that way too about reading the books in order!

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