Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Musings on Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

I skipped the first book in Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series for no particular reason other than I mistakenly thought that Magic Burns was the introductory book to the series. By the time I realized that I was wrong, I was so deep into the story and wanted to know how it ended that I didn't bother with putting it down in favor of Magic Bites, which really is the first book in the series.

The story opens during a magic wave. Kate is called upon by the Pack (shape-shifters) to retrieve their stolen maps from a cunning bowman. Not one to pass up a challenge, Kate takes the gig and sets out after the sniper. She runs into a teenage street urchin she's familiar with, Red, and his tween girlfriend, Julie, whose mother has gone missing.

Kate's run-in with the teenagers ends up leading her into the Honeycomb, a section of the city that is a dangerous maze of twisted trailers, unfriendly people, and magic. She soon finds that a misfit group of witches have tampered with the natural order of things in a big way. Now the salvation of the Atlanta depends on Kate and her eclectic band of shifter, vampire, and sniper friends. They'll have to come together to restore magical order and take down a restless god that's intent on killing them all.

I'd been in a reading slump when I started Magic Burns and credit this book in helping me to come out of it. There's lots of action, character development, and nicely done world building. Got to say, as an Atlanta native, I love that the story is set in my city. It's fun envisioning the city I was born and raised in complete magic upheaval.

Even though I started on the second book before reading the first, I never felt like my reading enjoyment suffered from loss of back story as previous events were neatly explained throughout the book. I'll find out if I'm completely right about that soon enough, when I go back to read Magic Bites. But before that I'm moving on to Magic Strikes because I'm anxious to know exactly what happens next in the series. Grade B.

Visit Ilona Andrews here. Read an excerpt of Magic Burns here.


  1. Hi Brie! Welcome back... :)

    I'm so glad Ilona helped you out of your reading slump. I'm loving this book & this series. I would say that reading Magic Bites first helped me appreciate this book more because of the character development all around & the worldbuilding. I love the way Kate Daniels grows emotionally in this series. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. :)

  2. Good review Brie :D Can't wait to read your thoughts on Magic Strikes. This series really gets better with each book :) If only Magic Bleeds could come out earlier, sigh.

  3. @Hils, it really did help me out of the slump. I had such an desire to read anything I could get my hands on after I finished Magic Burns. Sometimes all it takes is a little push.

    I may have to read Magic Bites before moving on now, as I'm a sucker for character development and world building. I think I'd like to have all of the pieces before going on.

    @Nath, I'm anxious to get to Magic Strikes, but I'm thinking that Magic Bites may be the better choice to read first. Decisions, decisions!

    It's good to hear that the series keeps getting better. I love series' that grow progressively better as they go on.

  4. Yay! So glad this one pulled you out of the slump, Brie. I am addicted to this series. I loved MAGIC BURNS but Hilcia is so right. Each one gets better. MAGIC STRIKES just blew me away.

  5. Hi Angie! I'm glad I finally pulled it of the shelf and read it. What as I waiting for?! I'm really excited about this catching up on this series. I hope I enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to.

  6. LOL, I say go ahead with Magic Strikes, since you've already read Magic Burns :P

    All you'll be missing with Magic Bites is how Kate and Curran and Derek met imo. (yeah, it wasn't my favorite as you can see)

  7. Okay Nath, you've convinced me. I'll skip Magic Bites for now. :p

  8. I love this series, too... and agree with the others that the series gets better and better with each installment. Magic Strikes is FANTASTIC and actually makes my top 10 list for 2009, so I say go for it, too!

  9. Christine, nice to know that the opinion on this series being a good one is unanimous.