Complex world and characters

Magic Bites -  Ilona Andrews

I'd heard so many positives about this series I was worried my expectations were too high and it would be a letdown. By the end of the book, that feeling wasn't anywhere near my emotional state.


Rather than talk about the details of the story, I'm focusing on the essence of it and certain elements that make this a standout book and series start. I'll begin with the series namesake, Kate Daniels. She's formidable as most UF heroines tend to be but in a very practical sense. Kate dresses for the part and you won't find her in leathers or stiletto-heeled boots. Everything about her is calculated for success in life-threatening situations. She's vulnerable, a bit cocky but not overly so. And, she's still at a place where there's more for her to learn about her skills. There's mystery about her and we know just enough to want to discover more.


Then there's this fantastic world that Andrews has created. Some of the beings and species introduced here are unique, at least foreign to me. The dystopian environment complicates matters and I'm still waiting to learn how Atlanta (and I assume the rest of the world) came to be this new order where magic and technology have this odd coexistence. I've also had to abandon my romanticism about vampires.


Then there's the infamous Curran, the Beast Lord. You know he's nothing to mess with but we are only treated to glimpses of his awesomeness. The interplay between Kate and Curran is akin to foreplay right now with just the right level of irreverence on both sides. You just know it's going to be really good but we'll have to wait awhile.


The narrator did a fantastic job of telling the story and giving voice to Kate. I'm not too crazy about her interpretation of Curran, though. Makes him sound old.


I'm excited about continuing this series and thrilled that all the hoopla about it wasn't overblown. What held me back from giving it 5 stars is the density of world building that almost, but not quite, overwhelmed me. The action is intense and sometimes brutal, the secondary characters even more intriguing. I'm SO glad I've got this whole series ahead of me in this format as it's going to be a really interesting journey.