Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

rating (Kate Daniels, Book #2)
Urban Fantasy

As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of  occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.

When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest — and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

 “You don't cause problems. You cause catastrophes.”

I read the first last year and greatly enjoyed it. I keep seeing mentions of this series around on Goodreads circles, with comments that this is superior to the original. I have to say I disagree; while I enjoyed this one and can't wait to read the third, I found the first better. This one took longer for met to get into and grasp the story. Once the first half was over, I fell into it much easier and enjoyed the hell out of it.

As always, Curran rocked. The humorous scenes between he and Kate may be the best things about these books. He's a true Alpha male you have to love reading about. Kate is still brash and with a major chip on her shoulder.  The courtship ritual that the pack explains to Kate is hilarious and I find the situation between them fascinating, exciting, and addictive.

The introduction of Julie helped. At first I was unsure, as this can make a book sour, but instead when she was added it brought forth some more dimensional aspects of Kate's personality. Bram was great fun, and I loved when the pack was together. Some truly memorable scenes. As always I find Ghastek intriguing, but again after a lengthy scene with him, he's rarely seen or heard from again. It seems that most of the sidekick characters highlight differences they hold from Kate, making it that more enticing to read their scenes together.

The villain was a big bad one as before, and the authors certainly have great talent when it comes to inventing monsters to battle. Introducing the elements of Celtic Mythology was well-done, allowing a small sidestory of some crime research and mystery solving. I do have to say that a lot of it confuses me, however, and that takes me out of the story a bit.

Humor comes naturally to Ilona Andrews, but this is still a gritty and grim read. Action is also something the authors excel out, for any fighting or climactic scene is done brilliantly. The ending was a powerful finish, with a heady rush of both fighting and emotion. I still don't completely get Kate's secret but I enjoy the author not dwelling on it so much to where it becomes obnoxious, while keeping it there to have a plausible plot pitfall that keeps things intriguing.

What a delightful book - without argument my favorite of the series so far. Genuinely hilarious (especially that ending), all the characters stayed true to form and riveting, plenty of action and intrigue. There was pressure from multiple sides. The only thing I wish about this one is that I could give it more than five stars.

   Book Quotes:

“I don't want it to be attributed to a loss of control on my part. When I throw you out of the window, I want there to be no doubt the act was deliberate.” 

  “I make a bad mom, but I can pull off a crazy aunt.” 

 “You know what I like about you? You have no sense. You sit here in my house, you can barely hold a spoon, and you're telling me 'no'. You'd pull on Death's whiskers if you could reach them.”

   Author Extras:

First Chapter Excerpt

Kate Daniels World - Author Extra Site

   Reviews of the Series: