Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

(Kate Daniels, #1)

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.

“Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...”

Where it all started years ago....and where I never reviewed it the first time....

It's strange how perceptions can change. I don't know if it was mood thing, but I know that I used to find Kate slightly abrasive when I first read the series, but when I re-read, the issue didn't exist anymore. This time I dug her sarcastic wit, she didn't come across quite as cold and unapproachable. It was fun to relive her sarcastic quips aimed at Curran. The introduction of every main character rocked - that intro with the beast lord, what could be better? Besides the restaurant scene where they clash with their dates, of course! And that roar... Ghastek with his dry humor while he cared only about himself was even a treat.

The story isn't as gripping as later installments, but it still offered up a good one. There was mystery to be had, fights to be fought, and secrets to keep covered. People seem to dig the magical world Andrews created - it makes "UF lists" - but while I enjoy the twists on the vamps and respect the shapeshifter structure and how they blend in one large pack, no matter the breed, I always disliked that magic comes and goes. I can't put my finger on why it always bugged me. Perhaps it's because I like my magical characters to stay that way, not lose abilities depending on the time of day.

Ilona Andrews has a natural, easy-to-follow writing style that simply grips the reader. The pacing wasn't druggy fast but it worked and I never found a dull moment besides the first few chapters. I do have to say Curran is a loved character, but he irritated me some in the first book, first by accusing her of being a gloryhound, and second for becoming irrationally angry and blaming Kate when they fingered the wrong guy for the crime.

Oh, and I still hate Jim this re-read as much as I did the first read. Otherwise enjoy and hop on board this epic UF series if you haven't already.

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