Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #2)" by Ilona Andrews

This review features a book that is the second in the Kate Daniels series, and may have minor spoilers for those who have not read Magic Bites. My review of the first book can be found here.

I completed my Goodreads challenge of 100 books a little early this year, and the reason why is: the Kate Daniels series. I kid you not, once I began the second book (for the second time), I was enthralled, addicted, and kept swiping the pages of my ereader like a madwoman. So far I've read #2-4, plus the short stories up to #5 from Curran's perspective. So yes, if you don't have time to read the next few in the series, I would advise you not to pick Magic Burns up.

What changes in this book? Although we are briefly reminded of the world in which it's set, this book packs more action scenes and banter in instead of world-building. Kate may be one of my favorite heroines ever due to her incessant snark. Gods and goddesses also play a bigger role in this book, somewhat reminiscent of the Dresden Files.

The Plot (As Seen on Goodreads):
'Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…
'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…'

I love Irish mythology, even though most of it I've had to learn from the internet. Most books tend to use Greek/Roman myths anymore, and while I think they're incredibly enthralling myths, they are also incredibly overused in books. Magic Burns introduces you to the myth of one particular god/goddess who I cannot reveal without spoiling, and I definitely learned more that myth while reading it.

Kate is less of a hardass in this book, showing her softer side more often (like anyone knew she had one in the first book). She has someone you might call a friend: Andrea, a sharpshooter and knight of the Guild, which is an experience she isn't quite used to. Although Curran takes to the background more in this book, the Beast Lord is still one of the driving characters in this book, and his unusual relationship with Kate comes to play in a fantastic ending.

Magic Burns is a hell of a sequel. Usually with me, the second book of a series is almost always a let down, and this is one of the rare cases (like Words of Radiance) where it outrates its predecessor. I recommend the Kate Daniels series to anyone looking to get caught up in an action-packed and surprisingly snarky urban fantasy series.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars for an exceptional second book in the Kate Daniels series!

Content: Ages 18+ for violence, sexual reference, and choice swearing.

Page Count: 260 pages

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