Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Title: Magic Burns
Series: Kate Daniels #2 
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy Fiction, Supernatural Fiction 
Elements: Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Shamans, Witches, Druids, Vampires, Necromancers, Deities
Publisher: Ace Books, Penguin Group
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 260 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-441-01583-2
Release Date: April, 2008
Source: Borrowed from Wentworth Library
Rating: 4/5

Tagline(s): Down in Atlanta, tempers--and temperatures--are about to flare...

Summary: 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, Celtic god Morfran supersedes goddess Morrigan for witch coven worshippers of the Crow, and sea monsters from the Underworld enter via the Cauldron of Plenty. Kate starts looking for Pack maps and 13-year old Julia's witch mother, and ends up uniting shapeshifters and vampire zombie controllers to save the world.


A magic flare is coming to Atlanta, causing the shift between technology and magic to be more unreliable and haphazard. It's also the perfect time for those of divine origin to manifest in our world. And that would be disastrous. 

When a magic imprint on a bolt fired during one of her Guild jobs registers as "human divine," Kate sets out to find the crossbowman. Then the Pack approaches Kate for help retrieving some survey maps that were stolen and just so happen to have been taken by the crossbowman she's looking for. These two events bring Kate to Julie, a young girl looking for her missing mother. But what Kate discovers along the way is even more disturbing.

Kate Daniels is moving up in the world in Magic Burns. After her role in the Red Stalker case, Kate has been given a new job as Liaison between the Order and the Guild. She's also been given Friend of the Pack status with the Atlanta shapeshifter Pack. On one hand, Kate has to deal with the knight-protector, Ted Moynohan and Curran, the Beast Lord, on the other. And she'd rather not have to deal with either. Ted is a human supremest who wants to eradicate anything with an ounce of magic. And Curran basically just gets Kate hot-and-bothered and that freaks her out.

"Not only will you sleep with me, but you will say 'please.' You will say 'please' before and 'thank you' after."

After that good luck kiss in Magic Bites, Curran has been slowly moving in on Kate. And, boy, is he subtle about it. Kate doesn't know what he's doing until others in the Pack tell her. For example: When Kate was severely injured in an attack by the reeves, she was brought to a Pack safehouse ans healed by Doolittle. Bowls of soup were brought in for her and Curran pick one up, looks at it with a look of contemplation, and hands it to Kate. Now for shapeshifters, food has a special significance. Food is how animals express love. The fact that Curran gave Kate food signifies his serious interest in her.

Curran's pursuit kind of freaks Kate out. Kate is someone who doesn't have close connections with anyone. The main reason for this is because of who she is. Her blood makes her a target and intimacy means sharing her magic. But another reason is because she's scared. Every person she's ever cared about has been killed or died because of her--first her mother, then her stepfather, and more recently her guardian, Greg. Kate avoids close relationships because she's being hunted and she's scared of losing anyone else she loves because of who she is the daughter of.

There is a perfect example of this in her relationship with Bran. Bran is one of Morrigan's warriors. Kate didn't know him for long, but she came to care about him and understand him. Her grief and sadness was so great that, as she cried over his body, small white star-shaped flowers with centers as black as his eyes bloomed all around them. But because of these flowers, Bran's heroics that day will always be remembered, just as he always wanted.

Kate grows emotionally in Magic Burns and the world of the series grows as well. New places are introduces to us in great detail and we learn more about what life is like for the people in those places. I'm excited to see how much more Kate ans the world of this series continue to grow in the next book.

About this Author:

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.

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