I love urban fantasy but lets face it there is so much out there on the market how does anyone know what’s worth their time, effort and money? So here is a quick breakdown of why I think it’s worthwhile stepping into the world of Kate Daniels.
Great world building, different take on vampirism and magic, strong characterisation, a sense of the main characters real life, some brilliant one liners
Quote that best sums up the lead character:
“What kind of a woman greets the Beast Lord with ‘here, kitty, kitty’?” he asked.
“One of a kind.” I murmured the obvious reply.
With the first book in the Kate Daniels series Ilona Andrews has created a story that features a strong heroine with an amazingly real-world point of view for a single woman fighting and living alone in a rather scary world, world building as solid as I’ve ever read, and there is a hint of attraction between two central characters without it being the central plot point.
Ilona Andrews obviously has faith in the strength of her characters and uses them to their best advantage, revealing their traits and story lines tantalisingly slowly. As well as really strong lead characters there is a great cast of really interesting secondary characters and a world structure that will allow for more characters to be added as the series progresses.
I loved that just because Kate is involved in the investigation doesn’t mean she gives up her real life. In the midst of all the chaos she attempts to date, has moments of wardrobe doubts and takes herself off to sit on her veranda and drink a bottle of wine and feel sorry for herself. And yet none is done in a silly, patronising or self indulgent way. Instead you are left with a real impression of her life and how distressingly normal this is for her. There are no moments of “brilliance” and no super human strength just grit and determination that come from training and practice and a really stubborn nature.
As for Curran, well let’s face it – I had a crush on Aslan as a kid so my affection for Curran isn’t really that big of a surprise. He’s strong, scarily self-controlled and arrogant in the way only someone who has earned the title of beast master can be. You don’t get to see that much of him during this story, which makes a nice change from other series where the author is so determined to hit you over the head with who will ultimately be the heroine’s match that they forgo any sense of restraint.
Yes, there are some absolutely brilliant moments in this book, but the most brilliant thing is ending the book with the feeling that you want to know more about the characters and where their story will take them.
I read the audiobook version of Magic Bites and Renee Raudman does a really good job of bringing it to life. It took me a little while to get into the narration but her characters are good and consistent and her voice suits the gritty urban tone of the book.