Magic Bites (Kate Daniels Series #1)

( 591 )


Mercenary Kate Daniels cleans up urban problems of a paranormal kind. But her latest prey, a pack of undead warriors, presents her greatest challenge.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Following in the footsteps of other contemporary paranormal fantasy authors like Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison, Ilona Andrews's Magic Bites features saber-wielding heroine Kate Daniels, a "magic-touting mercenary" who investigates the brutal murder of her legal guardian only to be pulled into a volatile power struggle between two rival groups within Atlanta's supernatural community.

Atlanta is a city immersed in magic. Like the tides, when the magic is up, modern technology fails (guns don't fire, cars don't start, etc.) and magicians and other supernatural beings rule the world. In the midst of all this are organizations like the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid whose mission it is to keep the peace. But when knight-diviner Greg Feldman -- the guardian of Daniels -- is ripped to shreds by some unknown monstrosity, the butt-kicking heroine vows to avenge his murder at any cost. Her investigation, however, places her directly between the Pack, a powerful clan of shape-changers, and the Masters of the Dead, a group of necromancers who control a virtual army of vampires…

While Andrews brings nothing particularly revolutionary to the paranormal fantasy mythos -- her characters are well developed but formulaic, the plotlines are conventional, etc. -- the strength of this novel comes from brilliant pacing and atmosphere. The narrative is as fluid as it is direct; and Andrews's dark and lyrical description of the supernatural underworld of Atlanta -- especially at night -- masterfully draws the reader into her urban fantasy realm. Though Andrews doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel with Magic Bites, she does create a story that is an undeniable stay-up-all-night page-turner. Paul Goat Allen
From the Publisher
"Treat yourself to a splendid new urban fantasy.... I am looking forward to the next book in the series, or anything else Ilona Andrews writes." —-Patricia Briggs, New York Times bestselling author of Iron Kissed
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441014897
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/27/2007
  • Series: Kate Daniels Series, #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 103,862
  • Product dimensions: 4.00 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Renée Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator and actor. A multiple Audie Award nominee, she has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, and her narration of Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 591 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 592 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great urban fantasy

    In the near future, the world is a very different place as magic has returned but it ebbs and flows. When it flows, technology fails, but when it ebbs technology works. Kate Daniels belongs to the Mercenaries Guild, taking care of magical problems that organizations won¿t touch. Her mentor Greg Feldman wants her to join his group the Atlanta chapter of the Chapter of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid but she refuses as she prefers being a lone wolf.-------------- When Greg is killed, she goes to the Order to tell them she wants to find her mentor¿s killer. They tell her she can perform a sidebar investigation under their rule and provide her the information they know and the pictures they have. The crime pictures show the same entity murdered Greg and a vampire. It looks like a shapeshifter is the culprit, which implies hostilities are erupting between that species and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers who control the mindless vampires. Kate has a hunch that someone is orchestrating things behind the scenes to cause a war between the two wary adversaries but she has no idea who has the power to pull off such a diabolically sly ruse.------------------ Ilona Andrews is the newest fantasy magician who makes her world seem plausible yet entertaining mindful of Rosemary Edghill and Mercedes Lackey. The heroine is an enigmatic interesting individual who learns over her investigation that she is capable of trusting others as well as gaining the confidence of Pack King Curran while still keeping much of what she learns to herself. MAGIC BITES is an enchanting paranormal whodunit that takes the supernatural into new natural directions.----------------- Harriet Klausner

    20 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2010

    I absolutely love this series!

    My introduction to the world of Kate Daniels was the short story Magic Mourns which was included in the Must Love Hellhounds anthology. I am a fan of Charlaine Harris and picked up the anthology to check out her non-Sookie story. I loved Magic Mourns and started looking to see what else Illona Andrews had written. At that point, there were already three books in the Kate Daniels series with a fourth due out shortly. I bought the first three books and literally read straight through that weekend, finishing all three in a matter of a few days.

    I was a little surprised when I realized that the main character in Magic Mourns is actually the best friend of the series main character, Kate Daniels, but got over it quickly as I got engrossed in the very unique world Ilona Andrews has created in a seemingly modern-day Atlanta. I appreciate the unique take on what has become an increasingly popular genre of magical creatures, vampires and shape shifters and enjoy the humor that is infused throughout the story. Kate is not your typical heroine and is definitely not always in the right place at the right time, yet she never gives up. She is dedicated and loyal and while strong, always seems to be full of bumps and bruises which makes her all that more likable as a character.

    I highly recommend this series for people who enjoy stories that include an element of magic and myth to go along with action and mystery - and a little romance too!

    17 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2012


    You know Harriet you should have been an author or at least a critic. I lost count of the books I passed on because of your reviews. You are one gigantic plot spoiler. If you talk as much as you write, I bet you don't have many friends. Then again, its my fault for reading your posts.

    8 out of 37 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    Fun, fast read

    Great strong lead character, very cool setting and imaginative mix of magic/non-magic. I like the sparse details at the beginning that get fleshed out as the story evolves, keeps you reading. The light romance that seems sure to develop over future books is engaging and will keep me reading the series. The vampires were icky, but I liked the totally different take on them.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not Impressed!

    Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic…
    One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels.

    Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy.

    Kate Daniel's story begins with her learning that the only family she has left -Greg Feldman, the city's knight-diviner- has been murdered. Normally, Kate works for the Mercenary Guild, doing odd jobs to get by, but she takes on this new mission of discovering what she can through the Order of the Knights of Merciful Aid, the guardians of the city. Along the way, she meets up with Curran, the Beast Lord, and gets a peek into his world.

    I thought I might enjoy this series since I'm a fan of Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress books, but Kate Daniel came off as a little too overpowering for me. I don't like the "kick-ass" female characters that much and the setting has a very "destroyed world" feeling to it, but also too futuristic for my taste. The magic wasn't that interesting . . . almost too scientific with boring facts and I found myself having to re-read sections to fully understand where we stood. Overall, this book just rubbed me the wrong way & I couldn't really loose myself in the story, but I may move on to the most recent book just to see if it'll improve and to find out where Kate and Curran's relationship goes.

    Likes: The doctor Crest. He came off as the most realistic character.

    Dislikes: The whole concept of magic rising, falling, and affecting modern technology.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Love the Kate Daniels Series

    A great kick ass heroine who doesn't feel the need to spout how bad ass she is to the reader, and to everyone in the book. She proves she's kick ass by actually... kicking ass.

    I really like Kate Daniels as a Heroine. The story kept me interested, tho I did find some aspects confusing. I enjoyed how Andrews implores her vampires as gross, mean and killing machines. There is no romantic vampire notions here in this series :P

    I found the possible romantic and sexual tension between Curran and Kate refreshing.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2011

    Is it interesting enough to read the next book?

    I'm thinking "no".... this book was really hard for me to get into. I forced myself to continue by reading all the terrific reviews hoping it would kick in... about 70 pages of force reading lead me to a a book finally interesting enough to continue. I felt it was poorly written as several times I would back track a couple paragraphs thinking I had skipped something, but I did not. The flow was just off in some places. Overall, it was an interesting story but I didn't give a hoot about any of the characters and the mysteries that remain don't really inspire me. Therefore I doubt I will continue with this series unless I am really desperate.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fabulous story

    Strong female character, strong male characters set in the future of waxing and waning magic and tech. I fell into the fictive dream of story/plot/mystery and characters - read the book in one setting - could not put it down. Would recommend it for urban fantasy lovers and it's really cool if you know Atlanta. Great authors.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great urban fantasy

    A little reminescent of Simon R. Green, but this was a fun read. I like that the characters have so much chemistry and scenes turn sexy without turning smutty. The action carries the book well. My only critism is that i wish there was more description in the early parts of the book to help me visualize this world. But the descriptions get better throughout the book and the world emerges through the story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A great read for it's Genre!

    If you are interested in Vampires, Witches, and Shape shifters- this most definitely is the book for you. Ilona Andrews style of writing brings you right into the story, while her expressive characters and love triangles leaves you drooling for the second book. Kate Daniels is a wonderfully real woman; is great at wielding a sword but is not overly cocky. Her character knows what she wants, and gets it. Ms. Andrews doesn't over compensate Kate's character with heavy arrogance or nonchalance a lot of writers use for their heroines. Kate Daniels has flaws and you can feel them in the story. The other characters in the story, including the Shape shifters King, are very three dimensional and believable. The scenery and plight of the characters is hard to put down. A great read to just escape to. :)

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    Solid read.

    I enjoyed the modern magical world that this author created. It was realistic but also fresh and exciting with a dynamic and fleshed out heroine. The action and suspense was high and the characters unique and witty. The only real hinderous was the many characters and some of the world details ad rituals. Throuhot the book i found myself flipping back asking "who was that now?" And someties having to reread passages several vtimes to understand a concept. But overall reall well-writen piece.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    kate danials is the kind of heroin that its easy to cheer for!

    I LOVED this book so much! Its off-beat and unussual in the extreame. kate danials is a very good swordswomen with a mysterirus past. when the last family she has is murdered she neads to find out who did it so she puts away her revulsion of the order and they allow her to do the investigation. while she is trying to find her gaurdians murderer she must team up with the pack. A group of shape-changers. they are volitile and ery teritorial. so she is in shallow water. Especialy since the pack lord curran and kate do not get along. At all. Kate and curran are at best volitile and at worst homicidal. kate and curran must work together to kind the purson who killed kates gaurdian and some shape-changers.

    I would recomend this to alot of people but not everyone. If you get squemash at just the mention of blood or guts you will not like these books. However if you like urban fantacy, mystery and action. The next book is called Magic burns and the third one is called Magic strikes. The fourth one comes out in May 2010. read this book! Its positively amazing!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Magic Bit me

    Ilona Andrews (they are actually man and wife tandem. wow) did not hold my hand while I navigate the first few chapters of Kate Daniel's world. I was not used to it I felt lost. The vampires call themselves as the People (and their face / personality, everything leans more on hideous), Magic Guild Mercenary (this is where Kate belongs, assassin of some sort), The Pack that have seven clans and not all of them are werewolves and the Order of the Merciful Aid (the politicians, lol). Fascinating groups, now all I have to do is get use to them and their terms.

    I wasn't really jumping up and down with this book. It is actually hard to review this one. It is complex. Kate Daniel's world is somewhat futuristic. Magic is loose to the world and humans live a long side our favorite monsters. But how did it come to that? Did I miss something? Normally I like this kind of a challenge but I wasn't up for it while reading. So the research to understand more came in later. As a result while I was reading, I almost decided not to finish the book. I was confused and sleepy up until about the last few chapters.

    But here's what kept me going: There is a mystery in Kate's blood. When she spills she have to make sure that nobody can get a sample of it so she burns her bloodied clothes or whatever after a fight. Or she kill the person/creature who took samples. Her blood is either something special or she's hiding from someone/something and I'm itching to know. Then there's Curran, not impressed at this point but I will give him a chance he is after all the leader of the Pack, I need to read more of his antics.

    To those who read this book already, how many are you out there revel on the goriness of that one scene where Kate cut of a vamp's head and order it to wake up and tell her who his master?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not sold yet, but going to give the second installment a chance.

    Despite misgivings about any book titled MAGIC STRIKES, I picked up the ARC from work without knowing a thing about the book. Of course, it didn't take me long to realize that MAGIC STRIKES was the third in a series...and I was without the first two. Despite being frustrated, I decided to give Andrews a shot (though, to be honest, this decision was helped along by the blurb that Patricia Briggs has on the cover of the Andrews series). After a few weeks of procrastination, I shelled out a few dollars to get the first book, MAGIC BITES. Things turned out with very nice timing, though, considering that MAGIC STRIKES will be released on the 31st of March.

    Kate Daniels is a penniless mercenary who specializes in neutralizing magical "problems". In Kate's world, there are tide-like periods of "magic" and "tech" that ebb and flow. When the magic "is up", human technology fails: cars, phones, guns... When the tech comes back up, the magic has left a string of problems. The plot of MAGIC BITES does not, however, revolve around one of these everyday (for Kate) occurrences. Instead, the death of her guardian puts Kate both on the path of solving the mystery and revenge.

    Andrews drops the reader into Kate's world with a pace that requires the reader to either hit the ground running or fall to the ground due to the momentum. I took pretty well to this approach, though I felt that a little more explanation wouldn't have hurt the reader (or the size of the book, because the poor volume feels sadly thin at 260 pages). Regardless, I found Kate's world immediately intriguing. Though the world is filled with the usual suspects (vampires, werewolves and the like), each has a very original twist. How can one put any originality into vampires--outside of something silly like making them sparkle? Well, in Andrews' world, vampires are undead and mindless, but also generally used as vessels to be "driven" by the minds of necromancers. As for the "were"-creatures, they come in many forms. Not only werewolves, but were-lions, were-rats and... Kate, herself, is a human who wields magic and a magic-sword, but seems to have more to her than is divulged within this first book. I'm very much hoping for a secret worth waiting for.

    Like all books in the urban fantasy genre, I have parts I love and hate respectively. I do adore a strong female protagonist--and Kate definitely has some traits in common with Patricia Briggs' amazing Mercedes Thompson. Alternately, Kate was interesting on her own, but if she seems to run along the danger of being too much this tough persona. Sure, MAGIC BITES covered weaknesses Kate supposedly has, but none really felt real. For one, her grief over her lose of Greg--whether or not their relationship was complex--was not nearly covered well enough.

    Additionally, I have to wonder why every urban fantasy starring a female protagonist follows the "everyone must lust after the protagonist" formula. Testosterone driven males everywhere! I won't even bother to explain how unrealistic it is that all these males are so driven to find a hard-headed, "tom-boyish" female that is prone to threats and posturing. Nearly worse is that you can almost always spot the love-interest-to-be by (a) how much he and the protagonist butt heads to begin with and (b) by the fact he is usually the "dominant" male of the story. (Honestly, the near-romance with the unas

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Warewolves, and Vampires,and critters, Oh My!

    I picked this up thinking this will be a bit silly but light reading, having just finished a very character and plot heavy book. After a chapter or two I began to get into the story and was hooked. Andrews does a fine job of creating a Koonts-like "Odd Thomas" character. For some it will be a bit on the gory side, because the action sequences are vividly done. The ultimate bad guy is a combination of sinister,strange and deadly types rolled into one. You finish actually wishing it was a bit longer. Sequel, you betcha! Buy this, I think you will like it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    Kate Daniels: fun reading

    I thought I would take a chance on a new "heroine" in the hopes I would find another series like the Kitty Norville and Rachel Morgan books. Guess what? Mission accomplished. Definitely a good, fun, action packed series. I look forward to the final book in the series. If you like strong female leads, this series is for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    A fun twist on what is becoming a pretty saturated market

    A world where magic, vampires, were-animals, and all the other things that go bump in the night are real. Ever since Laurell K. Hamilton first introduced us to this concept, lots of authors have tried their own take on the subject...more often than not with a tough-as-nails female lead character. Ms. Andrews does a pretty decent job of it. I was able to fall into the book and enjoy the story...not an easy thing to do with a lot of authors. I enjoyed the story, the characters are reasonably fresh, the dialog is witty and sarcastic in a Dawson's Creek but rated R and sometimes X kind of way, and she does a pretty darn good job with describing the settings. She gets a better than average because I didn't feel like I wasted my money and will buy the next book. I didn't give it five because I have been able to put it down and come back to it later...the only books that rate a five for me are the ones that make my wife mad because I stay up all night reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Fun to Read - Not what I expected from Vampires and Werewolves!

    I usually shy away from anything involving vampires and werewolves. Not because it's too scary, but because it's too "Twilight". This put a different spin on all of that. In just a few weeks, I've read every single novel and novella in this series! The authors did a great job at "world-building". As the story begins, it's apparent that things in that world are not the same as they are here... The reactions of the characters in their situations are realistic. Additionally, the relationships are realistic and fully believable. It's a fun book, a fun series, and I look forward to the next installment!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Shades of Jane Yellowrock and Rachael Morgan

    Great dry humor and battle of wits. Enduring purpose and different approach. Ccaught me in the 1st two pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Always love Ilona

    I have always loved this series... definately kick but... what I don't understand are people saying they can't wait for book 2?!?!? It's out!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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