Discussion Post | Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Today Birdie Bookworm and I kick off our re-read of the Kate Daniels series. With the last book of the series on the horizon, it was a now or never situation if we wanted to fit in a re-read. Of course we chose now! We’re on a tight schedule for this one because we want to be sure to be ready for Magic Truimphs, so we’ll be discussing a book every two weeks, assuming we can keep to this schedule. (If we can’t, trust me, it’s my fault…LOL) Today we discuss this kick off to the post-shift Atlanta world with Magic Bites, and we have a lot of thoughts! Please be advised that since this is a discussion post, there will be spoilers, including spoilers for Kate’s end game romantic interest, which is not decided in this book. But we do discuss that here, so please proceed with caution if you have not read this series.

The first part of our discussion appears here on Birdie’s blog, so be sure to read that first, and then return to Books & Beauty Are My Bag for the last half here!

 

Book Blurb:

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

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…

| Book Discussion |

What were your feelings about Crest throughout Magic Bites?

Birdie Bookworm – I didn’t trust him. I think the benefit of having only read Magic Bites once (in 2012) is I didn’t really remember who the bad guy was. The series ran together, so I know who the series bad guy is, but the individual book plots have gotten hazy. I know that I didn’t trust Crest when I read it initially, and I had the same sensation this time around.

Angie Elle: I didn’t remember who the villain was, either, but I never saw Crest as a threat. I was quick to dismiss him. I guess because even before I read this series, I’d seen enough to know Kate and Curran were end game, and I feel like Crest was meant to throw me off the romantic trail if anything. It didn’t work.

Birdie Bookworm: That’s true. I never ever thought of him as a true romantic rival. I thought he was the villain of Magic Bites.

Pluck one scene out of Magic Bites that was your most favorite – What was it?

Birdie Bookworm – The final scene, with Curran and Derek on the roof. In that moment, with something almost domestic between them, I could see where this series was going and I loved it! It made me want to dive right into the next book!

Angie Elle: I love the scene where Kate is sitting on her porch imbibing after essentially botching the case. There was just something so human about her in that moment, and that’s one of my very favorite things about Kate. She may be a badass, but the woman is so honest with herself, and she has a lot of insecurities. But she does a fantastic job of keeping those to herself when it comes to the outside world. Also, even while slightly intoxicated, the woman can snap right into badass-mode!

Birdie Bookworm: For sure. I also thought it showed how human she was that the Pack’s anger with her bothered her. She didn’t like thinking she’d let them down.

Popular opinion is that Magic Bites is the weakest of the Kate Daniels books.  Was your reread more enjoyable than your first read, the same, or worse?

Birdie Bookworm – I DNFed Magic Bites the first time I read it. I didn’t get far, only about a chapter, but the info dump was rough. The second time I enjoyed it, from beginning to end.

Angie Elle: I can’t remember how I felt the first time, but I didn’t feel like this book was a huge info dump. In fact, there were parts I thought were slow to start, and that’s why it was hard for me to stay glued to it the first time I read it. But I remember I really liked it when I was finished. I thought it was a solid start to the series, and it gave us a good foundation for what was to come…ten minutes later…so I went and checked out my review of the first book, and I did find it info-dumpy the first time around. One of the reasons I listed was that I was overwhelmed by the amount of characters I was being introduced to. Now having the nine books under my belt, that apparently isn’t a problem!

Birdie Bookworm: I think that was part of my problem the first time too. There was a lot of information and characters thrown at you in the first book, with the introduction of the different factions (shifters, necromancers, vampires, etc). I remember it feeling a little overwhelming, but I also remember liking it when I did finish the first book. Going back for a reread, you’re right, you definitely don’t have that problem. We already know and understand this world.

Was there anything you picked up on this second read that surprised you, or that you didn’t remember the first time?

Birdie Bookworm – Oh man, I remembered Greg soooo different than how he was described!  For some reason I was remembering him as run down and tired, haggard.  I think maybe because on my first read I focused on how he was sad, but I completely ignored that he was beautiful and that young Kate had had a crush on him.  I was thrown for a loop for a second.

Angie Elle: There were a lot of things. The battle at the end, for instance, was so epic in my head. And while it was a well-written, action packed battle, I wouldn’t necessarily call it epic. Mostly, I was surprised at what scenes weren’t in the book. I read the entire series back to back to back, and I had mixed different scenes and characters into what I thought this book was.

The end of this book set us up for the second, but not in a cliffhanger-y way. Were you left wanting more at the end of Magic Bites?

Angie Elle: Yes! Kate’s character was so endearing, and that, coupled with pack politics made it certain I’d be back for more.

Birdie Bookworm: Yes yes yes!  It was really hard to not just move right into the second book.  It wasn’t about a cliffhanger, it was more about the dynamics between the characters and particularly the early dynamics between Kate and Curran.  And even Kate and Derek.  I love their bond.  I just know I wasn’t ready to leave that world, and I still can’t wait to get back there.

There you have it. Birdie and I have spilled the beans on what we thought of the first book in the Kate Daniels series. We would love to hear your thoughts, too, or if you haven’t read it, if you plan to!

| Kate Daniels Series |

| Coming Soon! |
*discussion date tba

| Discussion Schedule |

10 thoughts on “Discussion Post | Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Add yours

  1. Great post you gals have here!!I really loved this series but the first couple books I wasn’t a HUGE fan of, but I had heard so many great things about the series I just had to give it a chance. I am so glad I did though, because Curran and Kate are one of my favorite couples.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can’t even really remember the villain in this one. I will have to reread this series again sometime so I can pick up on all the little things I missed.

    Like

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