Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

[SIDE RANT unrelated to the book]

This book was pre-ordered by me months ahead of it's release, and damn you Barnes and Noble – you put the book in the store at least a week ahead (I saw it there, but I had pre-ordered and it's the principle of the thing), and then you mailed it out the day of the release so of course I'm irritated I get it 4 days after it came out. [A bunch of bad words] on a stick. But I'll still use B&N because I have gift cards left over from Christmas. Yes, I know, this is useless anger that will go no where. But I know Amazon sends things out earlier. I might start just pre-ordering from them and buying from B&N at the store, not online and now I'm posting about it in a blog for others to read and perhaps follow my example. So there.

Even though I know of one instance were Amazon was very late in sending out a CD someone preordered. So late that it was already out in stores and 2 weeks later Amazon sent it.

.. Ug.

I'm almost tempted to not even preorder, but then I might forget to get the book on the release week and I'd like to support authors I like by pre-ordering and helping any bestseller status (Magic Burns – #32 on the NY Times list by the way). I hate when authors I like just sort of disappear into the ether from lack of notice.


Magic Burns is book two in the series which started with Magic Bites. Kate Daniels lives in the outskirts of a futuristic Atlanta where where both magic and technology exist in "waves" (one crests, another falls, everyone goes on with their lives, but magic seems to be winning). She is a mercenary with some magic skills, rather a rule breaker and impulsive. She is loathe to join the Order (sort of a magic police) – their rules and code are too stiffling for her, but In Magic Bites, her guardian Greg is murdered. Kate decides to find the killer so she joins the Order, and shakes up everyone she can in order make the killer so mad that they reveal themselves. She runs into some powerful people like the necromancer puppetiers that control vampires, and the Pack of shapeshifters (and annoys them all). She is smart and she's strong and she's very interesting, but subtle she is not. In both books Kate runs her mouth in situations and had me bemusedly shaking my head as she got into trouble with Curran, Lord of Beasts. There is clearly going to be something going on here but it will be over several books, like the treatment of the romance we see in Patricia Briggs' Mercy series (it's a draw but definitely not the major focus). We also get a glimpse that Kate has to hide what she is from people and that she has a long term agenda that has roots in her past. Both books also have an array of very interesting secondary characters with their own agendas and motivations. There's the necromancer with his tight control over his vampires, the man who can shapeshift into any person he wants, the young lyanthrope, and then there is of course the whole weirdness that is the setting. Atlanta is barely recognizable but it is there under the rubble and magic.

Magic Bites starts off with Kate doing a mercenary job with her partner Jim when someone kills their bounty. In trying to find out who that was Kate stumbles into some odd goings on in the Honeycomb section of Atlanta, something that involves Celtic deities and a coven of missing witches. She ends up protecting a young teen whose mother belonged to that coven and as usual with Kate, nothing is easy. There is also a little bit of development in the relationship between Kate and Curran, though it is more like a cat stalking its prey than the usual romance.

Honestly, I love this series. The best books are the ones where there are parts you find yourself flipping back to so you can reread them. I reread certain sections several times. I also like that it's complicated. You don't really guess what's going to happen and who is going to do what. Well you might guess one or two minor things but not everything. The only disappointment I had was just that one of the characters in Magic Burns revealed themselves to be less than I expected. I was hoping they would turn out better than who they ended up being 

Spoilerish: (I'm taking about Red)

. But that's not negative. That's me getting involved.

Magic Bites was one of my favorite reads last year and I loved Magic Burns just as much.

I asked on the RT Ask the Author board for Ilona Andrews about how many books were planned. The answer was "Honestly, it depends on the sales. If people keep liking it, we will keep writing them. But if the sales can't support the series and publisher decides to wrap it up, there isn't much we can do about it. At this point the plan is five." – FIVE!!  I like that number. At least three more to look forward to. Book three is I think called Midnight Games and is supposed to come out sometime in 2009. There was also talk of spinoff books based on characters in this series. I would love this, and prefer it over trying to keep Kate as the main focus after several books.

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