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 ever 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 is at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive ...
Several months after the events in MAGIC BITES, Kate is working both as a liaison for the Order and as a mercenary for the Guild. The dual role has advantages such as a more regular income and disadvantages, the biggest being that it increases the size of the problems she has to deal with. When the Pack, Atlanta’s biggest group of shapeshifters, asks for her help when someone steals its maps of the city, Kate finds herself pitched in a battle between two gods seeking rebirth into the mortal world.
Seeing to protect a young girl called Julie whose mother is somehow involved in the war, Kate’s investigations bring her into contact with witches, malevolent sea demons and most dangerous of all: Curran, the Pack’s leader who is showing a disturbing interest in Kate ...
Ilona Andrews has created a fast-paced, well plotted sequel to her hugely enjoyable MAGIC BITES, which I very much enjoyed. Although Kate is an impetuous heroine – a little too fast to react when she should think through the consequences of her actions - but she is aware of her faults and there are hints of an intriguing back-story that explains why she has such huge power, which I look forward to seeing developed further. I never quite bought her ignorance of Pack custom and how it demonstrates Curran’s feelings towards her, the romance between her and Curran is a slow burner and all the better for it and while Curran does border on being an arrogant, obnoxious jerk, Kate does largely hold her own with him, pushing his buttons as much as he pushes hers.
The story itself is surprisingly complicated for such a short book, with Andrews packing in lots of twists and fights. I liked that she reintroduced some characters from the first novel – notably Red, who does not develop in the way you’d expect. At times there is a risk of the events spinning out of Andrews’ control, but she pulls it back and keeps the central thread going. I also continued to enjoy the imaginative world building, particularly the split between tech and magic, which rolls throughout the city.
All in all, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.
An entertaining, plot-riddled, fast-paced sequel to MAGIC BITES, this fantasy was a lot of fun from beginning to end and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Cross-posted to books, bookworming, fantasywithbite and urbanfantasyfan.