Title: Magic Burns
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Romance/ Adventure
Publication date: 2008
Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…
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 every 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 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…
I can’t say I am surprised that I finished the second book about Kate Daniels in a single week. Ilona Andrew‘s series is one heck of a page-turner and it simply doesn’t let you sit around, ignoring it. Magic Burns is the second book and what any one of you would need to get hooked up on the series (if the first book didn’t seal the deal already).
In the center of the story is our beloved, foul-mouthed, quick-thinking Kate Daniels, a merc with a dark secret and soft spots for orphans. In this installment Kate has her hands full – she is hired by the Pack to retrieve stolen maps (three times!), Red (a street kid who helped her with Derek in the previous book) decides to collect on the favor she owes him and asks her to look after Julie (his thirteen-year-old girlfriend); on top of all the world is about to experience a flare – an occurrence that happens every sever years where the magic energy grows exponentially and becomes highly unstable – causing unexpected problems all around.
Trying to keep Julie safe and keep herself out of trouble, Kate is determined to find the girl’s mother who had disappeared along her fellow witches (they were in a coven) while summoning a dark deity and being majorly stupid. The whole ordeal spirals out of control as this deity manifest in a solid form in the world, ready to kill anything in its path and unleash an army of undead mermaids(Kate’s words, not mine 😀 ). And the only thing standing between them and defenseless Atlanta is Kate Daniels and the Pack. What more do you need to keep you till the middle of the night turning page after page (or swapping page after page)?
If I have to be honest I had hoped that the world would start making more sense, things would be explained better as the story went but that was not the case. Especially with that flare that makes things even more erratic. You just kind of get used to it and start focusing on the characters, the action, the anticipation of any future scenes between Kate and Curran 😀
I hate to be ‘that girl’ that swoons over the strong, handsome, arrogant alpha but gods, I can’t help it. My knees turn jelly almost every time I read a scene with him. The moment with the bow panties was hilarious but what got my stomach fluttering was the scene in the hyenas house where Aunt B. explained the significance of food (don’t worry, you’ll get it once you read the book if you have not done it already 😀 ) It was so cute and it made the epilogue so adorable and breath-taking that I can’t wait to grab on the next book 😀
The sexy, kind-of-romantic-kind-of-disturbing love element aside, I love how independent and focused Kate is. Even though she clearly has feelings for Curran (and not just sexual no matter what she says) and she realizes he is ‘courting her’ she remains focused on what is really important – her life, her job, her responsibilities. Throughout the book she is focused on keeping Julie’s safe, finding Julie’s mother, stopping a murderous deity from destroying the city… she is not love-struck or distracted or anything like this. She holds her own, she is her own person.
Maybe this is because she has been told again and again by her father and her Guardian that she can’t have it any other way – she can only count on herself, look for herself, be by herself. But still, it’s kind of why I like her character so much. Most of the characters I’ve read about, once the love interest is in the picture, lose their head in more ways than one. A woman doesn’t need a man to give her meaning in life! 😀 But I would be lying if I say I don’t want to see Curran delivering on his threats or that I am not curious if he is all bark, no bite (I doubt that somehow).
I loved this book and where it is taking us and I am now ready to learn more about Kate’s heritage and what it will mean for the story. Is she supposed to kill the one that sired her? Join him? I don’t know but the fact that I can’t wait to find out is a great testimony for Ilona Andrews‘ abilities to make me care about the character and the story. I was hooked on the first book, of course, but with this one I more or less sealed the deal that the other books would be read shortly stealing my sleep and whatever free time I think I have (but don’t).
I would give Magic Burns solid 4/5 for making me so immersed in the story and itching to open the next book. I hope the world starts making more sense or we get to see Curran more and I’m sure the rating will jump a notch.
What about you? What rating would you give? What are your thoughts and takes on Magic Burns?