varjohaltia: (Fitengli)
[personal profile] varjohaltia
A good while back I read the first book, Magic Bites in Andrews's Kate Daniels series of Magic verb books. I was not too overly impressed, it seemed like just another one of the endless stream of paranormal romance novels flooding the market. However, some friends recently strongly suggested I give the series another try, so I did.

The second book in the series, Magic Burns is better, and I enjoyed it a fair bit. It still has a lot of the tropes of the genre and a fair bit of convenient coincidences, and frankly the plot was like something out of a SyFy movie — but for some reason it just worked for me. Perhaps I was in a more receptive mood, perhaps I don't remember the first book as well, but I'd say that Ms. Andrews has clearly improved as a writer between the first and second installments.

The setting is an alternate near future; magic has returned to earth, and magical creatures have reawakened. In some ways the semi-post-apocalyptic setting reminds me of Kim Harrison's Hollows series, and having a magic-user protagonist only adds to the comparison. Harrison has better secondary characters, but Andrews's protagonist doesn't constantly elicit the urge to yell at her.

As to the plot, the stakes are high, the action is constant, and overall the read was a good romp that was more enjoyable than it really should've been. I'll likely keep following the series.

Three and a half.

Date: 2014-10-23 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hamsterwoman.livejournal.com
This series keeps reminding me of the Hollows, too, but, yeah, I also find Kate a lot less grating than Rachel. I looked back over the write-ups I made for these books (I read the whole series, except for the last book that just came out, earlier this year), and looks like I liked #2 a lot more than #1 also, as Kate starts letting go of her "lone wolf" schtick, and started enjoying the series significantly more with #3. They did start getting repetitive for me after book five or so, but there was enough neat stuff going on to keep me reading anyway. But, yeah, plot illogic continues to be a problem, and that kept bugging me.

Date: 2014-10-23 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] varjohaltia.livejournal.com
That's good to hear, I'll go ahead and pick up the third book sooner rather than later, then. I'm a bit nervous about the love interests in this series and how ham-fisted those become, but it doesn't appear to be the main focus, which is fine. Not that I won't read a romance, but after two dozen paranormal romances the tropes get mighty old, especially if I just wanted some decent (alternate)reality with magic mixed in.

Date: 2014-10-23 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hamsterwoman.livejournal.com
Yeah, the romance aspect never really gelled for me with this one, not least because I picked it up after mainlining the Mercy Thompson books, and there's only so much alpha were-whatever courtship tropes I can stomach. (And I actually kind of like Curran as a character; I just find him utterly, utterly boring as a love interest.) These books are pretty romance heavy for an urban fantasy, but there's enough other things going on, action and humour, that I was fine with it even though the romance wasn't working for me.

Date: 2014-10-23 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] haikujaguar.livejournal.com
This is why I gave up on most urban fantasy. Ugh, the constant werewolf politic romances. *rubs head*

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