Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Double Review: Magic Burns & Magic Strikes by Illona Andrews



The Story (Taken from Goodreads):
Magic Burns                 Magic Strikes

My Thoughts: 
I read both these books back to back and in very short order so I'm being a bit cheeky and reviewing them together. It's difficult not to write an insanely gushing review whilst in the midst of some crazy book love but I'll try and stick to my blogoratic oath (patent pending on this term. Hahahaha) <--- Yes, sometimes I like to amuse myself. 
      The world building has gotten much better as the series has progressed. I thought the explanations of the magic/tech shifts and the different factions in new Atlanta were well done in the first book, but everything really came together in these next two installments.
      Plot wise, these books are non stop action, with Kate going from one life threatening situation to another. This is real urban fantasy and not just Harlequin romance in disguise. Speaking of romance, have I told you lately how much I adore Kate and Curran? I just can't gush enough about how funny, sarcastic and quick Kate is. She's vulnerable in an 'I've had a really horrible past,' kinda way but you'd never know it unless you really knew her well. She's tough as nails but she also cares about people. By and large, I think if I had to put her in a list of favourite heroines, she'd probably come out on top. I probably shouldn't talk about Curran because I don't want this blog to turn into a Harlequin romance. Let's just say that I usually get so annoyed with slow romances but I've been converted.
       My only criticism with these books is that there's not really much consistency in terms of magical/shapeshifter power supply. One minute someone is described as being super dooper strong and kick butt and then next, Kate is able to wind them with one single kick. On the one hand, Curran is able to tear someone's head off with his bare hands and yet, he and Kate seems pretty evenly matched despite him being a hell of a lot bigger and stronger and supposedly faster. It's a little hard to believe is all I'm saying. 
       Overall though, I am 100% on board with the Kate Daniels series and I can't wait to read the rest.


My Thoughts:
10/10 for both!

20 comments:

  1. Great double review! I love that these books are actual UF and are not PR in disguise. That's the most important thing here. Seriously, where are the books like this that star the female heroines? Hardly any star males, even. Real UF is all I ask for.

    Lol at the part where you mention the power inconsistencies. Now I know you have to be right about them being truely urban fantasy because that's so normal in UF. It's always inconsistent because you have to make it work in the story, as an author, so you fudge a little (or a lot). It's a cute little imperfection I love to laugh at, because the story is only awesome if you can laugh at something it does that is sort of ridiculous.

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    1. I find that aspect really confusing. It's like there are random power shifts all the time and someone is strong one minute and weak the next. It doesn't take anything away from the story telling though, so I'm happy with that. I think you're going to enjoy Kate. And Curran is so not the typical hero. Hurry up and read it!!

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  2. And this is why I NEED to read the first book already. I am definitely reading it this year. I am craving some paranormal romance/urban fantasy like whoa and Lan, I LOVE the way you talk about these books. Really gets my interest up!

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    1. Molli, you're not going to be sorry once you pick this series up. I am completely hooked. Just remember I saw Curran first!

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  3. I love this series so much!!! I am so excited about Andrea's book. Great review.

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    1. Yay! Another Kate Daniels lover. Aren't they just awesome. I didn't know there was going to be a book about Andrea! I hope I like it.

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  4. Mwaha! Blogoratic Oath! I LOVE IT XD
    OK, seriously. I thought the world building in BB was extraordinary, but it gets even better? I'd love more explanation, anyway. I thought it was amazing, but murky and confusing liek the world... can't wait for more.

    And "This is real urban fantasy and not just Harlequin romance in disguise."

    YES! THIS! EXACTLY! It has a genuine fantasy feel. I mean, don't get my wrong. I LVOE my harlequin PNR, but this is NOT. It's pure UF.

    I can't WAIT to get to these two! I've still only read MB, but I have the next 4 waiting at home. Need more hours in the day :S

    Lan, this was an AMAZING review! Thank you! ♥

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    1. The world building in these books are out on control. What's even better is that it's so clear the authors have done their homework. Makes me feel like this story could almost be true. I hear you about needing more hours in the day. Pick a time when you're not too busy to start reading because once you start you won't be able to stop!!

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  5. 10 out of 10??? Oh my gosh, Lan, seeing you rate that is reminding me that I'm probably a little insane for never starting this series before! The way you gush about Kate & Curran, the way you describe the characters, and the way you just overall recommend this series... They make me super anxious for my aunt to lend me her copies! I can hardly wait! :)

    An absolutely amazing review, Lan! If you're 100% on board with ANY series, then want to be 100% on board with it too! I have a feeling I'm going to love this series! <3 ;)

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    1. Mimi, I love that you're so enthusiastic. This one is not YA so I hope you really do like it. There's a fair bit of swearing and some adult content but you're a very mature teen so I think you can handle it. Your faith in my good taste is so nice. I just hope it's not misguided!

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  6. I have a long weekend coming up and I'm going to use it to FINALLY finish Magic Bites. Because your reviews make me want to get going on this series!

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    1. Yes! Another convert through not so subliminal peer pressure. Can't wait to see what you think Karen!

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  7. I NEED to read these! I'm sure I'll like them even if they're not very believable.

    BTW, One of those lovely little tag things is going around again so I tagged you. Sorry. I did try to come up with some fun questions for you. Check out my blog.

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    1. Jenny, I so want to know what you make of these books. If you enjoy them, I'll know that my fangirl love is justified.

      Thanks for the tag. Good to know that someone is reading my random blog :)

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  8. Hehe. Double review? Nice job Lan! (and I'm stealing that word. Patent or no patent! haha)

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    1. Oi! Is there no integrity anymore? I said patent pending!!!!

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  9. I am still suffering in Kate Daniels and Curran book withdrawal. I almost hate the series now because it knocked me over the head so hard and its made me very grumpy. In the past week since finishing the series, I have devoured ten other books hoping to find something 'just like Kate Daniels'....ha.

    Really enjoyed the series. Wish another book would hurry up.

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    1. I am so right there with you! Haven't even bothered trying to read much else. I'm putting off reading the latest book because I don't want it to end. I keep trying to think up some ideas but they require too much research and I am super lazy. Maybe we can start up a petition and bug the authors until they produce another book ASAP.

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  10. Love the double-review! You're completely right about the power imbalance, but I'm so completely fangirl over these stories that I just chalk it up to Kate's magic giving her extra ass-kicking strength and go merrily on my way. LOL

    I love how involving the world is. Quirky, but so unreal that it becomes believable...does that make sense at all?

    Enjoy the rest of the series! I wish I could go back and read them for the first time again. *sigh*

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  11. The highlights of MAGIC BURNS are definitely the increased personal interactions between Kate and the various people and creatures who've come into her life. The growing attachment between Kate and Julie (the young girl in her care) develops quickly and the protective stance Kate takes throughout the course of the book is quite touching . Equally compelling is the more slowly developing connection between Curran, the Pack alpha, and Kate. Despite their mutual attempts to avoid each other. The reader gains several insights into these two almost painfully private people and the ending promises more good things to come. In fact, these quiet character-driven scenes were so interesting that I wished there were just a few more. The plentiful action and fighting sequences seem to always take center stage and, though we do get a little more information on Kate's background, it is a very little, and I am (of course) anxious for more.

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