Friday, May 02, 2008

Review: _Magic Burns_ by Ilona Andrews

Books in the subgenre of Urban Fantasy are popular among many readers today, especially Fantasy. Many of these books have strong women characters that hook readers into the books. Kate Daniels returns for more adventures in the second book Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews. The book is a gritty, entertaining read because of its twisted setting, intense characters and fast paced plot.

The twisted setting of Atlanta, Georgia hooks readers into the story quickly. Magic returned to the world in a tidal flow several years before. The magic warped Atlanta into a weird place. Skyscrapers collapsed. There is a giant canyon full of twisted metal running through part of the city. Vampires and shapeshifters vie for prominence while humans must deal with the changes magic brings by forming an Order of Knights and Guild of Mercenaries to stop the more vicious magical manifestations. Ms. Andrews creates a vivid setting that keeps the story dark and entertaining.

Next, the intense characters keeps the book entertaining. Kate Daniels is a tough woman mercenary with secrets and problems. She possesses a secret magic that requires her to keep every trace of her blood from being collected by anyone. Desperately lonely, Kate struggles with having close relationships because people she loves usually end up dead. Curran is the fierce leader of the Pack, a group of various shapeshifters. He is attracted to Kate but puts her off with his arrogance and bossiness. They make a volatile couple as they deal with other characters throughout the book. Ms. Andrews keeps the characters interesting through a first person point of view narrative and snappy dialogue.

Ultimately, the main element that keeps the book entertaining is a fast paced plot. The story begins with Kate going out on a job to keep a maniac from burning Atlanta down with a fire salamander. She stumbles into a mystery of a missing witche’s coven when she saves a young girl named Julie from some nasty sea demons. Magic is building up to a flare, which will lead to some Celtic gods manifesting and destroying the city. Kate must deal with Curran, vampires and a flirty archer as the book builds to a spectacular conclusion. The author keeps the plot going with plenty of action until the end.

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews is an excellent second book of a series. An interesting setting, intense characters and fast paced plot makes the book a gritty, entertaining read for fans of Urban Fantasy. Kate Daniels is a tough woman character with vulnerability that makes her likable. Readers will enjoy this book along with the first one, Magic Bites. Hopefully there will be a third or more books in the series in the future. Can’t wait.

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