Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1)

Magic Bites -  Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels is a mercenary. A sword for hire ready to kill, find or save whatever people pay her to in a world that has gone mad.And it well and truly has. After centuries of technological domination, magic swept in on a wave of destruction. Technology failed, skyscrapers collapsed and now the world lies in flux between them – when magic fails the tech works and spells fade – then the magic rolls in spells surge – and technology ceases to work. In among that, lycanthropes, vampire-piloting necromancers and so much more vie for power in a world that is still finding its feet.And in among all this, Kate's guardian, the closest thing she has to family left living, is brutally murdered. Having to step into the light, deal with people far further at the food chain than she ever wanted to work with all while trying to keep her family secret hidden, she has to find the killer – and avenger her loss.The most powerful and amazing thing about this book is the world. The world is huge, deep and, perhaps most surprisingly, pretty original. We have werewolves, vampires, necromancers, magic users, psychics and fluctuating magic and technology in a new and different setting. In a genre where we often feel like we're walking the same paths, this book brought a lot of new concepts and new versions of old themes. And I loved it. There's so much there that is new and it's so broad and deep that it's impossible to grasp this world in one book – or anything less than a huge series.Perhaps even better, the author doesn't try. To me she had that perfect balance of good world building – she has a huge world but doesn't info-dump us. We don't get long lectures, we don't get endless campfire discussions, we don't have a learned mentors rambling on to apprentices and we don't get the characters sitting around engaging in long, convoluted mental monologues to explain the world to us. No, they discuss and think about the world when it is relevant to do so. They give me enough information to intrigue me, make me curious, want to know more, but not enough to inundate me or break the flow of the story.Read more