Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1)

Magic Bites -  Ilona Andrews It’s odd to read a book expecting to dislike it. But such was the case with Magic Bites, the first installment in a reportedly fantastic Urban Fantasy series. Ever since I inhaled the Fever series by [a:Karen Marie Moning|48206|Karen Marie Moning|] in a week last summer, I’ve been searching for a new Urban Fantasy obsession. Although it’s not a normal genre for me, when it’s good, it’s good. And apparently, once you reach the third book in this series, it’s good. Magic Bites, however? Not good nor even good. It’s pretty bad. But I hope it’s bad in a way that doesn’t bode poorly for the rest of the series. My concerns:1. snappy dialogue: Kate appears to follow in the tradition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She is always ready for danger, armed with both a sword and a comeback. The comebacks were grating. They are laughable but they don’t make me laugh, if you can discern the distinction. I think they were supposed to show that Kate is spunky, a tough girl who doesn’t put up with crap. But I don’t think most tough girls would react with dialogue seemingly written by a low-level sitcom writer.2. lack of overarching plot: I’ve realized that my obsession with the Fever Series derived from its careful plotting. Each book built off the previous book so that by the time we reached the final book, I probably ripped some pages as I tore through it, desperate to solve long developed mysteries. Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be a long-term game at play here.3. overly descriptive writing: I don’t read Urban Fantasy for writing. I just don’t. As long as the prose is readable, it’s fine with me. As I said before, I’m here for crazy plots and interesting characters. The writing isn’t bad here. Ironically, the problem is that the writing tries to be good. Scenes are bogged down by long sentences describing the scenery of the room. No no no. I just want the action please! It’s the same annoyance I’d feel if the director of a straight-up action movie paused for a contemplative, minute long shot of the landscape. My bright spots:1. Kate/Curran relationship: if you remove the yucky comebacks, the conversational combat between these two characters is promising. They are both strong personalities and I predict the clashes between them as they get to know each other more will be awesomely explosive.2. Supernatural world of Atlanta: I’m into the mythology of the series. Basically, sometimes the world runs on technology, other times it runs on magic. During those magical times, bad stuff tends to happen, bad stuff Kate needs to clean up. Even the supernatural creatures are seemingly scientific—there are shapeshifters who become that way by contracting the Lycanthropic Virus. Forward, to book two, Magic Burns, hoping my bright spots grow brighter and my concerns fade to obscurity!