Why did I get it: I was told that the series gets better as it goes on by several awesome bloggers on Twitter, and after reading this book? I’m inclined to believe that it does. It also counts towards my Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge for 2011.
How I would rate it: 4 out of 5 stars.
As a mercenary who cleans up after magic goes wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale; a divine one.
When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…
Review: Most of what I said about Magic Bites still applies, but this time around I actually enjoyed the reading experience and started liking Kate. Because of that, I definitely feel confident in giving this book 4 stars.
The world Andrews presents is just so complex and this time I felt that I was able to have a better time exploring it because Kate was no longer getting in the way but acting more as a tour guide. I really liked the Welsh mythology, the werehyenas, the insight into Pack mentality, more info on the People/vampire controllers, the idea of the reavers, the way magic continues to change Atlanta, and really everything else. There was also a lot more humor in this second book, which I definitely appreciated.
Kate is not without incredibly irritating behavioral problems, but this book showed her caring about people besides herself and revealed more about why she does what she does. I loved watching her begin to really struggle to overcome what she is and all the secrets she continues to keep from everyone else. She also worked to help a younger girl named Julie and that brought up some of her own issues related to her upbringing. I really enjoyed that and watching her begin to develop real connections and actual friendships.
I hope the build towards Kate and Curran’s relationship continues to take a long time because I can’t see them working out until another book or two has gone by, but I didn’t find their dynamic as cringe-worthy as I did in Magic Bites. In Magic Burns, it was easier to see how they’re drawn to one another or that they could actually really compliment the other if they can ever find ways to stop lashing out and be vulnerable. Besides, Kate is beginning to see that being horrible and fighting before trying to build up alliances isn’t going to help.
In conclusion, very good. I can’t say I completely love with the main character of this series because I still have some slight reservations,* but if this book is any indication of things to come I’m sure I’ll love her eventually.
* I’ve been burnt by this type of character before, but at least its not as obnoxious an archetype as whatever the heck Temperence Brennan is.