Magic Burns – Ilona Andrews

Book: Magic Burns (Book 2: Kate Daniels)
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
260 pages
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Kate Daniels is back in Magic Burns, the second installment of the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. This time around, the former Guild merc is now working for the Order and is confronted with magical beings from Welsh and Irish mythology. In this book, Kate Daniels sets out to retrieve some stolen maps for the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapeshifters when a young girl named Julie is sought by sea demons and Kate must intervene to keep her from being harmed. The story that unfolds is action packed and threatens the city of Atlanta with destruction.

I admit it. I am not a fan of the covers of these books. I would never have moved these books to the top of my TBR List if it weren’t for Chachic from Chachic’s Book Nook. Even after Magic Bites, I was disappointed with the cover of this second installment. I was even a little embarrassed to pull it out on the plane a few days ago when I was flying home from vacation. However, the book was so engrossing that I ended up not caring at the few looks people gave and just thought that they were likely missing out on this fantastic series if they decided to judge the book by its cover.

Kate Daniels continues to be awesome. She is a little more vulnerable in this book, but still in a very kick ass way. There are little snippets of her back story in Magic Burns that will hopefully be expounded upon in the next few books in the series. I want to see how this part of the story will play out in further books. Her character grew and developed quite a bit in this book so I have high hopes for seeing how she continues to deal with her past and her present in the upcoming books.

I really enjoyed the Celtic mythology in this book. It’s just a small snippet of information since the book is only 260 pages, but a little trip to Wikipedia helped familiarize me with the characters in this book. I would actually like to read some more on Celtic mythology now that I’ve finished it. Morrigan and Morfran are interesting mythological characters and since they aren’t the super popular Greek and Roman gods/goddesses, it helped give the book a freshness that I wasn’t expecting.

Curran, the leader of the Pack also returns in this second installment and the witty banter between him and Kate is everything that the first book had and more. I’m usually not much one for romance, but the snarky dialogue between them creates a lot of sexual tension that I actually enjoy. I would compare their relationship to Castle and Beckett from the TV show Castle. The tension is there and you end up rooting for them to go the romantic route.

There are so many likeable characters that bring humor to the different situations that happen that I found myself laughing out loud a few times. The book really had everything that you could look for in a fun Urban Fantasy read. There is action, good character development, a strong female lead that isn’t whiny, and interesting antagonists. My only complaint is the same from the first book. I really wanted more world building, but that might be because I typically read longer books that have tons of detail in them. Magic Burns just left me wanting to immediately crack open the third book in the series, Magic Strikes which I will mostly likely do right after I finish writing this review. Yes folks, the series is that fun! I love it!

*Notice of disclosure: I received this book for review from Penguin Books.

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