Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Atlanta would be a nice place to life, if it weren't for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose.

Kate Daniels works for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, officially, as a liaison with the mercenary guild. Unofficially, she cleans up the paranormal problems no one else wants to handle- especially if they involve Atlanta's shapeshifting community.

When she's called in to investigate a fight at the Steel Horse, a bar on the border between the territories of the shapeshifters and the necromancers, Kate quickly discovers there's a new player in town. One who's been around for thousands of years- and rode to war at the side of Kate's father.

This book was fantastic and more than surpassed my expectations for the latest in this series. The husband and wife team that is Ilona Andrews do an incredible job writing the kind of urban fantasies that pretty much impossible to set down. I know it sound ridiculous, but seriously - the books in these series consistently have every element to make them both irresistible and memorable. First the world that they've created in alternate reality Atlanta is just so rich. The interaction of old and new, of technology and magic, just makes so much sense that it's hard for the reader to not see its authenticity. The rules for each character are well thought out and understandable, the clashes of culture that arise when different groups interact are never random; they all follow a strict code of guidelines, which lends even more credability to the plot.

But of course no series like this could be as incredible if the characters themselves didn't have the same kind of depth and personality to carry off the intricate environment. Kate and Curran are the kind of heroes that readers long for - they are not perfect. They work hard, they try their best, but bad things happen to them and they do bad things to other people. These are not the squeeky clean herose of myth and legend; the world Kate and Curran inhabit has very few easy answers, saving one often comes at the risk of many, and if anything does look easy it probably means that it's hard as hell. Around them are a cast of supporting characters with their own problems and passions, and I think Ilona Andrews has done a wonderful job at balancing the quandry of having enough characters that the two heros are pushed but not writing in so many that the reader gets lost.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up!! So freaking good I can't really contain myself. It's my favorite thing in the world to have a book I've been waiting so long for be this good, which I'm sure sounds like a cliche, but Magic Bleeds is THAT good!

Series - 1) Magic Bites 2) Magic Burns 3) Magic Strikes 4) Magic Bleeds