This week I’ve been re-reading Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, the first of the Kate Daniels series of Urban Fantasy novels published by Ace Books. I absolutely love this series, it’s really great, gritty, funny Urban Fantasy at its best. There’s no sappy romance stealing the show, yet the main character, Kate, is still full of sassy sex appeal. There are vampires galore, but they are a very different kind to those normally found in vampels and I relish the difference. It’s so refreshing to have a change.
What’s so different about these vamps? Well, they’re scary as hell but are pretty much entirely controlled by humans. In Magic Bites, Kate is investigating the death of her guardian which lands her slap bang in the middle of two factions, the Pack (werewolves) and the People. The People are responsible for the vampire element in the novel (and the rest of the series) yet they’re not vampires themselves. They’re humans, with necromantic magic, that allows them to revive and control the dead – vampires.
In Kate’s world – a fabulously reimagined Atlanta – Vamps are ‘piloted’ by human sorcerers, who see through their eyes and act through them, all the while remaining (relatively) safe from harm.
This is a seriously interesting take on the vampire myth, as it renders the species rather impotent despite the fact they retain their powers, ferocity, and terrifying nature.
Magic Bites is a great outing in Urban Fantasy, and a definite must-read for anyone looking for a new take on the old vampire myth. It’s choc full of magic, mayhem, vamps, werewolves and mystery, and its exquisitely written with the perfect balance of humour, cynicism, and darkness.
Great read, highly recommended.
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