After I finished the first book of Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series I was seriously worried that we were headed down the path to another of the too-powerful-to-be-believable heroines. The characters were interesting and Ms Andrews’ idea for bringing magic and technology together was good, but I seriously wondered if our heroine was going to be another Anita Blake who develops new powers every other page.
But, Ilona Andrews gets a big thumb up for letting her heroine get her butt royally kicked several times in Magic Burns. She’s still a really bratty, smart-mouthed girl who happens to be really, really powerful in magic and other things. But, here’s the great part: there is a good explanation for a lot of it. She doesn’t just magically have powers — she has been to schools and she studies on her own to get better. What? A heroine who works at it?? Thank you, Ms. Andrews, for writing with your brain intact.
Magic Burns starts up pretty much were the first book left off. Kate, our heroine, is still struggling financially, has a hard time keeping a boyfriend, and doesn’t play nice with others. Her interactions with other paranormal groups continue and she keeps trying to do good while staying as sassy and likeable as before.
The storyline follows Kate through the advent of a major surge/spike in magic and the interactions of several different groups who are being affected. The Beastlord who she flirted/fought with during Magic Bites remains a strong supporting character, but Ilona Andrews doesn’t just throw them together for the almost mandatory sex scenes that these books too often include without reason. Again, nice job Ms. Andrews.