On one hand, Magic Bites was pretty much what I expected. Urban Fantasy with a strong female lead (this time a mostly stock standard human mercenary albeit with some sort of so far unspecified magical bloodline) finds some trouble, things go badly, things get better, lead saves the day.
On the other hand, Kate Daniels is a solid character to read. Despite not knowing whatever it is that gives her a bit of extra oomph, it doesn’t really matter. She has a cool sword, a lot of training, and can handle herself even in the presence of some big bads. That’s more than enough for me.
What really surprised me was the worldbuilding. A core concept of the world is that the magical world is out in the open. I haven’t really come across another urban fantasy that’s gone quite that far (Moon Called et al come close, but only the fae and eventually werewolves are ‘out’ there) and it’s well done. Magic is integrated into society and government in a way that feels real enough. What’s really neat though is that magic isn’t a constant. Magic and technology seem to ebb and flow in waves. Sometimes magic is low and technology is high–cars and guns reign supreme. And then sometimes magic runs hot. Traditional cars fail, people have to use horses to get around Atlanta, and all sorts of supernatural beasties come out to play.
Not going to lie. That’s pretty cool.
There’s also a pretty neat take on vampires which is a bit non-standard. In this world, they’re not formerly human predators, turned up to eleven, but formerly human monsters, with little intelligence of their own. Instead, they’re controlled by Necromancers. Neat trick that.
There are also a whole pile of shapeshifters all formed into a single Pack under the lead of a Werelion Curran.
“Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty…”
It works better than you might expect.
Overall, I had high hopes going into this book and while it’s rough in spots, it’s a fun read and I look forward to the rest of the series. Depending on how it goes, this may just join my relatively short list of series to re-read every couple years.