Audiobook Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Posted September 25, 2013 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 19 Comments

Audiobook Review: Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsMagic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Narrator: Renée Raudman
Published by Tantor Audio on May 27, 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Length: 9 hours 6 minutes
Source: Library

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic… One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…(less)


I’d heard so many positives about this series I was worried my expectations were too high and it would be a letdown. By the end of the book, that feeling wasn’t anywhere near my emotional state.

Rather than talk about the details of the story, I’m focusing on the essence of it and certain elements that make this a standout book and series start. I’ll begin with the series namesake, Kate Daniels. She’s formidable as most UF heroines tend to be but in a very practical sense. Kate dresses for the part and you won’t find her in leathers or stiletto-heeled boots. Everything about her is calculated for success in life-threatening situations. She’s vulnerable, a bit cocky but not overly so. And, she’s still at a place where there’s more for her to learn about her skills. There’s mystery about her and we know just enough to want to discover more.

Then there’s this fantastic world that Andrews has created. Some of the beings and species introduced here are unique, at least foreign to me. The dystopian environment complicates matters and I’m still waiting to learn how Atlanta (and I assume the rest of the world) came to be this new order where magic and technology have this odd coexistence. I’ve also had to abandon my romanticism about vampires.

Then there’s the infamous Curran, the Beast Lord. You know he’s nothing to mess with but we are only treated to glimpses of his awesomeness. The interplay between Kate and Curran is akin to foreplay right now with just the right level of irreverence on both sides. You just know it’s going to be really good but we’ll have to wait awhile.

The narrator did a fantastic job of telling the story and giving voice to Kate. I’m not too crazy about her interpretation of Curran, though. Makes him sound old.

I’m excited about continuing this series and thrilled that all the hoopla about it wasn’t overblown. What held me back from giving it an A+ is the density of world building that almost, but not quite, overwhelmed me. The action is intense and sometimes brutal, the secondary characters even more intriguing. I’m SO glad I’ve got this whole series ahead of me in this format as it’s going to be a really interesting journey.


About Renée Raudman

Renée Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. A multiple Audie Award nominee, she has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber’s Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC’s One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC’s Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy & Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn’s Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009.

About Ilona Andrews

“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

They have co-authored two NYT and USAT bestselling series, the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge and working on the next volumes for both.

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Co-Blogger/Full Time Reviewer at The Book Nympho
I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

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19 responses to “Audiobook Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

  1. Yayyyyyy!!!! I’m so glad you liked it. I read all the books back before I got into my audiobook craze and liked them a lot, but when i listened to the sudiobook audiobooks a year later for the whole series I was completely and utterly in love with the entire series. So glad you thought it lived up to the hype. Be forwarned, I have heard that Magic Slays is most people’s last favorite book of the series, so dont let that deter you from the series, it picks back up in the next one, Magic Rises

  2. I’ve only read Magic Bites in the Kate Daniels series so far, but like you I was intrigued by the world building! I’m really looking forward to see more of that in the next books.

  3. Oh yay! I’m planning on listening to this one next month (finally!) and I’m thrilled to see that you think it lived up to all the hype. I always get nervous when I start a book/series with a lot of hype – it raises my expectations and sometimes I think sets the book up to disappoint. Kate sounds like an awesome character, the world got my attention right from the blurb (magic vs technology- brilliant!) and I love love the way you described the sexual tension. I’m getting really excited to start this one. Great review!

  4. TheBookNympho

    I remember Magic Bites being the hardest book of the series to get into because of the world building but it’s all GOLDEN after this one.

  5. I love this series. The books get better as you go get deeper into the story. I agree the narration is wonderful. I don’t think it is in my top five, but it is definitely in my top ten. I’m really glad you’re enjoying this series. Can’t wait to hear what you think about future books in the series.