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Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2) by Ilona Andrews
Review by Beth Slater
Ace Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441015832
Date: 01 April 2008 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Atlanta may be a strange and magical place, but it is nothing like it used to be. Now, Kate Daniels anticipates the ebb and flow of the magical energy that shuts down technology like a switch -- everywhere. It's her job as a mercenary to clean up the mess after the magic, and now that it appears a flare is coming -- when the magic comes more often, stronger, and somewhat unchecked -- her work is cut out for her. On what is supposed to be an easy retrieval, she encounters a stray that she can't help but take in. This doesn't help her situation, because it seems that many of the higher magical powers converging during the flare want something powerful, and Kate is quickly narrowing it down to the stray she is trying to save. Can she save the world and get a decent meal before the next magic wave hits?

As usual, Kate jumps into a situation with both feet without knowing she's jumping. In this case, she's agreed to help the shapeshifters find their stolen maps, not realizing that in doing so she's tied their case to a young girl, Julie, whose mother is missing. Julie's mother is a witch who has disappeared into the chaos of the flare. Amidst this is a man with a crossbow who is able to disappear into the mist and reappear at will -- a talent no one has ever seen before. Not knowing who he works for, Kate assumes he is one of the usual bad guys and goes on her merry way until she realizes he is the thief. Picking and choosing her way carefully through the multitude of characters, Kate sifts through clues and centuries of mythology and fantasy and comes up with an incredible race for power and control not thought of before now.

Awesome is the word that comes to mind when I think of this work. I wish books in the series could be written faster. I love the character byplay, the humor, and the eclectic historical references. A lot of it is quite far-fetched but within the bounds of human nature. The tortoise is great -- I wish I could think of a better word, but nothing quite covers it. And the sexual tension Kate emits has me gritting my teeth. I definitely can't wait for the next book.

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