Kate Reads

Magic Burns -  Ilona Andrews I'm going to admit here that I didn't particularly like the first Kate Daniels book, and the only reason I continued to read the series is because I bought the first three and fifth books when Borders was going out of business.That out of the way though, I have to say that Magic Burns exceeded my expectations by quite a lot. After the first book, I came away with a feeling that I had just seen a play with cardboard cut outs, as opposed to real people. In my head, there was no inflection in the dialogue, no strong relationships developed, not much to keep me going through the book at a decent pace. It was short, which was it's saving grace- at least the author didn't drag out what I considered to not be an amazing plot anyway.The second book changed quite a bit. I found myself caring more about the characters, caring what happened and sat up until I finished it. There were a few unanswered questions which bugged me, but otherwise, I found this one quite enjoyable. In my opinion, you could probably even skip the first one and start right in on Magic Burns if you wanted, because there isn't too much you'd be missing. The relationships develop far more in books two, and pretty much everybody's role in book one can be explained in a sentence, and the author does a good job of not re-hashing too much, but explaining just enough so the reader isn't confused.I enjoyed the progression in Kate's and Curran's relationship probably the best of all. I liked the mixed messages he seemed to be sending her, and her confusion over it. It seemed very realistic and like feelings real people might actually have, which is something sometimes lacking in the urban fantasy genre. Just because the characters are "supernatural" doesn't mean they don't have emotions too. One thing that bugs me is the constant reference to Kate's heritage without much in the way of clues and her greater purpose. She seems to have a life goal, but we don't know much about it, or why she has it, and since all of the people in her life prior to the books starting aren't around, you don't get much background on her except from the minute you walk in. And yet, she is constantly talking about how she can't form relationships because it will get her friends killed, and how she can't let anybody know where she comes from. It comes up often, and without any greater story arc, can get very annoying. All in all, I found this an enjoyable short read. Obviously nothing too deep or thrilling, but a good distraction for my commute, and I am much more excited to be reading book three now.