Welcome to the second Kate Daniels Read Along – this week’s book is MAGIC BURNS. Which really kick starts the ongoing arc about Kate’s past and introduces new characters like Julie who becomes an important character in the series. When we last saw Kate, she had been paid, Curran was fixing her roof, and she had a prospective job offer but some time has passed, paying for two houses is expensive and Kate can’t afford to turn down work.
Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…
As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.
When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…
E: As I promised you last week the continuation of my story. When we last chatted I was haunting the Ilona Andrews website looking for updates and information about new books in the series. When I found the release date for Magic Burns I marked it on the calendar. A couple of weeks after reading it I saw an announcement that Ilona Andrews was doing a book signing at their local Barnes and Noble. Their local store was 2.5 hours away from me, in a city I had recently moved from. That Saturday morning I got up, drove down early, killed some time and went to my first ever book signing. I am not going to go into details about the bumbling idiot I was for the first few minutes until I walked away and regained my composure but they were gracious enough not to hold them against me when I returned with copies of their books. I learned that they were some of a nicest and fun people to be around. To me discovering that not only did I adore their writing but that I liked them as individuals as well really put the icing on the cake.
Getting back to Magic Burns, I really loved the idea of magic running wild and all those who thrive on magic seizing the opportunity to claim everything they could. This installment introduces some key individuals and relationships as well as giving a taste of who/what Kate could become. I also loved seeing someone else who could enrage Curran almost quicker than Kate. This installment was much smoother reader than Magic Bites because the majority of the world-building was already complete so more time could be spent on developing the different inhabitants of the world.
MinnChica: I remember the first time I read this story that I was a little bummed, for some reason I don’t remember it living up to the awesomeness I thought the first book was. However, after having re-read this book numerous times, it’s moved into the rank of “favorite” along with the rest of the books. I loved that we got a chance to see Kate kick some serious ass during the flare, and the romance reader in me was doing little happy dances with all the scenes between Kate and Curran. I still wanted more, but the sexual tension between these two continues to smoke and smolder and get the reader all hot and heavy for things to come! One of my other favorite aspects in this book was getting to see Kate’s reaction to Bran. I loved that she acknowledged that she was lonely, and although she didn’t want to pursue Bran, she also came to really appreciate his friendship, and I loved getting to witness that. I have to say, after this book was over, I was more than ready for some sexy time between Kate and Curran!
Has: I really enjoyed Magic Burns because it really stepped up a notch with the world-building and the ongoing story arc. I also loved the introduction of Julie who is one of my favourite characters in the series who has become an integral part of the series. I also felt that it had one of the best epic battle scenes which was full of tense filled moments that I’ve read. I also adored the growing tension between Curran and Kate which grows beautifully and like the scene that MinnChica highlights below has one of my all time favourite scenes between them which sums up their relationship.
I also loved the plot with Bran and how he so mischievously got under Curran’s nose and the ending broke my heart because he was one of the most fun and charming character’s I’ve come across. But while I really enjoyed Magic Bites, for me Magic Burns really cemented the series for me as one of the best Urban Fantasy I’ve read.
Our favorite scenes:
E: **debates between sweet and bloody, decides to be nice to fellow bloggers, bloody it is** I like this scene because it is really the first one that I truly understood how she had been trained from a small child and what it meant when everything was put together perfectly. My favorite fight scene comes up in the next book.
“A hand jerked my shoulder and Derek’s face thrust into my view. ‘Kate! Snap out of it! Kate!’
I laughed at him and unsheathed my swords. Scabbards hit the ground and then I was running.
What happens here, stays here.
A roar arose as the opposing lines of fighters collided like two great ships ramming each other. The first demon swung an blue axe at me. I disemboweled him, almost in passing and moved on to the next one.
I sliced and cut, my blades biting like two steel snakes with hungry mouths, and no matter how much **redacted** flesh they consumed, it failed to satiate their hunger. I saw nothing, I felt nothing. All melted into the scent and warmth of blood, the scorching heat of the sun and the liquid lubrication of my own sweat.”
MinnChica: There were lots of bloody parts in this book, however I have such a huge love for Ilona & Gordon’s humor, that this was one of my favorite scenes:
I came closer. The bar was thicker than my wrist. Had to be custom made. I tried to count the weight disks on the bar. A normal bar weighed forty-five pounds, and normal disks weighed up to forty-five pounds also. But these didn’t look normal.
I stood to the side and watched the bar rise and fall. Curran wore an old, torn T-shirt, and I could see him muscles pump under the fabric.
“How much are you lifting?”
Alrighty then. I will just stand over here, out of your way, and hope you don’t remember my promise to kick your ass.
He grinned. “Wanna spot me?”
“No thanks. How about I just scream verbal encouragements at you?” I took a deep breath and barked. “No pain, no gain! That pain is just weakness leaving your body! Come on! Push! Push! Make that weight your bitch!”
He cracked up. The weight stopped, perilously close to his chest, while he shook with laughter. I stepped up and grabbed the bar. It put me into an incredible compromising position, since his head was really close to my thighs and the area directly above them, but I didn’t want to explain to a rapid Pack how I was responsible for the Beast Lord crushing his chest with a weight bar.
Has: I am going to put this scene behind spoiler tags just in case there are newbies checking out the discussion and excerpts. But this scene for me was pivotal for Kate’s character and it made me bawl my eyes out but I also think it gives a tantalising hint about her past as well.
Excerpt (Spoiler warning)
He just looked at me and smiled. I felt a thin line of pain stretch inside me, strained to the breaking point. It hurt. It hurt so much I couldn’t take another breath.
Bran gasped. His body went rigid in my hands and I felt the last of him fluttering away.
I clasped onto that last shiver of life. With all of my magic, with all of my power, with everything I was I held on to that tiny fragment of Bran and I would not let it go.
Magic churned around me. I sucked the power to me, driving it deeper into his body, holding on. It streamed through me in a flood of pain and melted into Bran’s flesh.
I’m not letting go. He will live. I won’t lose him.
“Foolish girl!” A voice filled my mind. “You can’t fight death.”
The spark of Bran’s life slipped deeper. More magic. More . . . Wind howled, or maybe it was my own blood filling my ears. I no longer felt anything except pain and Bran.
I pulled harder. The spark stopped. Bran’s eyelids trembled. His mouth opened. His eyes fixed on me. I couldn’t hear what he was saying. His heart had stopped and it took all of me to keep him.
He looked at me with ghostly eyes. His whisper floated to my ears, each word weak but distinct. “Let me go.”
“This is how undeath is made,” the voice said.
And I felt deep within me that she was right.
I would not become what I loathed. I would not become the man who sired me.
“Let me go, dove,” Bran whispered.
I severed the magic. The line of pain within me snapped like a broken string. It whipped back into me. I felt the spark of Bran’s life melt into nothing. Magic flailed in me like a living beast, trapped and tearing me apart to break free.
In my arms Bran lay dead.
Tears burst from my eyes, and streamed down my cheeks to fall on the ground, carrying the magic with them. The soil soaked in my tears and something stirred beneath it, something full of life and magic, but it didn’t matter. Bran was gone.
1. What was your favorite scene in Magic Burns?
2. What did you think of the friendship between Kate and Bran, and Curran’s jealousy?
3. What did you think of the magic Flare, and the resulting chaos?
4.Who is Julie why is she important?
5.Why does Kate continue to get involved with the Pack.
6.What happens if all of a sudden the magic refuses to ebb like normal and instead keeps growing stronger and stronger?