Review: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews on Cover to Cover Book and Blogging Blog by Kat Snark Kate Daniels Magic Urban Fantasy Paranormal Romance Sword Fierce Female Vampire shifter changeling slow burn romance Curran JulieCheck out on Goodreads | Shop on Amazon
GenreUrban Fantasy | Paranormal Romance
Series: Kate Daniels #2
Pages: 260 pages, Paperback Edition
Read Count: 3-4? (maybe more?)
My Rating: 4.5 stars!

DescriptionDown 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…


In the interest of transparency … this is like the fourth time I’ve read this book 🙈 I’ve lost count, so it might be more than that. Ilona Andrews (a husband-and-wife writing duo) were also the first (and only!) author I’ve gone to see specifically. I’ve certainly gone to different book conferences and such where many authors are, but I drove to a different state specifically for them in this case! I would show pictures, but that was several years ago and … let’s just say braces were involved. 

Magic Burns is the second book in the Kate Daniels series, and picks up not too long after the first one left off. Kate Daniels is a mercenary for hire, who works for two organizations whose task it is to clean up magical problems. In this world, a wave of paranormal energy may saturate the world for a few days – where spells and wards are effective, but cars won’t start and guns misfire – until a different wave of technology sweeps over and the magic falters, and electricity works again. But during a flare, a time where magic increases in power, those waves come faster and faster, and magic starts to run rampant, and things go crazy. 

“We were screwed and he didn’t even kiss us first.”

She starts out on a simple case for the Pack, but gets caught up in a battle for power between deity’s who can only manifest during flares, which occur about every seven years. But suffice it to say, with all the magic and the action and, well, Kate being involved, it doesn’t take long for things to go straight to hell.YIKES! This one was super action-packed and a perfect mystery to cozy up to and consume in one sitting. It was so much fun and super fast-paced, two things I love in a good paranormal mystery. 

Kate was perfectly herself, a sarcastic, yet practical, ninja who kicks serious Kate so much! She’s such a fun character to watch. She’s hard to explain and to do justice to her characterization, but Mr. and Ms. Andrews really hit it home with her. They really have a gift for characters, making her shine and jump out of the page, sword swinging. We also learn a bit more about her background, but basically they’re just clues that start to make you question reality like “Is she…?” “But…?” “BUT…?” Hang on, children. It’s a wild ride and I promise it’ll take you for surprise. Kate’s grit and determination and magical ability really is the best, and she certainly keeps us guessing, barely feeding the readers crumbs.

Ilona Andrews’ always have an amazing cast of side-characters, which we got to see even more in this one. Derek, the vulnerable teenage boy from book one, is evolving into a wolf of respect and badassery. In fact, Kate even muses that he could be the future Alpha Wolf – yet he’s still her boy-wonder and sidekick for her journey, and knowing what I know about this series, he grows into a seriously fun character. In this one, he’s Little Mister Curran, trying to imitate a man he respects. But eventually there’s quite a bit of Kate in there as well, which is when the party really starts. 

SPEAKING OF CURRAN! Lordly. The Beast Lord and Lion-Shifter has started his chase – but Kate still hardly has a clue. This is such a slow-burn romance and ahhh I’m dying and #TeamThirsty and loving it all at once. Once again, there’s very little actual romance, just a collection of teases for the reader and a whole lot of mystery and magic and badassery. But it’s enough 🤤😝😰 They have a bit of a hate-to-love romance going on, where they keep threatening to kill each other (and vaguely trying, but only vaguely), but really it’s super passionate and strife with sexual tension. Fun! 

“I don’t want it to be attributed to a loss of control on my part. When I throw you out of the window, I want there to be no doubt the act was deliberate.”

We also got to meet Andrea, a spunky, trigger-happy friend of Kate’s, and the Bouda clan! Which are basically were-hyena’s. They’re super fun. Mainly because they’re excessively sexual and always down for a good time, it’s quite entertaining to see Kate in that environment and to just watch them have fun. We also meet Julie in this one!! Kate’s ward :) she’s a spunky little one for 13, and I’m super pumped to see more of her. I remember her being a complete riot. And that’s only to start. There’s a full cast of characters of love and enjoy, and they make the book so much fun.

This is urban fantasy at it’s finest, and the world that Mr. and Ms. Andrews paint is amazing. Their world-building skills is absolutely unmatched – well, very similar in skills to another idol of mine, Nalini Singh – but I have also read this series several times, so I may be a bit biased 😂 I have heard in some reviews that it’s a bit hard to follow at first, but by this second book you have perfect understanding, so just stick with it. Everything comes together in the end 👌🏻 

The mystery, too, is what makes this book a standout. It was an honest-to-god paranormal investigation, where you don’t see in a lot of black-and-white paranormal worlds. I love them, don’t get me wrong, but a world as layered, intricate and intense as this one will always offer a better story and mystery. When there are thousands of magic-types and millions of paranormal creatures, the investigation can get intense, as you’d imagine. 

Honestly, this review was so hard for me to write. I love this series so much, but I struggle to describe why without making it sound dumb or under-whelming. This series is something that you need to experience, and once you read the first book, keep going. Because it gets so much better with each book as the community grows and the plot thickens. 

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Have you read any of Ilona Andrews books? What are some of your favorite slow-burn romances? (Aren’t they the best?!) Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you! 

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