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Magic Bites
Ilona Andrews
Narrated by Renee Raudman, unabridged
Tantor, 9 hours

Magic Bites
Ilona Andrews
Ilona Andrews is also know as Andrew Gordon and his wife Ilona who was born in Russia. She came to the US on a scholarship, graduated from Rabun Gap Nachoochee High School in Georgia, attended Western Carolina University, majoring in Biochemistry. There she met Gordon who was just out of US Navy and majoring in history. Gordon was raised in Smoky Mountains and spent his senior year in Japan. Late he enlisted in U.S. Navy. came back to Smoky Mountains looking for a degree in history.

Ilona Andrews Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Jennifer McCann

In an alternate Atlanta, Kate Daniels is on a mission. Kate, a magically adept mercenary, is hunting for the person or persons who brutally murdered her guardian, Greg. As an investigator for the Guild, an organization meant to police the supernatural beings of Atlanta, he was working a case involving missing shape shifters. Into the picture arrives the "Masters of the Dead," a group of necromancers that "drive" vampires much like puppets. After being contacted by one of these creatures, Kate is pulled into a battle for control of Atlanta between this group and a paramilitary clan of shape shifters known as the Pack. But is someone else pulling the strings to make certain a clash is imminent?

Kate has a biting sense of humor packaged with a crusaders heart. Her mysterious background is hinted at in maddening opaqueness. Her skills at magic, as well as her fighting abilities, do not go unnoticed by the Pack. The Pack, headed by Curran, is a fascinating mish mash of different shape shifters all working together to stay alive and in control of Atlanta. After joining forces with Kate to destroy what they believe is the perpetrator of the attacks on the shape shifters, Curran grudgingly gives Kate the respect she deserves while developing a personal interest in her. The antagonistic relationship between Kate and the dangerously alluring Curran bring a bit of fire to the mix. All while Kate stumbles into a budding relationship with a human of questionable motive.

Magic Bites is a scenically dense story with a different take on the supernatural world. This husband and wife writing team, Andrew Gordon, a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army, and Ilona, a native-born Russian, have joined forces to bring the world of a magic-filled Atlanta to life. The backdrop for this story is fascinating and leaves the listener wanting more. Using "current" Atlanta landmarks in a somewhat post-nuclear disarray, Andrews paints a rich, dark world for Kate to negotiate. The descriptions of the magic waves, an unpredictable rise in the amount of magic in the world that keeps guns from firing and cars from starting, adds a fun quirk that twists the action.

In other works of fiction, vampires are their own senescent beings; in Gordon and Ilona's vision vampires are just a means to an end, a tool for the use of the necromancers. The descriptions of the other supernatural beings that move in and out of the story are both fascinating and horrifying. The being who can change its physical appearance to "study" human reactions to it for its own unknown agenda and the creature whose sole purpose is to breed, having sex with animals to create halflings that act as its minions, are truly disturbing.

Renee Raudman, winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award and the Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award gives a seamless performance. For listeners, she becomes the main character, Kate Daniels. Mrs. Raudman's reading lets Andrews' storytelling take the forefront and brings the denizens of Kate's Atlanta to life or un-life -- depending on your perspective. This is an engaging, action packed story with many twists, turns and red herrings that guarantee total enjoyment for the listener.

Copyright © 2009 Jennifer McCann

A belly dancing, dyslexic wife and mother who in her spare time works as a library clerk. A full and rich life is lead through the books she listens to and/or reads. Dyslexics Untie!

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