Title: Magic Bites
Author: Ilona Andrews
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
In this, Ilona Andrews' first novel, there is magic in the world, and it does not like technology. Set in Atlanta in the not-too-distant future, Magic Bites tells of a world where magic comes in waves, alternating with "tech" (times when technology works). Because of this influx of magic, there are certain agencies which have been created to deal with new magical problems such as harpies, dragons, and the occasional salamander-wielding arsonist. One such agency is the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, a highly-structured system which "helps" citizens who cannot afford any other aid. Another magical clean-up agency is the Mercenary Guild, to which Kate Daniels belongs.
When Kate's oldest friend and sometime-protector Greg is murdered, Kate takes on a mission to figure out why and how he died, and to avenge his murder. Kate's investigations bring her to the Order - which she left several years beforehand due to "authority issues". They put her in league with the Pack (shapeshifters who have conquered their beasts and retain their humanity), and have her facing off against the city's Masters of the Dead (necromancers and their vampire drones) in a battle for the city - and her life.
The story contained within Magic Bites is interesting, and I love Andrews' conceptualization of magic colliding with our technology-laden world. However, it all could have used slightly more editing, or more writing, or...well, something. There were a few parts where I was unclear as to how the characters got to a certain conclusion, and the narrator is constantly hinting at things which we are never told. Perhaps these hints will be further explained in forthcoming books, and I hope they are. This is an interesting series: I have already started on the next book, and hope that Andrews publishes more volumes of Kate's story.