Books · Reviews

Halloween Mini Review – Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (Spoiler-Free)

Hey guys, I’m back and seriously feeling the Halloween spirit! (As you could probably tell by the recent decor)

So what better way to celebrate this lovely season (and it is a season, ok, don’t argue with me) than to bring back the Halloween Mini Reviews?

Here goes the first one of the year!

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Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

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cat.pngΒ Kate Daniels, our heroine, is a badass mercenary who mingles with vampires and other ungodly creatures, takes the **** out of alpha males, has an epic flesh-eating sword, knows magic, martial arts, AND how to cook the weirdest meals. I mean, what more do you need to know?

cat.pngΒ The writing is perfection and achieved something I have struggled with since forever: it made me actually enjoy action scenes. They make sense, I can picture them in my head, and they are engaging. Yes, yes I know.

cat.pngΒ The world building is AWESOME. It gets a bit confusing at first because we have absolutely no idea of what’s going on and what all those terms mean but one soon gets the gist of it and is spouting the lingo in no time.

cat.png All the characters are so cool. You want to be their friend one minute and throw a frying pan at their head the next. But all in jest because they are little cinnamon rolls that need to be protected at all costs ❀

cat.pngΒ There’s no actual romance in this, only hilariously failed attempts at it.

cat.pngΒ The sass, the flirting and the clever humour made me throw my head back and bark joyful laughter into the atmosphere. This book knew when it was being ridiculous and it basked in it.

cat.pngΒ This thing was gory. Like, there’s a lot of cutting, maiming and disemboweling involved and it gets graphic. There’s also mentions of rape, incest, cannibalism, etc. THIS IS ADULT FICTION. I REPEAT: THIS IS ADULT FICTION.

cat.pngΒ Also, the funnest, most action-packed, not a dull moment kind of book I’ve read in a very long time.

And now I present you – the Hallowmeter! (Could I have come up with a better name for it? Definitely. But I didn’t.)

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In case you didn’t quite get it, I loved Magic Bites. This is one of those cases where, if I had gone for the cover alone, I would have stayed far far away from this book. And then I would’ve been MISSING OUT. Simply because I was a vain little twerp.

I’ve actually finished the second one in the series recently and I can’t wait to continue!

~ Check out more Halloween Mini Reviews! ~

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What are some of your favourite Halloween reads?

Are you reading anything spooky this month?

Also, let me know what you think of this format 😊

Thank you so much for reading!

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48 thoughts on “Halloween Mini Review – Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (Spoiler-Free)

    1. Ah awesome! πŸ˜€ I love Kate to bits as well – she’s the type of heroine I simply adore to read about and get into the head of. She’s spunky, doesn’t take anyone’s crap, and is just such a cool person all around! What’s there not to like??

      All the other characters are amazing too, and it’s very hard to choose a favourite. I love Curran’s moodiness and good heart, Derek’s protectiveness and caring nature despite all he’s been through, Jim’s ferocity and loyalty, Saiman’s quirkiness… I mean, yeah. Too hard xD

      Thanks so much, Sionna! ❀ I'm so glad to hear it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ohhhh, *hearteyes* at your seasonal blog design! Brilliant!

    The book wouldn’t probably be my typical read but I love that there’s no romance in there and rather hilarious attempts at it… makes it sound like a worthwhile read already! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. D’aw thank you so much, Liz! ❀ I was inspired I guess πŸ˜‚ (and also because Halloween is bae)

      I'm a bit biased because I love the genre and this type of story but I'd say you'd definitely enjoy it. It's not only clever and fast-paced but also incredibly fun to read, which makes one fly through it like it's nothing. I honestly couldn't recommend it enough! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sophie! ❀
      Yeah, I just wanted to make sure people realised this is not another YA book that glosses over these subjects – it really does mention things in a very explicit way. So definitely aimed at adults! Although I'm sure mature readers would be fine with it too πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. Oh wow…The Hallowmeter: that just looks amazing. I really keep wondering how you are able to always make these kinds of wonderful designs. You really did an amazing job (as always) As you know, I love horror and October usually is my favorite month of the year to check out even more movies with that theme (and if I am able to read some books in that genre too 😊😊). And…that said, this book will be added to my to read list. No suprise, but this was another terrific post! πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you so much, Michell! That’s lovely to hear and I was expecting nothing but kind words from you but it still manages to warm my soul to read them anyway hahaha 😊

      I do think I might get a bit too excited over my post’s layouts and blog aesthetics in general, especially if it involves Halloween or Christmas… But I regret NOTHING πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Ah yes, you do! I so need to make time to go over to your blog and bask in the glory of your Halloweenesque posts this October :O They never fail to convert me, which is weird because I don’t even like horror? So what’s up with that? Must be the writer’s talent I guess πŸ˜›

      I do hope you get to read some horror books too! There are some great ones that I’m planning to review sometime this month and any recs are always welcome πŸ™‚ I also hope you enjoy this one! I feel it’s diverse enough that it will appeal to many different types of readers but you tell me, when you read it πŸ˜‰

      Thank you again! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, really no problem at all. This post was amazing, so you deserve all the credit!😊
        LolπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Well, nor should you have any regrets either as the aesthetics look truly amazing. Wish I had skills like that😊😊
        Haha…well, honestly I haven’t had a chance yet to review much horror, but I will try to get a few of those in somewhere this month. Can’t have october withour a few good horrormovies right? πŸ˜‰
        Well, I’m currently reading Day Four, which might turn into a horrorbook. It’s the sequel to the three both written by Sarah Lotz, and the first mentioned book was amazing. Can’t yet tell much about this one as I just started reading it, but so far it’s pretty good 😊
        And of course, you are welcome!! πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ˜‰

        Like

    1. Hahaha believe me, food is a big deal in this series…. I can definitely see why Kate, a single girl living by herself and chasing after monsters most of her free time, would come up with the weirdest stuff xD

      That was one of my favourite parts as well – there’s a lot of witty banter and harmless fun but no romance to speak of. Not sure about the sequels, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First off I just LOVE you Halloween theme here darling. Its such a fun holiday. I adore this book, not my favorite of the series because I love my romance hehe but boy the interactions between Kate and Curran are hilarious…..”Here Kitty Kitty” I think the world building is great, and I like the growth of the romance over the whole series. Its pretty fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thank you so much! ❀️ That’s so sweet of you 😊

      I adore Curran and Kate together! But I don’t think I would love them as much if there had been any romance in the first book. I like how the author makes us suffer for it hahaha Slow burns are the best. And I love the bickering between them ❀️

      I just started book three and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for those two. But to be honest that’s not even what’s keeping hooked, it’s everything – the world building, the characters, the plot… It all works so wonderfully together!

      I’m glad to hear you’re a fan as well 😍 I now know who I’ll go to when I feel like fangirling πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Like

  4. Your blog is making me so happy right now. I love the pumpkins and the spider in your header so much. Sometimes I struggle with loving action scenes myself, but other times with the right kind of words, they can really come to life. Yes, I love when a book can make you laugh. Always an underrated quality. Your graphics for this post are so good. Looking forward to your next mini review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha aww thanks so much, hon ❀️ There’s nothing nicer for a blogger to hear 😊

      That’s what happened here. The book feels like it would be a fantastic TV show – the writing is vibrant, always in motion and just jumps out of the page.

      Thank you again, lovely! I really appreciate your kind words ❀️❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yay I am so excited to see your Halloween reviews back Sophie. πŸ™‚ And the fact that you featured Magic Bites as your first one makes me even more happier. I love this series (do you plan to pick up the second book soon?!) and I don’t think I’ve read the most recent one but all the ones I have read I thought the just got better and better. Kate Daniels is an amazing main character, so kick ass and bold, and the world building in this series is so unique too. I haven’t read anything like it before or since.
    Great review, and again I’m so glad you loved this one. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Beth! πŸ™‚ I missed them as well and I’m really glad to hear you feel the same way ^^

      I actually finished book two recently and am already on the third one! πŸ˜€ I really can’t help myself, this series has me HOOKED and I keep reaching for the sequels one after the other when I had hoped to be reading Halloween stories instead hahaha Not that this doesn’t qualify, but I was hoping for a few more diverse picks πŸ˜›

      Kate is one of my favourite heroines ever, absolutely! For me the world took a while getting used to, because the author wrote as if we already knew everything about it – a technique I don’t particularly mind, in fact I hate info dumps – but it did make me a bit confused at first πŸ˜‚

      I feel the same way – this series is absolutely one of a kind! I wish there were more like it, though, because I won’t know what to do with myself once I finish it. Might have to go through every book by Andrews, including the Curran POV ones which seem so unecessary but absolutely lush too πŸ˜‚ Have you read them?

      Thank you again, lovely! Your words mean the world, honestly ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay, and wow that’s definitely the sign of a good series, when it has you so hooked you jump from one book straight into the next. Well as much as I love your Halloween reviews I’m sure you’ve read enough scary books to binge read the Kate Daniels series for now right?
        Yeah I get that, but in a way better that than info dumping right? I hate that in books too.
        I really need to get back into this series hearing you talk about it, and yeah I have read the Curran POV books, they’re kind of fun. I love Curran’s character so I loved getting an insight into his mind.
        That’s all right. πŸ™‚ ❀

        Like

        1. Indeed! Hahaha actually not so much… I have a few reviews ready but not as many as I’m planning to release πŸ˜‚ So have to take a small break from Kate Daniels at some point and get to work!
          I can do it. I can do it!
          Definitely better than info dumping.
          Oh I can’t wait to read his books! I love Curran as well, he’s such a cutie hahaha

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I had no clue what this is about, but to find out that it was THAT gory was pretty fascinating! Also nice to hear that it was void of romance. Really am glad that it turned out so great too. I usually associate all these paranormal, urban fantasy stuff to fun romance-filled cheesy stories, but you definitely got me curious about this series now! πŸ˜€ Also love the Hallowmeter! Pretty impressive how you come up with your graphics. Does it take you a lot of time??? Hahahah Great bullet-point… pumpkin-point (catkin?) review! πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha I know, the cover is not impressive πŸ˜› But the story is definitely worth it! I was shocked about the gore too, and all the really mature content overall. I guess I’ve just been reading too much YA lately πŸ˜‚

      Oh this will definitely have romance at some point, but I don’t think it’ll be that important. So far, book one and two are void of it and I couldn’t be happier! I, too, am sick of all the paranormal swoony crap that everyone seems to write nowadays πŸ˜‚ So this was a very welcome read!

      Hahahaha the Hallowmeter is my pride and joy (well, maybe not the name though πŸ˜‚). It depends… Sometimes it does take a bit long because I’m a perfectionist and want things just right, but at least with this I’ll just have to change a few things for the rest of the reviews πŸ˜›

      Thank you! I love the little witchy kitties as bullet points too 😁 ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Raven! Have you started Ilona’s other series yet? I’m sooo excited to hear what you have to say about it πŸ˜€ I can’t wait to start it myself but for the time being this one has my utmost attention hahaha
      Thank you so much, lovely ❀ Glad you enjoyed them πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read that one yet unfortunately but everyone keeps raving about her other series so of course I’ll try them soon! πŸ˜€

      I’m sure the audiobook will be just as fun as the book itself, if not more πŸ™‚ I hope you love it when you listen to it, hon 😊 ❀

      Like

  7. I vaguely recall reading this years ago, although I’m not too sure right now. I think I wasn’t a biggest fan of the humor, since I think I read this after Jeaniene Frost’s epic Night Huntress series and it just didn’t live up. Plus I do prefer my adult fantasies with romance. πŸ™ˆ BUT!! I do agree that Kate’s a badass as heck heroine. Maybe the next books will be better for me? Glad you enjoyed this, lovely!

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand that, the humour can bit a bit crude at times πŸ˜‚ I haven’t read that one yet, but I definitely will now that I know it tops Kate Daniels? How is that even possible??? :O *furiously adds it to Goodreads*

      Oh this one will have romance, trust me! It’s all building up to that point hahaha It’s taking its sweet, sweet time and making me suffer and get even more into it LOL Slow burn + witty banter + enemies to lovers = very happy Sophie πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      I think the books keep getting better and better, to be honest, so yes! Definitely! You need to try them again πŸ˜€

      And thank you sooo much for your kind words, darling ❀

      Like

  8. I LOVE THIS FORMAT. Particularly the little graphic at the end. Adorable!

    Why do you inspire me to shout at the beginning of all my comments? What a strange trend. πŸ˜‰

    I haven’t read any of the Kate Daniels series, but my mother’s favorite series is her Edge series and he recently bequeathed the whole series to me with an order to read them all by Thanksgiving. XD I probably won’t read Kate Daniels because I don’t like gore or anything graphically violent. But… I think Edge is a bit gentler.

    I’ll be reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Shining this month. I’m not typically a Halloween person, but I’m trying something new this year! We’ll see how that works out for me.

    Like

    1. THANK YOU ❀ I don't know but you make me shout at the beginning of my answers too so we must be fated πŸ˜‚

      I haven't read any of her other series but I've heard wonderful things! Your mother must be an awesome lady then πŸ˜‰ You can't possibly let her down now!! Let me know what you think of them afterwards, I'm super curious πŸ˜€

      I think the gore's pretty manageable. Trust me, I'm a sensitive soul myself and if I can handle it, anyone can πŸ˜‚

      Oooh I haven't read those yet! I don't think I will, though, because again, I'm a very scaredy cat and would like to sleep well at night LOL

      That's awesome, good luck then!! I think nothing can go wrong when we try different things… I mean, worst case scenario you'll know it's not for you and not have to waste your time any further or wonder what if! In the best case, you'll realise you actually enjoy them and were missing out πŸ™‚ I thought I wasn't into Halloween but then I found it doesn't have to be all about death and blood and all that stuff. One can make their own version and still live up to the name πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know! I have 4 books to read in the next 6 weeks for my mom. I’ve got this. πŸ˜‰ Besides, it will be fun to have a mother-daughter book discussion. πŸ˜€

        I am also a scardy cat! I’ve been told neither of these books are proper scary, just atmospheric and creepy. We shall see what happens. Knowing my luck I’ll DNF both of these books. XD

        Like

        1. Absolutely!
          Yeah I didn’t find this one scary… Just really gross at times and suspenseful, which was cool. I guess sometimes I was a bit anxious about what was going to happen but I’m not sure if it was fear… Hmm maybe ONE time at the end of the first book. That really gave me the heebbie jibbies πŸ˜‚ (you’ll know when you get to it)

          Good luck!! And I can’t imagine anyone DNFing Ilona Andrews 😱😱😱 So you’re totally safe!

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Lately I have been feeling the NEED for some paranormal ridiculousness in my life and this sounds perfect. I love that feeling when you’re reading and you’re grinning to yourself because you can’t help but feel that you and the author are in on a ridiculous joke together. Like, when you can feel that they had as much fun writing it as you’re having reading it.

    Like

    1. Yes, that’s exactly how this book feels! It’s just so good at making fun of itself and even then it’s hilarious πŸ˜‚

      I would love to meet the author one day. She sounds like an awesome lady.

      In the meantime I’ll have to make do with her awesome books! And please do try these ❀️ They are brilliant for Halloween and mega fun πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah sometimes you read a book and you just know you’d be friends if you met each other. I will definitely keep them on my list. I read To Kill a Kingdom because of your review and as you know that went down very well!

        Like

        1. That is the best compliment I could ever get, thank you!! I’m so glad you didn’t hate the book after you bought it because I would have been devastated πŸ˜‚
          It’s such a nice and warm feeling when recs work! I hope you have a similar experience with this one 😊❀️

          Liked by 1 person

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