Mmm... just what I like: a book with consequences.
Okay, yes I'm a couple behind, but the availability of the books I want to read at my local book stores are... Buckley's and none.
Anyway. Ilona Andrew's Kate Daniel series is a very good read. The second, Magic Burns continues on from Magic Bites in a world where magic and tech comes in waves. Set in a crumbling Atlanta, a magic flare is coming and that can't be good. The blurb:
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. 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…
One of the great aspects of this book is the slow unfolding of Kate's past through errors of judgement and one epic battle; we don't get it all, but it raises the reader's suspicions.
Kate's not without her flaws. Her wise-assery always gets her into trouble, especially with Curran, the Beast Lord of the Pack - and we see just how strong he is - again, raising suspicions that all is not as it seems. We also get a peek into why she keeps herself apart from everyone, and how she feels about that.
The Celtic research is marvellous. Without a single info-dump, the reader learns myths and legends that are blending naturally into the story and, again, has consequences for everyone.
Action aplenty, cans of ass-whoop opened all over the place and the growing emotional connections Kate has with various characters creates an interesting, if tragic protagonist.
The Andrews aren't above killing off characters or changing them in fundamental ways as a consequence of their own - or another's - actions. The villains are dangerous and ambitious, the heroes are equally dangerous have their own ambitions. Two sides of the same coin and yet, not black and white.
Watch the characters struggle with what they want and how much they're willing to sacrifice to achieve the goal. For Kate Daniels, her goal is as much of a mysterious to her as it is to us. What is it going to cost if her secret is revealed?