Guys, let me tell you, I am tearing through this series. I read 3 of them in one weekend! No joke! I'm not sure what exactly it is about them that has me reading them so quickly, because while they're enjoyable, they're definitely not on a list of "best books I've ever read." Kate is an okay main character, but she's not super, and there's definitely not enough Curran to keep my occupied on that note. Maybe it's something about the way that Andrews keeps bringing in new mythologies and building up her magic-assaulted world. Maybe it's just that they're written in a very readable style. I don't know. But I'm going through them pretty quickly. (Though now that I'v reached the point that Kate and Curran finally got together, I might slow down some!)
Magic Burns starts not long after Magic Bites ended. The magic waves are still hitting Atlanta, and they're getting stronger and closer together, leading up to a flare. And things really get messed up when Kate finds herself as the guardian of a thirteen-year-old girl named Julie whose mother has gone missing in the magical mayhem. Oh and there are some undead mermaids tormenting her, too. And a guy who keeps appearing, stealing a bunch of maps from the Pack, and then disappearing--literally. He can teleport. This all starts to add up to something very bad, and Kate is, of course, stuck smack dab in the middle of it.
In this book, Andrews starts to bring in some Irish mythology and also touches on a couple of other points. She also introduces the concept that location-related mythological things seem to happen in bunches--aka, if one Greek thing shows up, a bunch more are likely to. This is a neat sort of internal logic that allows her to "theme" her books with each along a different mythological line, without it seeming too scattered. The idea here is that anything than occur but belief makes things stronger, and that the magic really means that anything can be brought into existence given the right circumstances. That is definitely the case in this book, and while I kind of think it's just a matter of convenience, I also find it a good way to structure the world to give Andrews the type of freedom of mythology she clearly desires. My one worry here, though, is that, while Kate appears to do her research, that Andrews is really going to butcher something one of these days. There's just really no way to be an expert on so many different mythologies and I think some day that's going to come around to bite her.
I also really liked the introduction of Julie as a character, though Kate seems to start referring to her as "my kid" pretty darn quickly. Let me tell you, I am the same age as Kate, and I would not immediately assume that I was going to be the long-term guardian of a thirteen-year-old I found wandering around. No way, no how. Julie's abilities are interesting, and definitely useful for Kate. I do hope that Andrews continues to integrate Julie in a meaningful way into the future books, because it's super annoying to introduce an interesting kid as a character and then just ship them off somewhere because it becomes inconvenient to the plot to have a kid hanging around.
One thing I find curious about this series is that, despite Kate apparently being a go-between for the Order and the Guild (aka the knights and the mercenaries) she doesn't actually appear to work in that function and instead seems to do whatever it is she wants at the moment. While this is a job that I think all of us would like to have, I don't think it's one that's particularly well thought-out, not even for a world that's ravaged by magical waves.
Overall, this is a fun read. I think Andrews does some interesting things here but it's nothing that I'm dying to see. What keeps me reading is the evolving relationship between Kate and Curran--which was a bit lacking in this book, honestly, but hey, I've read up to the point that it happens now, so I'm over it. Not a series that's really going to make you think, but definitely a good weekend book!
4 stars out of 5.