Kate Daniels has to be one of the strongest female heroines in a series that I have read in a very long time. I went into this series not knowing much about it except that I had seen some chatter about it on Twitter and a few trusted reading buddies were impressed. That was enough reason to pick it up. For that reason, beyond having a new, entertaining series to read, I’m not sure what I expected. It certainly wasn’t what I walked away with.The world that Ilona Andrews has created in Magic Bites is dark. It is a world ruled by magic and beings that are beyond the vampires and shape shifters that readers are used to. This book opens with the murder of Kate’s guardian and the action, mystery and chaos doesn’t slow down from there. I honestly found myself wondering how anyone could survive in this world and keep their sanity. It is an intense read, to say the least.Kate is a character that bucks the system and breaks the rules, but is intensely loyal to those she respects. She’s not exactly reckless but she never puts herself before others and she proves that more than once in this first installment. I loved her strength and determination. She is definitely a character that I want to get to know.I’m not sure why, but this book took me a while to get through. It’s not because I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. It may have been because of the darkness. Mentally, I may have needed a break. It’s also a very ‘smart’ read. There isn’t a lot of ‘fluff.’ If that even makes any sense.Even with all the darkness and intensity, there is humor and even a little romance. You could probably read Magic Bites and walk away from the series. This chapter of Kate’s life concludes, but there is definitely more to come. I, for one, will be picking up the rest of the books in the series. It’s a nice diversion from some of the lighter reads that I’ve read and the world that is created by Ilona Andrews (a husband and wife writing team) is really interesting and worth delving into. A new slant on a world that a lot of paranormal readers have grown accustomed to.