Magic Bites, written by Ilona Andrews, was published in 2007 by Ace. The audiobook was narrated by and published by Tantor Audio.
This book. This book. It absolutely enraged me.
I don’t know. Maybe I should be raging about the genre, not about the book. The Dresden Files, also urban fantasy, is one of my very favorite series; I love the diversity of characters, the epic overarching plot, and Harry’s obnoxious snarkiness.
Since Dresden Files author Jim Butcher has slowed down his writing pace pretty significantly, I’ve been searching for a few years for something that would scratch the same itch. Lots of characters! Powerful magic! I mean, I will definitely take a female MC over a male one if I can get it! And more romance? Yes, please!
So why has every single other urban fantasy series I’ve tried been a humongous disappointment?
It seems like urban fantasy tropes are so dang sexist. Every person of the opposite gender to the MC is a) hot and b) evaluated for fuckable-ness. This is true in The Dresden files as well, but at least in that series at least some (and really, many) of the women are powerful mages, intimidating, or even using glamours to create that hotness.
Until two-thirds through Magic Bites, literally every woman (aside from the main character and narrator, herself, Kate), is either a victim (and therefore absent from the narrative), a secretary or a waitress. I am not exaggerating here. Out of ~30 characters, major and minor, 20 are men, 4 are victims, 3 are secretaries, and 2 are waitresses. What. WHAT. ARE THERE NO FEMALE WEREWOLVES?! The main love interest is guarded by a were-bear. How incredible would it be if that bear were a woman. The badass love interest – guarded by a MOMMA BEAR!!
But no. All men, except for those waitresses, secretaries, and victims.
And before I forget – almost every man is a potential love interest. Every single non-vampire man is described by how bone-able he is. Every. Single. One. Every man comes onto the main character, even the ones she’s been friends with for years and years. It’s just. Sad. And gross.
At one point a character is described as ugly, is not a bad guy, and is in a position of weakness to Kate. Here, I thought, was finally a chance for there to be a character who would NOT proposition Kate.
Two paragraphs later he’s saying how much he’d like to ravage her, and would she be interested? AHHH.
Reading the Goodreads reviews makes it clear that Magic Bites is significantly worse than the rest of the series. I sympathize highly with that fact – Dresden Files is the same way, after all! Still, I think I’m done with this particular style of urban fantasy, sans Dresden Files. All it seems to do is disappoint and enrage me.