When I finished Magic Bites, book 1 in this series, I thought that it was very cool. Great world-building, fun characters, and a kick-ass heroine. Add in funny banter and it was a really enjoyable read.Then I read this book, and my first response was Wow - now this is different, this is something better. This is something I could get addicted to.The usual UF trappings are still here: awesome world-building, unique magic system, great villains, an increasingly endearing cast of characters, and a very kick-ass heroine. Kate still gets into more fights than she can handle, and gets hurt more times than I can count, but that is what makes her so tough. She knows she isn't indestructible, she knows she will be getting seriously hurt, but she does it anyways, and takes out the other guy too.What sets this series apart for me is the progression of Kate. At the start of book 1 she was a loner, a mercenary who avoided ties to people. At the beginning of book 2, she is still trying to avoid real relationships, but that ends when a child is in trouble. I like that in a world that has gone to hell, these characters will risk all for a street kid that they aren't even related to. It adds another level of humanity in a setting where monsters come out to play, makes me hope, and that keeps me coming back again and again. I also like that the relationships develop gradually - there is no I just met you five minutes ago WHAM-BAM-Thank-You-Ma'am. At the top of my all-time favorite UF series, and one of my favorite books.