When magic is portrayed in books, it’s usually done as spells or magical abilities such as foresight. While these do exist in the Magic series, Ilona Andrews was unafraid to invent some new ones of her own.


In the Magic series, individuals with magical gifts leave behind a ‘magic’ signature, the post-shift equivalent of DNA. This can be detected by a machine known as an M-scanner which prints out these signatures as colors; silver for Human Divine, green for shapeshifter, purple for vampires…..etc. If you have a crime scene where an individual has been torn apart by something with claws, then an M-scanner could tell you whether it was a shapeshifter or a vampire. However, M-scanners aren’t very precise–they can’t distinguish between different types of shape shifters for example–which is where the sensates come in.


In Magic Burns, the sensates are described as living M-scanners, capable of seeing the colors of magic with far more precision than their mechanical counterparts. It’s also a rare ability. Kate runs into Julie Olsen, a kid who’s connected to her case and who also just happens to be a sensate. As useful as Julie’s abilities are, she also inadvertently brings a whole lot of trouble.

One of the things I fell in love with in this series was its unique world building and a fresh take on old concepts. Not only does this occur in Magic Burns, but Ilona Andrews comes up with a unique magical ability all their own.

Disclaimer: I do not own the imagery used in this blog post and have no artistic claim to it.


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