“Nevada first trained me in investigative work, she taught me to trust my instincts. If it didn’t look right, it probably wasn’t. If the hair on the back of your neck stood up, you needed to get the hell out of there. She taught Arabella the same thing. My younger sister called it listening to the lizard brain. I trusted my lizard brain. It kept me breathing.“
Classic Ilona Andrews. Things go downhill fast in inventive ways and graphic detail. It all gets going with a gruesome murder and an attack on the Warden‘s house. Oh, and the family moves into a new home that sounds a bit like Disneyland.
Lots of magic, action, weapons, blood, exploding hardware and magic users gone bad.
Catalina still feels and sounds like Nevada. Sadly, the characters in IAs books have become pretty interchangeable and all seem to be the same person. Alessandro is pretty one-dimensional. Mom and Grandma Frieda sadly don’t get a lot of page-time.
I am guessing that the next book will be about Arabella and her love interest. Considering the last chapter and epilogue, that‘s where I am putting my money.
And yes, despite my complaints I will very likely get the next book. I read this fast, it was very entertaining.
I wonder if we will meet Jadwiga again in the next book?
Playlist: A Fistful of Dollars Theme (Ennio Morricone) Triumphal March from Aida (Giuseppe Verdi)
And I just saw that I missed a 12-page short story….
Re-read. This novelette feels very much like a precursor to Hidden Legacy. It feels as if here the ideas are developed and put to paper for the first time, that will fully manifest into a fleshed out novel with Burn for Me five years later. Not quite as fun yet and due to length with a fairly simple plot. A devious little revenge story with a strong dose of romance.
Review from 2015:
A little long for a short story, let’s call it a novella. Romance with a licking of sci-fi. Nice characters, one very good fight scene, some nice sex. Harlequinesce, silly, tacky, kitschy, feel-good ending with very high awww-factor. Satisfying. To be read on a rainy day on the sofa with a hot cup of cocoa.
“The name is Mad Rogan. They also call me the Butcher and the Scourge, but Mad is the most frequently used moniker.”
Nevada Baylor sounds like Kate Daniels. Or perhaps they both sound like Ilona Andrews. The setting might be different and their magic, too. But other than that they feel the same.
I find Mad Rogan more interesting than Curran Lennart, though.
This time around I had no problems to get hooked by the story. Once I started, it was hard to put this down and only my own, feeble body prevented me from reading through the night to finish this.
The cover is still hideous, but I am willing to agree that it is a little bit PNR…
Read first in April 2015, original review:
I once read an adventure novel set on the ocean. The book cover featured waves with a drifting oil drum. The book was a 1000-page hummer of a book, but nowhere in there was an oil drum mentioned, drifting or otherwise. On my list of most-idiotic-book-covers-of-all-time Burn For Me has beaten this book and taken top spot on the list.
If you are a fan of PNR and don’t know Ilona Andrews, fair warning: this book is great fun, I loved it and can’t wait for the sequel, but this is NOT paranormal romance in any shape or form. The designers at Avon must have smoked something really strong, when they came up with this cover. As strange as it sounds, guys ripping of their shirts every five minutes do not make a romance novel.
Ok, now, book…
I read a review that called the world building shoddy. Perhaps I am not critical enough and too fangirly, when Ilona Andrews is concerned, but I liked the world building. It told me everything I needed to know to get a good picture, there were no needlessly long info dumps and it fitted neatly into the plot.
The plot got going a tad slowly. Meaning not everything went BAM! on page two already. But it’s a new series, so a little setting-the-scene is to be expected. Also I didn’t read the beginning in one sitting, but with some stops. It might have influenced my perception of it.
I like the idea of Houses with different talents. It reminded me a little of the second book of the Kinship stories, as it toys with a similar set-up. The Pit reminded me of Bayou Moon.
Nevada’s family is to die for, the lot of them. Grandma is fabulous and I love the warehouse with its beehive of rooms stacked on each other and grandmother’s lair of tanks and assault vehicles.
All the characters work well and get enough of a backstory to be colourful and interesting. The two main male characters are idiotically handsome and, as mentioned, keep ripping their shirts off at every opportunity. I am thinking Hugh Jackman as Mad Rogan? By the way, does anybody else keep thinking of Indian food, every time his name is mentioned?
You never really get to see the bad guys that hold the strings, I am guessing they will either pop up in the sequel or we will have to suffer through one of those dragged out story archs that take several books to resolve. I hope not, because those tend to annoy and bore the crap out of me by the third installment.
The book has a proper high-stakes ending with a lot of suspense, but the story is not really resolved. It’s the first book in a series and the somewhat open ending and some other loose, dangling ends scream for the sequel. Half a year of waiting, argh! I almost took off a rating star just for that, but ultimately I had too much fun for that.
Entertaining comfort food. Catalina doesn‘t really come across as all that different from Nevada, the names are pretty interchangeable. But it‘s still good and a lot better than a lot of other UF you could pick up. A must-read for fans of Ilona Andrews.
The supporting characters were a little flat. Grandma and Mum are barely there and Leon and Bern only pop up briefly. Not a lot of character development. The romance was nice enough and not too dominant. I probably should have re-read Sapphire Flames, because my recollection of some plot points was a bit vague. I was struggling to remember why Catalina was in this particular predicament with evil grandmother.
Why did I give this five stars, you ask? Despite all of the above, this was fun and like coming home. Not Kate Daniels and not Nevada and Rogan. But still—comfort food! Looking forward to the next book and how things with Alessandro will develop.
Playlist: – Inno di Mameli – The Grid, Swamp Thing
It was good. Catalina doesn‘t sound particularly different from Nevada‘s inner voice, though. The main character was completely interchangeable for me.
A bit low on plot, not the full „IA-Experience“, as another reviewer put it. I don‘t think it‘s supposed to be that, though. It‘s more about moving the main story away from Nevada and Connor and establishing Catalina as the next main character for the coming books.
For genre I would place this in the Young Adult corner. However, I also recommend reading the main series, Hidden Legacy, first.
~*~*~*~ In other news from Publisher’s Lunch Deals section: Three more novels in Ilona Andrews‘ Hidden Legacy series, focusing on the emerging powers and personalities of previously-introduced House Baylor family members, for publication starting in fall 2019, plus a novella to bridge the gap, published by Avon Impulse in November 2018
When life hits you in the gut, it’s always a sucker punch. You never see it coming.
I have some small grievances, that I will happily ignore in my final rating, because the rest was just so much fun: Too many repetitions of previously explained points. The elaborate descriptions of absolutely everybody’s hairstyle, hair colour, shape of their chin, skin tone, bla… got a bit tiresome.
Oh, yes, and please ignore the cover. It is hideous and has absolutely no relevance for the contents of the book. I don’t know what the cover artist was smoking. This is Urban Fantasy with some romance thrown in, some sleuthing and some great magic.
I am also 99.999% sure of the identity of Cesar, because his last sentence in the book is something he said exactly like that in an earlier scene. And because I have been suspecting him since White Hot. Bummer, because I like him. One could hope for a false trail?
Victoria turned out to be a likeable character. Surprise!
Arabella was fun and her alter ego is great. I am picturing her as the monster on the cover of Where The Wild Things Are, with bigger horns and a bone plate on top of her head. And strangely, I picture her fur to be a dark purple. No idea.
Leon evolved very nicely.
Cornelius is becoming one of my favourite characters, especially now with the addition of Zeus.
Seargent Teddy riding in the car with them was a hoot. The whole book was a hoot.
The final battle was over way too quickly. Could have gone on for another 30 or so pages. But nobody asked me.
Fingers crossed that there will be a fourth book. And in the acknowledgment a new book in The Edge series is mentioned. Really? I thought that series was done? Instabuy!
Would I buy the next book? Silly question. 5 stars, with a cherry on top.
“Enter my lair, said the dragon. I have shiny treasure for you to play with, I’ll keep you warm and safe, and if it suits my purpose, I’ll chain you to the floor and kill your client by throwing quarters at him with my magic. Been there, done that.”
Great action, as always. Some darker tones, too. Nice development of the existing characters and I like the added new characters. Loved the plot, the snark, the humour in general. The sex scenes were ok. Not the best I ever read, but not bad.
Giving this five stars is a no-brainer. I would give a grocery shopping list five stars, if it was written by Ilona Andrews. Can’t wait for Wildfire and am extremely distressed at the info, that it will be the FINAL volume of Hidden Legacy.