Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cold Burn of Magic ~ Jennifer Estep (earc) review[@K_Teen @Jennifer_Estep]

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)
April 28, 2015
368 pages
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There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .

One of my favorite things about Cold Burn of Magic was likely also the reason I had trouble getting into the story. The book had some excellent female characters, when they weren't tripping themselves up. They were strong, smart and often powerful. Lila, though, seemed to lose a lot of what made her so much fun as soon as Devon entered the story.

She hated him, but she didn't. She was attracted to him, but she couldn't be. She didn't care about him or keeping him safe, but she absolutely did.

Devon and Lila didn't really work for me. I did, later, see them as friends. I knew she was attracted to him - how gorgeous he was, what a truly great person he was but I kind of didn't care. Devon was attractive because Lila said so. She kept reminding me he was hot and nice, but I did't get it as much from the story. I did not dislike him, but he wasn't as well developed as I would have liked.

Felix and Mo were two fun characters and I enjoyed their interactions with Lila. They seemed to fit together well and their friendships seemed good for her character and the story.

The few other female characters in the story held a lot of promise. Especially after how the story concluded and what we now know, I am looking forward to, hopefully, seeing more of them - and more between them - in the next book(s).

The mystery that Lila is trying to unravel didn't feel that mysterious. Maybe the hints were just too heavy handed for me, but I had it basically figured out much sooner than she did.

I also hope we get to see more of the monsters (at least the nonhuman kind) in the next book. I love the idea of real monsters living nearly side by side with the humans, causing trouble, inciting fear but also fascination.

I had some trouble getting into Cold Burn of Magic and I didn't feel enough between Devon and Lila but I love the premise ('mob' families, monsters, literally, in the shadows, tourists coming to see it all) . Some of the characters, the magic and Talents along with relationships begun in this first book have me looking forward to the second.

digital galley received for review, via NetGalley, from publisher

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