Thursday, 23 April 2015

{Review} Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1) by Jennifer Estep

22715908Posted by Melanie
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Finished Date: April 12th, 2015
Publishers: K-Teen
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: 362
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo


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. . .

The Review: I really enjoyed the story, I thought it was quite different from what I usually read and gave me something fresh and new. The ‘family’ system that is a major part of the world building is very ‘mafia/mob’ like except with supernatural elements in the form of magical gifts. There are ‘families’ and there are an elite bunch of them that run the various parts of the city and commerce complete with a hierarchy and led by a ‘boss’ type figure. As with the mafia, there is rivalry among the families, power plays, assassinations, in fighting, alliances and such – to be associated with one of the these families is to have a certain kind of respect and safety. The city itself is a magical place, complete with every kind of species you could find in a fairy tale so this makes it a tourist hotspot and where the families earn most of their money. Most of the higher members have body guards and this is how Lila becomes involved with one such family.
I really liked Lila, I empathised with her straight away because she was so alone after having lost her mother 4 yrs previously. She was murdered and so Lila shields her heart, her feelings and her whole self from everyone. She squats in a library basement, thieving to make ends meet and that’s how she knows Mo, the only human contact she really lets in and the owner of a pawn shop. She’s quite happy with the solitude, she doesn’t want to end up with the families putting her life on the line for people she despises….. but that’s exactly what she ends up doing. She had a great attitude and sass about her that gave some comic relief to her situation and showed us that not everything gets her down. I liked the tentative relationship that seems to be blossoming with Devon, it seems like it will be one of those where it will be frowned upon but we will have to wait and see because it was just starting to become apparent in this. They do share a connection, they have chemistry and they have similar circumstances – the author does give us some little moments between them that gets the pulse racing but that’s it for now.
The story and pacing was great, there is a lot of action and fighting in this and I really enjoyed it. As I mentioned that with the families, there are assassination attempts aplenty and this book is very much focussed on someone wanting Devon dead and will stop at nothing. Lila becomes his guard after a bad fight when she comes to his aid after his other guard is killed in the line of duty, Lila does it selflessly and although it’s not what she wanted, ends up in the employ of one of the families. With the multiple attempts on Devon’s life we get to see what our characters are really capable of – in both fighting and magic using – and it was a good insight into what was going on with the families. There are a good few secrets being kept by multiple characters so it’s just a matter of letting the plot play out so they will be revealed and when they do… I wasn’t expecting some but I thought they were great and definitely added to the suspense of the story. I was very impressed with this first book, I thought it did a good job of building a believable world and inhabitants that were easily explained and understood. The characters were all likable and it was easy to read them and relate plus I ended up being interested in more characters than just Lila & Devon which is always good. The ending was satisfying but it also opened up a lot of questions that will keep you interested enough to want to pick the next book up – awesome start though! 

4.5 Flowers! 

Thank you to K-Teen for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

1 comment:

Megan McDade said...

This one sounds interesting I haven't read any books from this author before. Thanks for putting this on my Radar.

Megan @ http://readingawaythedays.blogspot.co.uk