Title: Cold Burn of Magic
* Series: Black Blade #1
Author: Jennifer Estep
Pages: Paperback; 368
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Source: The Fantastic Flying Book Club
Content Screening: Violence
HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy stories with strong female characters and tons of magic.
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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. .
Okay, let's be honest. We all know why I picked up this book. I've been meaning to pick up a book by Jennifer Estep for ages, and I love a strong female character. I was so excited to read Cold Burn of Magic. What better place to start my Estep experience than with a brand new YA book? Coming in at the beginning of a new series sounded perfect.
Now that I've rambled at you about why I chose this book, I can tell you that I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for Lila. As the main character, she was instantly built up as this girl who could handle herself. Full of fire, of haunting memories, and of the kind of loyalty that can only be held by a person who has lost someone before. Lila was really what kept me reading. Not only did I constantly look forward to uncovering something new about her, but there was just something so fierce about her personality. I was entranced.
That being said, I'm thrilled beyond belief that this was never horribly overshadowed by romance. Oh, I'm sure that's coming around the bend. It always does. However the simple fact that there was more character development, and forward moving plot, than insta-love made me giddy. I'll admit that Lila's thoughts about Devon threw me off for a bit. I was terrified that he'd manage to smash the strong person that I had fallen in love with. Luckily, that never happened. I'll admit she may have made some decisions I didn't quite agree with, but I gave her a pass. Teenagers, no matter how bad-ass they may be, are still teenagers.
So why the three-star rating? It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly. I definitely wanted more action, and less description. There were some points of this story that moved a bit too slow for my taste. In truth, I also believe that it was because Devon was just a bit too perfect. I'm all for a swoon-worthy guy, but he needs to feel real. No one, and I repeat no one, is as perfect as Devon was. In terms of this being the first book in a new series though, it absolutely has me intrigued. I'll be looking for what comes next.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.