Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade, #1
Released: April 28th 2015
Length: 368 pages
Source: Publisher for review
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. . .
Cold Burn of Magic is the first book in a new series by Jennifer Estep, author of Mythos Academy and the Elemental Assassin series. It brings us the exciting story of Lila Merriweather, a young orphaned girl with a very special kind of magic. Lila lives in a city where magic is part of everyday life, but only the privileged have it, rich families organized like the mafia.
Lila starts out as a thief, and a very skilled one at that, but soon she’s blackmailed into making a career change. Charged to protect a young man with special magic of his own, Lila has to turn everything upside down and make peace with the fact that her life expectancy isn’t what it used to be. To make matters worse, she actually likes the boy she has to protect, which makes maintaining emotional distance next to impossible.
I’ve seen someone call this Elemental Assassin lite and I wholeheartedly agree. But it’s only lite because it’s young adult, everything else is pretty much the same. Gin, Gwen and Lila are too similar for comfort, and they share more than a few personality traits, as well as abilities. It needs to be said, however, that Estep recipe works. It’s been tried many times and each time it produced a light, entertaining, albeit mostly forgettable book.
There’s very little romance in this book, which I feel very ambivalent about. On the one hand, it’s very refreshing to have a YA novel that’s focused on the plot and character development and doesn’t try to distract us with romance. In this case, however, there’s very little actual character development to speak of and the book would have benefited from at least some distraction, something to make us want to read the next one just a little bit faster. There is a hint of romantic interest likely to develop in the future, but for me, it just wasn’t enough.
Dark Heart of Magic will be released in October and I’m already excited to continue this journey with Lila and Devon. Even if it ends up being a bit repetitive, Estep’s books are, at the very least, reliably entertaining.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.