Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1)Title: Cold Burn of Magic 
Author:  Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington 
Publishing Date: April 28th 2015
Pages: 323
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Series: Black Blade #1
Source: Audio

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. . . 
I will admit..this was a book that wasn't on my radar at first. Not at all. I saw it a couple times on netgalley... didn't feel the need to grab it. Saw it on Audible.... no desire. Then I saw some reviews and I thought okay maybe this is a book I should give a try. So I did. I was quite surprised by how much I loved this book. I loved the characters, the setting, the story. It was all just amazing. 

There is this town. In this town magic exits, and monsters too. There are a few special elite people that have magic in them and they keep the monsters at bay.. sort of. These magic people are part of two families. Think mobster. They fight for power over the town and Lila (who really does all she can to keep invisible and just survive) ends up right in the middle. Not just in the middle. She has to protect one of the family members.Yes and even if it cost her life...which all the other body guards of course ended up dead. So it just sucks for Lila. Except it doesn't totally suck. 

I really enjoyed this read. I loved the narrator. She did a wonderful job on the characters. Especially Lila. I really felt her character come alive. It didn't take me long to be immersed into this world and completely invested in the story. 

The world that this was set in just grabbed me. It was creative without being too fantastical. It was set now days I believe. Or at least it felt that way to me. All that was really different was the town and the belief in magic. It really existed and all kinds of magical creatures and monsters lived in this little town run by magical mobster families. It was pretty great. The setting added so much when combined with the tone of the story. It was a different world but not. Just like reading any other mobster story... it felt like I lived in my world but differently. 

The characters were so much fun. I liked them all. The good and the bad. I loved and hated both. Lila was a strong character. She was full of life but very snarky and spiteful about it. She had revenge and survival on the brain but didn't do it in on the quietly....even though that was the plan. Trouble seemed to have found her no matter what. 

Devon was a pretty cool character too. He brought sensitivity and realism to the family. He brought kindness and fierceness to the story. He stole my heart from the beginning. He was a good friend, a great fighter, and his own person. As much as he was allowed anyways. 

One of the best characters for me was a very minor character but I so totally loved him. He was a little brownie dude that lived in the house of a family. He was a redneck brownie. He was a loud mouth, very opinionated, and had a huge heart he tried to hide behind his bigger attitude. Loved him so much. 

The story was just so well done. I don't think I have read anything like it all and I a very satisfied reader. I can't wait to start the second book and then wait just a bit for the third. I think I may just become a Jennifer Estep fan. 

Absolute gem I almost missed out on. Read it! really I dare you. 

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.
VISIT JENNIFER'S WEBSITEExcerpts, free short stories, and more information on Jennifer's books can be found athttp://www.jenniferestep.com. (less)

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