Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews



Title: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)

Author: Ilona Andrews

Rating: 4 Stars

Forget the new Kate Daniels book, I just want more of the Hidden Legacy series. It speaks to the immense strength of the Ilona Andrews writing duo that, despite diverging from a well-known and slightly formulaic series, they still manage to put forth innovative, fresh, and genuinely captivating novels. It was already evident from The Edge books, a series of companion novels set in the same universe, but now with both The Innkeeper Chronicles and Hidden Legacy series, two incredibly promising series debuts, they have proved that there is much, much more up their sleeve either than Kate Daniels.

Frankly, that's rare. We see it all too often where authors simply draw out a series beyond its natural ending point or inundate fans with countless spin-off series. I admire Ilona Andrews all the more, however, for choosing to begin new ventures. Moreover, both Clean Sweep and Burn for Me contain characters written in a completely different vein from Kate and Curran. I love Nevada, the family-oriented and loyal protagonist of Burn for Me, and I particularly love the distinct quality of her narration. It's funny, just as Ilona Andrews knows to be, but it also lacks the loneliness and despair that marked Kate's voice in Magic Bites, instead giving rise to a flavor of indomitable strength and courage tinged with vulnerability--a state I was able to instantly relate to. 

Unlike Kate, Nevada is instantly like-able and her world, full of enormous leaps in social hierarchy, forces her to be a victim of her environment in more ways than one. The world-building in Burn for Me is intricate and intriguing from the start and only develops as the novel progresses, which I love. You're left with the sense that there is so much more left to be told, not just story-wise with this series, but also world-wise and I anticipate that sensation of peeling back layers to a new novel. Plus, for those of you who are fans of Ilona Andrews heart-stopping action sequences and penchant for mythological mysteries, have no fear; it is present in spades in Burn for Me. 

Yet, what makes Burn for Me such an incredible novel is, simply put, its characters. Nevada, her ex-solider mother, her younger brothers and sisters, her hacker cousin Bern, her grandmother who isn't too old to appreciate a shirtless (and very good-looking) man, and, of course, Mad Rogan himself. Without divulging spoilers, Burn for Me places Nevada, a woman with relatively little magical power, under control of the corporation to which her business is mortgaged and, as a result, she much apprehend a powerful fire-wielding psychopath, Adam. Mad Rogan, known for his immense power and the enormous death rate he has been responsible for during the war, is searching for Adam for reasons of his own and when the two team up, sparks fly. 

Mad Rogan isn't your typical hero. After serving in the war for years and wielding an unparalleled amount of magical ability, Mad Rogan is used to getting what he wants, who he wants, and when he wants them. Thus, he lacks empathy and sees murder as the first--and only--solution to every problem thrown his way. Needless to say, Nevada is terrified of the man despite the sexual tension palpable between them. To write a romance between a character such as Mad Rogan and a civilian such as Nevada is no easy task but Ilona Andrews truly makes us root for them. Moreover, it helps that we, as readers, are offered miniscule glimpses into Mad Rogan that Nevada lacks which gives us a stronger insight into the man. It isn't a fast-paced romance--but Ilona Andrews has never been known for that--and the slow-burn is torturous but oh-so-gratifying. Or, at any rate, I imagine it will be in the next few installments. 

Long story short, Burn for Me is a must-read for fans of Ilona Andrews and/or the Urban Fantasy genre. It's a true breath of fresh air from the all-too-typical insta-love sequences with vampires or other paranormal creatures and the lore of this universe will grab you in and won't let you go. Plus, don't even get me started on Mad Rogan. Move over Curran because Mad Rogan is here! ;) Burn for Me. Read it.

16 comments:

  1. I'm glad to see you had a great time with this one, I really loved it! So fun! But well for now I'm always conquered by their book so I'm not that surprised. But I need book 2 now! great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seems awesome! Great review, as always. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. How is it that you always manage to find the best words for everything? This thing Ilona and Gordon are doing IS rare, and I love it. IT's such a pleasure to have authors one can rely upon. I adored the worldbuilding, and although I was able to draw some parallels between Kate and Nevada, and especially Rogan and Curran, I thought this was immensely satisfying.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have seen so many great reviews for this that I am excited to read it too!
    Wonderful review!

    ReplyDelete
  5. YAY!!!! So glad you loved this too Keertana! Her family was a highlight for me as well, her grandmother in particular. She made me snort on more than one occasion:) I can't wait to see how the relationship between Nevada and Mad Rogan unfolds in the coming installments. Love that slow burn!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Another brilly review for this book! I was worried that I may be wondering if the world was overplayed but now I don't need to worry at all! I so need to start catching up with all her books.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I so need to read more books by Andrews asap Keertana, I think I read like the first two books in the Kate Daniels series and then got side tracked by something else. But I can totally see the appeal of this story, I'm a huge fan of books which step away from the insta-love route, also I think I need to meet Mad Rogan asap! Gorgeous review as always! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. LOVED this book!! Yes, I've already read it twice. I'm so impressed by this writing team and what they're putting out -- yeah, there's the Kate Daniels series (which has been formulaic but they really shook things up with the latest installment!) but I really want more of this series and their Innkeeper series and, well, everything!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't usually read books in this genre, but the overwhelming two thumbs up reviews for this one is kinda hard to ignore. I didn't really continue on with Kate Daniels, but I'd love to give this writing duo another try. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't read a lot in this genre, but I do need something different from time to time. I will put this series on my list as one to try. I can't wait to meet Nevada and her family and Mad Rogan. And the psychopath. Always interested in those. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am new to PNR. I tend to stick to fantasy, but I did read the first book in the Kate Daniels series. I thought it was okay. I'm interested in seeing how the romance between her and Curran takes place, so I'll keep reading. After reading your review, though- this new series has definitely piqued my interest. I just requested for my library. Can't wait to see how Burn for Me is different from the other series!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Seriously girl! I thought that they cannot do better things than Kate Daniels but boy I want this one now!! It seems to me that everything they write it just turns into gold. Let's make them live forever! We need more of that awesomeness. Amazing review, Keertana :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm picking this up next Monday and I can't wait! I'm so excited for this one because I've seen nothing but good things. Ilona Andrews can do no wrong, IMO. I love character driven stories so I'm happy to hear this shines because of them. Wonderful review, Keertana! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. THANK YOU for continuing to push these authors on me! I loved this so much. I do plan to read Kate Daniels some day, and I love that these authors manage to write different heroines, romances and worlds so well. THIS is one of my favorite aspect of well built series: "You're left with the sense that there is so much more left to be told, not just story-wise with this series, but also world-wise and I anticipate that sensation of peeling back layers to a new novel. " So well put, K! And you're right, the romance seems pretty sketchy at first but it works SO WELL. I'm aching for more of these two. They are a fantastic balance to each other. I love how Nevada has to talk Mad out of killing people all the time ;).

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from my readers and I read, reply, and appreciate every one of the comments I receive!(: If you're a fellow blogger, please leave a link to your blog - I'd love to drop by!

Unfortunately, this is now an award-free blog. I simply do not have the time to respond and forward on the award, but I truly appreciate the nomination regardless.