The urban fantasy blockbuster team of Ilona Andrews has done it again with BURN FOR ME. This is one book I will say do NOT judge by the cover. My firs...moreThe urban fantasy blockbuster team of Ilona Andrews has done it again with BURN FOR ME. This is one book I will say do NOT judge by the cover. My first Kate Daniels book didn’t have a cover and so luckily I was hooked before seeing the cover because I never would have picked it up. When the Kate Andrews series ended I read everything else and have been waiting and following all the snippets and all the incredible back stories, characters, and explanations of the world build our protagonist Nevada Bayor and Connor “Mad” Rogan live in.
In the world of Hidden Legacy, magic is passed down through your parents. Because of this many of the strong families in the higher casts would research and marry because of the flavor of magic in order to have a a child with strong magic. Magic is divided in how powerful they are in a form of ranks. The highest is called a Prime. If a family produces two Primes over three generations they are considered a powerful house of magic.
House Pierce is one of the strongest houses and our protagonist is tasked to bring in their son who has gone rogue. The issue is Adam Pierce is one of the strongest Pyrokinesis (master of fire) over all. He also is accused of breaking into a bank vault and killing one of the guards and injuring many others. Mad Rogan is apply named because his magic is one of the strongest in the world. Nevada is what is called a Truthseeker. She knows when you are lying and learns she can complete the truth also. The magic is complex and weaves a tale just as complete. The authors explain it best:
“Magic exists in the world, magic is hereditary, and family business often revolves around the family magic.“
One thing I adore about alternate history/paranormal urban fantasy are the complex world builds. When an author pulls it off, as Andrews always does, it is spectacular. The world of Hidden Legacy is set in Houston, TX. Our protagonist Nevada, is another strong female protagonist from Andrews. One who will be able to keep us going from book to book. I adore Kate Daniels but she has such a tragic past. Nevada’s is tragic but because of her wit and her personality as well as the wonderful supporting characters I am going to go out on a limb and say I love her a bit more. She is a private investigator whose agency was established by her father and since his death she maintains. She has a huge compassionate heart especially when it comes to her family. Because of debt a large firm owned by one of the larger House, holds the rights to the firm so when they say jump, she does. This time it may come at the price of her business, her family’s home and possibly her life.
Mad Rogan is a Prime Telekinetic has a completely different outlook on life. He is brilliant, commanding, ruthless, antisocial and at times seemingly sociopathic. He infuriates Nevada to no ends. It may be because of the fact she is kidnapped as a “get to know you” thing. :) Andrews is a master at creating conflict and sexual tension. You cannot beat the two most unlikely people dancing around the truth. At the beginning of the book Rogan’s sister asks him to find her son Gavin, who has hooked up with Adam Pierce, a Prime Pyrokinetic who is wanted not only for breaking in and burning a bank down, but also murder.
At first I thought a possible love triangle but .. well you will have to read it to find out. What Adam Pierce also is, is a horrific meglomaniac. Nevada is told if she does not bring him into his House she will lose her business and her families home. She has no choice but to go after him and bring him in alive since law enforcement will not take a chance at being burned alive. What his intentions are who knows.
There is so much more to the story. There are tons of reason why you should read this and the above is only a few of them. It is a win just with the successful first person point of view. Seamless to the point I did not even notice it. There is action, adventure, magic, romance which is just beginning (and in no way over the top), and humor. Snarky fun and passionate characters. I cannot wait for book two! Oh and No vampires, werewolves, demons or otherworld creatures.. well perhaps Peaches and Bug could count as one, but no they are all humans. I recommend this book if you like Kim Harrison and Jeaniene Frost you will really want to grab any of Ilonna Andrews books. There is so much more to this. Make sure you check out the authors website via the links at the bottom of the review which explain it in more depth. For now? I am going to log off here and start re-reading my Kate Daniels books.
FAVORITE QUOTES: “Thank you for not killing the squirrel“
“If you look in the dictionary under grandmother, you’ll see a little old lady with two knitting needles and a ball of yarn.“ I pretended to stir imaginary spaghetti with two imaginary chopsticks. “Sometimes I sit and think, if only my grandma had knitted me a hat or a scarf…”
Really? All those cars and someone put the alarm on an Azteck?
It was made of carnations and tears, stolen glances and desperate, burning need. I kisses him like I loved him. I kissed him like it was the only kiss that had every mattered.(less)
Vampires, Werewolves Witches and men in Kilts.. Oh my! Seriously this was a crazy ride. A 700 year-old clan war. A lost heir, a crazy vampire girl (wh...moreVampires, Werewolves Witches and men in Kilts.. Oh my! Seriously this was a crazy ride. A 700 year-old clan war. A lost heir, a crazy vampire girl (who seriously needs a Thorazine laced blood bag) with a cocky vampire hunter and that is just the first 10% of the bloody book! Where it went from there was a head-spinning crazy-ass ride of whoop-whoop fun! I also always love anything which brings in at least a mention of my hometown of Seattle. The paranormal investigation is pretty cool too.
This is Contemporary Gothic horror. The witchcraft written about is spot on (thank you Bob-bo) which always is a thrill for this witchy-poo to read. I loved the mixture of modern and already established horror story devices and arcs. Even though the story is set in modern day Indiana, the Gothic flavor really seeps through, much like the dampness of manor, graves and crypts. It was brand new and yet felt like a classic at the same time. Thrilling, chilling and full of horror. One of my favorite things were the protagonists and the antagonists were just as lovable. I wish there was a bit more development with some of them or at least a place to breath. Perhaps I was glamoured by Inari the wicked bitch of the cemetery. It was a good read and like I said a crazy ride!
It was full of wonderful creatures, like I said and a full cast of characters and modern day monsters as well. This herein lies my problem with the book. There was just to many characters and though many were developed OK many .. well I just got lost! It bounced back and fourth so rapidly and at times there was a marker to show it was from a different persons point of view or a different room, time, era, room… country? I know, but it got confusing. If the markers would have been consistent, I lost who, what, and where I was. And yes, I had a review copy but because of issues with the Mobi file, the publisher gave me the final file they used for all the sites. At any rate, because of this it took me longer to finish the book. I lost interest or got tired trying to figure it out. The writing was not bad or I would not have finished it, in fact it was good. But I believe it needed more obvious breaks so readers did not have to be pulled out of the story to re-read to make sure they knew where they were. I know a lot of folks who enjoy this type of chaotic scene changes but it was a bit to much for me.
This is the second edition of the book. It was originally published in a much shorter novel (206 pages) back in 2006. Though it was not that obvious, I was able to tell a few places where the scenes or descriptions were filled out somewhat. Maybe this was some of the jarring reading aspects. Still I liked the book. Oh and for you cover whores? Look how gorgeous Enggar Adirasa has made them! 3.5 stars(less)
Read from August 09 to 10, 2014 — I own a copy, and wow.
Know what you say after eating that banana split? "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" Wel...moreRead from August 09 to 10, 2014 — I own a copy, and wow.
Know what you say after eating that banana split? "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" Well guys, I can't believe I read the whole thing.
The following review are mine and Leanne's opinions. It was unsolicited except for the random reading of the tweet from the author, which I did not respond too.
So take a deep breath, perhaps crack open a bottle of wine or pour some Irish Cream in your coffee because you will need it.
As I have mentioned before, grammar is not my strong point. I struggle to place the comma right and commonly find myself putting in a serial comma in one sentence and in the next not bothering. I was taught not to in elementary school and in college I was ripped a new one when I did not. Because of this, I usually give it a pass unless it is so glaringly bad I have to say something. Within the first 10 minute of reading I felt nauseated, and had to put the book down because there was a virtual vomiting of commas or semi-colons or nothing at all I seriously had head nausea. But I, again, gave the author the benefit of the doubt and chalked it up to the recent death of my Kuerig. I slammed a couple of bad cups of instant coffee, took a couple of Tums and gave it another go... Wow, there really are no more words. Still I pushed on through.
The book takes place in the fall of '87 in a small Midwestern town. Bum **** Egypt Indiana to quote the author. I graduated in 1985, went to Washington State University and studied Journalism through 1987 and was heavily involved in the music scene from my junior high years through the birth of my son in 89. I hung with skateboarders, drove to Seattle and like the protagonist, Kiera, dug through the records in the U-district. The 90′s grunge musicians were in high school and had yet to play in front of the mosh pits. I hung out with many of them in fact. Heck, Dave Krusen and I had a very interesting and tenacious friendship throughout my high school career and I have some of the original photos of Outrigger somewhere on black and white negatives at my parents. I say all this because the book is saturated in musical references, so the music is not something that is lost on me, especially from the 80's. However there is nostalgia and then there is self-service.
Before I get into that, I think I should address some of the technical things which didn't just jump out at me, but inspired me to take a bullet for you guys.
Let's start with the technical issues. I promise I will not nitpick. One of the 101 There are several mistakes writers make. Any Creative Writing 201 class will tell you the watch out for some of the following (all of which she makes the mistakes of falling into the trap of): **Lack of Editing. **Dull Writing. **Too Much Irrelevant Detail. **No Attention to Language. **Absence of Imagery and Reliance on Cliches. **No Sense of Place. **No Shape or Structure **Poor Dialogue Skills **Lack of Technical Knowledge.
I won't cover all of these. It is to bad but it is common in first time writers. Let's address the lack of editing and lack of technical knowledge first. Again, I am sure this review is riddled with my own technical mistakes. I could never edit my own work. Hence why you need professional editing. Not just someone who hangs an "editor shingle" up, but has been proven by the actual piece of work, to be a true editor.
The opening sentence should have been an indicator to me: "Red pen slashes a bloody trail all over the journal that lands in front of me."
If I was wielding a red pen myself it would be corrected with: "Red marks slash a bloody trail over the journal that lands in front of me."
After reading the first four chapters I went back to re-read what I had read just in case it was me. Truthfully at this point I *was* just going to give up and write a DNF review. (BTW I read the WHOLE BOOK) After re-reading and seeing for myself why I actually felt physically ill, I found the lack of or mistakenly used commas to be the dirty little culprit, and not the bad coffee. There are over twenty-four mistakes which I will not bother to even post which include but are not even close to being limited to attribution style clauses, independent clauses needing or not needing commas and the lack of hyphens. One that bothers me horrifically are the made up slang. I am reminded by my wonderful partner that this could be a sub-culture I was unaware of. Even with that in mind you think could find some kind of etymology of the word hillbullies that is not a weird esoteric movie reference from 2009. I am not even from Indiana but if I ever called one of my Hoosier family members (yes Grandma and Gramps were from Indiana) or any of my friends a Hillbully I would probably lose a friend. I shared the following example with one of them tonight when I asked her if she had ever heard of this slang term. (Which it seems to be not paying attention to language).
(FROM THE BOOK) - You see, in Indiana if you were to request Earl Grey tea, you would be met with a blank stare followed by, "What in tarnation are you askin' fer?". It isn't like the entire state is a bunch of fat, stupid redneck hillbullies. It's just the majority. You try and find a cluster of people who aren't gun-toting, truck-driving, country-music-listening, rude, "yew ain't frum here ar yew", ignorant hillbullies in Indiana. I dare you. That's why there are so many trucks with the bumper stickers that say "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out." - ("Nothing in Particular" 128-129) -
Desiree DeOrto a Indiana Hoosier and author of The Divinity Stone Series responded with, and I quote, "WHAT. THE. ****. O.O" she went on to say a lot more, but we agreed to be above it and so she asked me to share this:
"`As an AUTHOR who lives in Southern Indiana, has went to college for Animation and Psychology and is raising my children here I would have to say that your representation of what the people of Indiana are is absolutely horrifying, uncouth, and immoral.'"
All I wanted to know is if anyone had heard the slang term of hillbullies. Again, don't take my word or Leanne's, read the Amazon sample at the bottom. This also is an example of no sense of place and poor dialogue skills.
I seriously had to shove my cover whore deep back in the closet (much like Keira the protagonist did as a child with her stereo-typical little brother and her contrived image of an abusive father). Speaking of abuse, the original synopsis mentions it but her new one does not. This is sold as a young adult read (see her genre listing from Goodreads and her own wording in the synopsis). Believe me I do not want to discount the abuse the protagonist suffers from, but it is all over the place and so violent I would feel criminal letting a child read this. There is no real consequences to the abuse which happen, it is one desperate loss after another. Even in the end (which there really is not one, but apparently this is a series read) Kiera has no real closer. I have whiplash from shaking my head so much. Child abuse happens to over 20% of the children in America, it is a serious subject matter. Believe me, for someone who is a domestic abuse victim the violence in this had me shaking and crying at times. Her use of present perfect tense did bring you into the book. This is where that half star comes from. But it does not stop (spoiler coming and possible trigger), Kiera has the nightmares come together and remembers at about 60% that her father sexually molested her at the age of five. Again whiplash and my jaw is a bit sore from hanging open so much ridiculous situations and the overall complete contrived feel of the book.
Wait, what about the self-serving comment you ask?
BIG sigh and another ... "****. Me. Running."
If you spend all your time telling a story and proving your prowess in something like.. ohhhh 80′s industrial and punk bands you totally are going to lose your audience. We are not going to even be bothered to become involved with the characters (Which though I felt for Kiera and saw a little bit of development for the most part they were very flat and two-dimensional). You are only self-serving and being overbearingly excessive...(deep sigh). The truth is you are doing it for yourself, you want everyone to see how clever and knowledgeable you are. But (shaking my fist passionately), you cannot create a fictional book on reference alone! Things maybe happening within the pages of this book but it is overwhelmingly a minority. Sure this is a shout-out to the misfits, such as I was but I wanted so bad to find something redeemable. The violence and contrived abuse situations and characters were there, (oh and yes you can experience violence and your writing can still sound contrived) but it was over the top. I know it was a message but because of this self-serving choice of stuffing the novel with all these names of bands, just as the chick-lit gals with their brand-dropping, it cost the point and message of the narrative for at least the first 30% of the book and even when it let up to be replaced by Kiera being almost killed by her father and all the other horrific things it was lost for the rest of the book. Because so much of it happened in the begining, most folks (non-masochists) probably have given up before hand.
The book is so full of pop-culture references across the span of the 80's my head was spinning (no shape or structure and relying on clichés) and yes my coffee had been drank. I ended up spending two hours discussing the first 15% of this book with my partner, Geoff. Being a professional musician Goeff is a Jedi Music Master and I'm just a mere Padawan. However, I still know enough to become perplexed at not only the choking amount of musical references this book drowns in but the combination of it all. It is worse than reading some of the chick flick I have read which throws around Prada and Jimmy Choo till you are ready to throw up and still have no clue what you are reading, (which truthfully I felt like doing after the first 10 pages). Think of how a Prada-whore would feel if they saw you walking down the street in your worn out Levi jeans and this years latest Shiny Leather Point-Toe Pumps (which, by the way, I am drooling over)!
Can I go on? Probably but frankly I don't want to waste anymore of my time on this.
So about that bullet? Yeah, took it, am still awake past my bed time writing this review. I want to leave you with a final thought I learned from an award winning editor. Once you think your story is perfect, walk away from it for at least a week. You can take all the beta tips you want, you can have someone who is a best-selling author help you edit, such as this author had, and take a clinic and say it is perfect. You can have the best intentions... and a week or even a decade later you will find glaring mistakes. They will leap out at you like snarling KY Hillbullies. (I finally found out what a hillbully is, apparently it is a bull terrier breed, that cute dog on Little Rascals Dog and the Target ads).(less)