Book Review: Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews
The magic in this story universe is an innovative mix of innate genetic ability and physical spell work based on arcane glyphs and circles- like something straight out of a high fantasy novel. Magic has boundaries – meaning it doesn’t give even the Primes, the most powerful of mages – limitless potential.
I haven’t enjoyed an urban fantasy book this much since the first Night Huntress book, and that series is one of my all time favorites! This series has a lot of potential and should appeal to lovers of paranormal romance as much as fans of urban fantasy, thanks to the solid writing of team Ilona Andrews and their fierce, daring characterization of Rogan and Baylor.
Burn For Me is all that and a bag of potato chips. It is a perfect storm of action, wonder, intrigue, and a hint of romance to bait the hook. Seriously, just thinking about this book that I read two months ago (there’s a lot of books between now and then, ladies!) is filling up my brain with all sorts of silly, nonsensical comparisons and fangirl talk. And I don’t usually even like urban fantasy. As in, don’t even want to try it, my track record with UF is so bad.
What makes Burn For Me so very special? Relate-ability, striking characters, innovative lore, and a slow burn chemistry paced just right. That’s what!
Nevada Baylor – first of all, you must admit that is an excellent name – is a heroine you can respect and relate to while still being little in awe of her loyal drive and foolhardy bravery. She’s sassy without being annoying, sensible without handicapping herself, stubborn but not to the point of self-sabotage, and skilled without being a completely unbelievable badass. Basically, she’s the gal you want to hang out with on wine night and the one you want at your side when you run into trouble.
Connor “Mad” Rogan, on the other hand, is a wild card right from the start. He’s obviously the male romantic interest, so you know he can’t be truly corrupted and ‘bad’, yet he’s written so succinctly – and with such gravitas – it’s easy to imagine him doing some fairly unexpected things. Mad Rogan is initially presented as an extremely powerful mage who bows to no one and feels zero remorse for the countless lives he has taken… enjoys it, even. This is a risky choice for a hero’s profile. The authors have to strike that perfect balance so that he radiates presence, authority, and danger without leaving him psychotic and emotionless. Ilona Andrews has created a beast of a leading man in Mad Rogan, and I want more of him!
“I had briefly considered impaling him with one of those steel poles from the roof, but decided it would be too graphic for you. Would that have been preferable?”
My mind conjured up Peaches with a steel pole sticking out of his stomach. “No.”
“I really would like to know,” he said with genuine curiosity. “The next time I kill someone, I’d like to do it in a way that doesn’t freak you out.”
“How about you don’t kill anybody for a little bit?”
“I can’t make that promise.”
Regardless of Mad’s scary dragon moments, my gut tells me there’s a yummy, sweet, gooey center to the Rogan-pop, and we’ll see more of it organically as the series progresses.
Burn For Me feels a little like Karen Moning’s Fever series story arc, with two powerful men simultaneously trying to use and flirt with – one outright and the other much more roundabout – the heroine and you know at least one of them is for sure a bad guy, where the other one is the sexy hero you root for.
The first chapter in Ilona Andrews’ new Hidden Legacy series, Burn For Me is a masterpiece. Now, earlier, I implied that I practically want to marry this book but I don’t like urban fantasy. If you read my reviews much, this is no surprise. Annoying first person perspective heroines, not enough smut, and zero perspective into the hero’s head tend to send me looking for the exit fast. So for me to say “hey, this urban fantasy book is one of the best books of the year” – and that is exactly what I’m saying – is a very big deal. Well, to me. Guess you’ll have to read it for yourself to see if you agree! =)
Burn For Me is…