Cold Burn of Magic
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. . .
* Arc provided by publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review *
Excellent opening! Fantastic characterization and setting description. I could literally see the story events unfold in my mind. The whole time I read this book, I kept thinking it would make a great feature film for teens. It’s just so well-written and engaging.
Lily, the heroine, is street smart, brave, a loner, and a survivor. I found it easy to relate and empathize with her, and loved her from the start. She’s more than worthy of YA readers rooting for her. She’s a dynamic, clever protagonist, easily drawing readers in and proving why we should care about her time and time again. She’s just so human and so well-drawn that it was easy for me to like her. She’s someone I could easily imagine meeting in real life and wanting to know more about.
I loved that even though Lily didn’t want to get involved with the Families or their never-ending war with each other, she couldn’t bring herself to turn her back on someone that needed her help and protection. I found it very believable that she would feel a certain curiosity in her first meeting with Devon, and a strong tie to her friend and somewhat mentor Mo.
My heart hurt for everything Lily’s been through in her young life, and yet, she’s survived it and even though she’s seen, and at times participated in, darkness, she’s still innocent enough to value the simple things in life the rest of us sometimes take for granted in our own lives. Her morals may be questionable at times, but her heart is good and in the right place.
Devon is another character I loved. Like Lila, Devon has been through a lot in his life and though we’re in Lila’s POV throughout the story, I still felt for Devon and cared about what happened to him. Lila’s impression of him made me care because he is a good guy and he genuinely feels responsible for the people around him. Just like Lila, though she refuses to admit that fact to anyone else.
This story has so much going on in it and is such a fantastic read. I was riveted from the first word until the last word and the author wrote everything so amazingly well that I felt like I could see and hear everything going on in my head. To me, this is the best kind of read, because it is able to transport you to a world you’ve never seen yourself but instantly feel a part of and connected to.
If you’re like me and haven’t yet read anything by Jennifer Estep, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book. Since it’s the first book in a new series, you’ll be fully immersed in the world in no time and more than ready to read the second book when it becomes available in the fall.
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.