Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep


Cold Burn of Magic
Jennifer Estep
Reviewer: Gikany & Una
Rating: A

What We’re Talking About:

Cold Burn of Magic is the debut novel in Ms. Estep’s new Black Blade young adult series.  Gikany and Una loved it!  This is a fabulous start to a great urban fantasy series.

As some of you will know, we loved Ms. Estep’s previous young adult series, The Mythos Academy.  When we heard she was writing a new series, we knew we had to read it.  We enjoyed this fresh and interesting new world.  The mafia element mixed with monsters and magic was fascinating.  We enjoyed how magic worked in this world, and that it wasn’t hidden but a naturally occurring tourist attraction.  The politics between the founding families added an interesting tension and twist to life in this town.  The plot lines of the mystery of the threat against Devon, Lila trying to keep herself safely hidden, and Lila’s desire for vengeance against the ones responsible for her mother’s murder wove together to create a quick, engaging, and engrossing read.

Lila is a fascinating heroine.  Although she reminded us a bit of Gwen from the Mythos Academy series at first, Lila is far more confident in herself and her abilities.  She has to be to survive.  We loved her grit, her sarcasm, and the deep-down core of goodness she possesses.  She is clever and respectful to a point (and it varies depending on whom she faces), but most of all heartbreakingly loyal.  We loved that she is a young adult heroine with a healthy appetite.  Considering her athletic ability, it is commendable to see her have an appetite that is appropriate for someone of that age and activity.  Her love of bacon cracked us up.

The other characters in the novel helped to ground the story and round out the feel.  We enjoyed Devon and his complexity as he struggled with the role he plays in the Sinclair family.  Felix and Mo were wonderful characters who not only helped to lighten both the novel and Lila, but also added some intrigue.  Oscar the pixie has already become one of our most beloved characters.  The gruffness that he uses to try to keep his emotional distance was touching.  His reluctant care of Lila was endearing.  We look forward to seeing them in the next novel.

Cold Burn of Magic is a great novel for anyone who enjoys intrigue, magic, and sarcasm.  We loved Lila, the world, and the intrigues that have already taken shape.  This was a great start to what feels like another fabulous series by Ms. Estep.  Gikany and Una eagerly look forward to the next novel in the Black Blade series.

Our Rating:  A, Loved It


About the Book:

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. . .

Release Date: April 28, 2015
Kensington Teen (K-Teen)
Black Blade #1
ISBN: #978-1617738241
Young Adult (Urban Fantasy)
Paperback (368 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley

Purchase Info:
Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)

  • stormi34

    I am starting to think my taste in things have gone down or I expected something different from this book and didn’t get what I wanted cause everyone I know is all raves about it and I think I gave it like 3 stars cause I thought most of it was boring. 🙁

    • I’ve had that happen before, and I know it’s not me it’s them. LOL! I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s waiting for me on my Kindle. I hope the hype doesn’t sway my feelings about it. That does happen, you expect one thing, and when it’s different, it may not measure up.

      • UnaReads

        I’ve had the same thing happen. I’ve read the book summary, then read the book and was a little meh about it. Then to go online and see rave reviews and I wondered if we read the same book or not. Sometimes a book gets to you and sometimes not. Maybe the characters or the world didn’t captivate you as it did others. That is the one great thing about literature, it is entirely a solitary experience.

  • Rummanah

    I got this one on order for my avid teen urban fantasy readers. I’m curious to hear what they think about it before I give it a go. I’ve got too many books on my plate right now. 😉

    • UnaReads

      If you get curious, there are some excerpts available here and on other sites. Plus, you can skim a bit of it when it arrives to see if you think it will be your cup of tea.

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