Audiobook review: Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews
With the release of Ruby Fever next in August and a two year wait in between books, I took the time to re-read Emerald Blaze via audiobook. Even though it’s been a couple years since I read the story, I found it still incredibly exciting and just as wonderful, if not more, the second time around. The narration by Ms. Rankin adds to the experience.
Partially taken from my original review:
Once again, the writing team of Ilona Andrews just blows me away. Although Emerald Blaze is the fifth story in the series, it is fresh, unique, and exciting! The amount of details poured into the story is fabulous. From the creation of and continued character development, to the detailed action scenes. The action is face-paced and the quiet moments are emotional. The story pace flows seamlessly from zero to sixty, back down to ten and then up to 100 mph, never missing a beat or sacrificing quality storytelling.
The romance between Catalina and Alessandro is critical to their development and is simply wonderful. When Catalina is suddenly forced to work with Alessandro (after he left her six months ago), she handles it gracefully, but doesn’t let him get away with anything. She recognizes right away that he’s changed, and she wants to make sure he’s okay. She challenges him and he meets her. He’s there for her, and together they open to new possibilities, even though the promise she made to her grandmother will keep them apart.
The action storyline of Emerald Blaze is standalone, but ties in the events that started with the previous book. We learn more about the group behind the warped magic users and stolen/missing Osiris serum and the person Alessandro is hunting. The action is intense, but it doesn’t overpower the story. There is violence, but it isn’t gratuitous. And, I just love how whip smart Catalina is. She’s not winning because of luck. To some degree it’s her magic, but she’s so smart, thoughtful and cunning… much like her despised grandmother. The end of the book has a couple shocking moments that will leave readers on edge and impatient for the next book.
Narration: The story is shared from the first person POV of Catalina, and Ms. Rankin does a great job capturing all that is Catalina. Her voice is youthful, not quite hardened, making it perfect for the twenty-something who is taking on the heavy weight of her House and the National Assembly. I love how the narrator changes the voice for when Catalina is using her magic – she makes it slightly robotic/sing-songy and a little creepy. Her voices for the older characters are strong and aged. Males are lower and distinctive. She has a wide array of accents, and each character is identifiable and unique.. I really enjoyed her work.
Emerald Blaze is a wonderful story! I love the evolution of Catalina and Alessandro – both individually and as a couple. They have had to deal with so much and they do it with such grace. And with the way things ended… I am so thankful Ruby Fever comes out next month, finally.
About the Book:
As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart.
The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart.
Author: Ilona Andrews
Narrator: Emily Rankin
Series: Hidden Legacy #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance
Audiobook Release Date: August 25, 2020
Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
Audio Speed: 1.3x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)
Reviews in the Series:
Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #1) – Audiobook Review
White Hot by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #2) – Audiobook Review
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #3) – Audiobook Review
Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #3.5) – Audiobook Review
Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #4) – Audiobook Review
Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy $5)