Posts Tagged: Urban Fantasy

Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Promising Spin Off: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

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A Promising Spin Off: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews
Sapphire Flames
Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #4
Genre: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: August 27th, 2019
by Avon

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrew comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.
-A copy was provided by Avon for review-

While I was incredibly taken in by the world that Ilona Andrews had built with the Hidden Legacy series, I was still somewhat skeptical about how I’d take to having a new main character at the helm and especially a younger main character (Catalina is only 21!) As soon as I started reading though, all those doubts I had faded away and I instantly fell in love with these characters and the world again. 

I thought I would spend most of the book missing Nevada and Rogan, and while I certainly missed them, Catalina brought something new to the table and I really enjoyed watching her journey unfold. 

Three years have passed since Wildfire and Catalina is now head of house. The three protected years that Baylor house had are coming to an end and the vultures are about to descend on them. Catalina is now head of the house and is shouldering a burden similar to Nevada’s from earlier books. When a case involving a family friend finds Catalina, she finds it hard to say no even when warned about the dangers of taking it on.

It was so easy to fall into this mystery and watching plot points unfold and I was so happy to be reunited with the Baylor gang. I love how supportive this family is of one another and I genuinely want every single one of them to get their own spinoffs.

Catalina is a formidable new main character and I loved that while both her and Nevada had a lot of similar struggles, Nevada’s laid the foundation for hers and Catalina often had to make choices Nevada would never consider making. Both sisters had a strong head on their shoulders and would do anything for their family but sometimes the way they’d go about doing that differed. Basically, while Nevada and Catalina had a lot of similar characteristics, they didn’t read like carbon copies of each other and I appreciated the effort Ilona Andrews put into distinguishing the two from each other. 

I think one of my biggest qualms with this book was that I didn’t quite buy the romance. Alessandro and Catalina had a 15 minute interaction 3 years ago and that is somehow forms the basis of their entire relationship? Idk, it just… didn’t quite fit for me. I think that as individuals, I appreciated both of them a lot and think they work very well together, I just… wasn’t sold on their infatuation based on a 15 min interaction. I do love them both though and hope to see their romance develop more in the sequels.

That said, I am absolutely sold on this spin off series and cannot wait to see where the sequels will lead us. I also wonder if we will see more of certain grandmother and where that could go.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Heisting Were-Dragons: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Heisting Were-Dragons: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Posted by on 12/12/2018 • 0 Comments

THIS BOOK HAS WERE-DRAGONS AND HEIST. If that alone isn’t enough to get your interest, there is no way I could change your mind with my boring-ass words. But I do have a review to write so I guess you could stick around if you felt like. I’d much rather you just read the book though.

MOVING ON. I’ve been reading Sarah Beth Durst for quite some time now and I’ve never read a book by her that I didn’t like. I expected Fire and Heist to be set in a high fantasy world so it took me a little longer to get around to read it but it’s actually set in an urban-fantastical world and I LOVE URBAN FANTASY. When you dive into a book featuring heists and were-dragons,…

New Beginnings: Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

New Beginnings: Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

Posted by on 11/23/2018 • 0 Comments

I’ve been obsessed with the Hidden Legacy for years now so I was more than a little sad when it came to an end. OF COURSE, they announced a spin off and we got the first hint of that in this little novella.

Nevada and Rogan are getting married! FINALLY! And of course, given how things just happen around them, the wedding planning isn’t going as smoothly as anticipated. A family heirloom goes missing and there might be someone plotting a wedding murder.  In comes Catalina (also the narrator of the spin-offs I believe) who is put to the task of solving this mystery without alerting Nevada to the on-going shenanigans.

So, I went into Diamond Fire with no idea what the novella was about or that it…

A Fairy tale about Fairy tales: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

A Fairy tale about Fairy tales: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Posted by on 01/30/2018 • 4 Comments

I think it’s fair to say there has been some mild hype surrounded The Hazel Wood. I mean, that gorgeous cover and the synopsis are kind of hard to resist so it makes sense. BUT, is the book worth it? This is a slightly complex question to answer because I ~know~ this book won’t be for everyone. To be honest, I also kind of avoided reminding myself what the book was about before I read it because I dreaded the hype getting the better of me and my tastes. I came out pleasantly surprised.

The Hazel Wood is part urban fantasy, part fairy tale and part a book about stories. If someone had told me that before I read the book, I would be intrigued but also nervous because…

An Adventurous Middle Grade Novel: The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

An Adventurous Middle Grade Novel: The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

Posted by on 05/10/2017 • 1 Comment

5 Things You Need To Know About The Gauntlet

1. It is a great book for kids who love games and kids who love RP games. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were made a character in your fav game? WELL THIS BOOK ANSWERS all those questions and more.

2. Friendships are a huge deal in this book. Farah and her friends grew apart when she moved and as they are forced into The Gauntlet, they reconnect and work together to rescue Farah’s brothers. Lots of cutes to go around.

3. It is fast paced. While I do enjoy a fast paced book, I did feel like it was a little rushed in terms of development and transitions from challenge to challenge.

4. FOOD PORN. Lots and lots of…

Not really memorable: Freya by Matthew Laurence

Not really memorable: Freya by Matthew Laurence

Posted by on 03/29/2017 • 1 Comment

I feel pretty let down by Freya? The question mark is there because I am not even entirely sure how I feel, just that Freya wasn’t what I wanted it to be when I was looking for a book with norse myth in it. I love books that are set in the modern world and feature heavy doses of mythology and yet, while Freya-the book-was absolutely adorable at times, Freya as a character was kind of annoying. She was obnoxious and while it sometimes made sense since she was a goddess, it could also get really annoying.

I like the contrast the author attempts with her being badass and feminine at the same time, but I also feel like he wasn’t entirely successful with crafting Freya’s character as a blend of those characteristics. She…

ARC Review: Journey’s End by Rachel Hawkins

ARC Review: Journey’s End by Rachel Hawkins

Posted by on 10/27/2016 • 4 Comments

Are you looking for a spoopy read for the Halloween season? Have you considered picking up a delightful middle-grade Halloween-esque novel? If so, consider reading this charming novel. I am a huge fan of Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall and Rebel Belle series’ so I was all about this book but it wasn’t quite what I expected (not in a bad way.) It has a lot of the fun feel from her YA books but the characters don’t sound the exact same and I LOVE that. They aren’t just the same characters but a little younger and in a different setting.

Journey’s End is a small town located in the middle of nowhere Scotland but it is unlike most small towns because of the magical fog. I think we’ve seen enough scary movies to…

Reaction Post: This is Shyness by Leanne Hall

Reaction Post: This is Shyness by Leanne Hall

Posted by on 10/23/2016 • 0 Comments

This Is Shyness is one of those wonderful Aussie gems that is available on this side of the ocean and I am so glad it is because it is such a beautiful book. I am not going to do a traditional review for this one but want to experiment a little.

Welcome to Shyness, a place where the sun never rises and the people who live there are anything but normal…

THIS IS SHYNESS is about a boy who can howl and a girl trying to escape. Over the course of the night they go on an adventure, explore shyness and discover some things about themselves. They might or might not fall in love while they are at it 😉

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At first I was like:

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