Saturday, August 26, 2017

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

WILDFIRE was so good that I actually didn't want to review it right away or even read anything else. I just curled up in bed and watched mindless YouTube videos, thinking about how good this whole trilogy was (so far), and wondering why the hell it isn't a TV show when so much other bullshit is making it to prime time.

(Seriously, if nobody's bought the film/TV rights to this series yet, they better get cracking.)

The book gets off to a rough start, which made me wonder in the beginning if this was where the series finally jumps the shark. But no, everything evens out, and Nevada immediately sets out to establishing House Baylor, even though it means that she and her family and her relationship with Rogan are all going to become uncomfortably public.

Even worse, Rynda, Rogan's ex-fiance, has her husband kidnapped and being a helpless rag, gloms on to Rogan while they make an effort to figure out what happened to Brian Sherwood (an equally helpless rag). This being the world of Primes and whatnot, his disappearance is almost certainly rooted in yet another conspiracy filled with people who want Nevada dead...or alive, but totally under their control.

Nobody writes power struggles like Ilona Andrews. If you like court intrigue, the Hidden Legacy world features a whole lot of that, modernized. Magic is power in the HL universe, and those who have it are constantly using it to throw their weight around, create new alliances, and topple enemies. Nevada, who is a new player to this game, comes to this world as an outsider, and has to navigate a playing board where virtually everyone except perhaps Mad Rogan is an enemy.

The magic system in this book is also really great. It reminds me a lot of that Brandon Sanderson novel, STEELHEART, because it's all about superpowers...and while some of the classic abilities are there, she and her husband put a fresh spin on everything and make it all new and interesting. The end result is a universe that I felt utterly enchanted by in a way that I haven't really been by a book since reading Harry Potter or the Dark Materials trilogy. This is classic fantasy with a romance cover.

Also, goddamn - all the people in this book are pretty. I'd complain, but they're also extremely well fleshed-out characters with interesting flaws and idiosyncrasies, too. Bug was hilarious with how he shipped Rogan and Nevada, and Cornelius is scary AF but manages to be adorable, too. I could say more about why you should read this book but you'd just end up with a 10,000-word long essay about how sexy Mad Rogan is and I don't think that would be particularly edifying for any of you to read.

...Or maybe it would. ;O

4.5 out of 5 stars

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