I've been sitting on this one for a while, saving it for a rainy day because I knew I'd love it and wanted to savor the prospect of reading it. With all the quarantining going on, now seemed like an excellent time to revisit the world of Hidden Legacy, Primes, and, of course, Mad Rogan.
DIAMOND FIRE is the bridge between the original trilogy starring Nevada and the new series starring Catalina. Nevada is now getting married to Rogan and the Baylors have their own prestigious House with multiple primes (although the records of the minors are sealed). Catalina and Arabella are tasked by Rogan to make sure that the wedding goes smoothly... but wedding planning takes a sinister turn for the worst when theft and poison enter the mix.
Catalina ends up acting as investigator on her own, trying to figure out who might want to stop Nevada and Rogan's wedding, whether they're willing to kill to do so, and if it's an inside job. She really comes into her own in this book, developing a confidence in herself, as well as her controversial and powerful abilities.
I loved Catalina and I'm sure I'm going to love her even more once I read her "official" novel, but this book had some problems. Part of me wants to give it 5 STARS out of my sheer love for the original trilogy but this does have some of the typical novella problems. The first half is very rushed and has a definitive "fanfic" vibe. The second half is much better, pacing-wise, and I liked Catalina a lot more as a narrator. Which is one of the problems I had with this book.
Nevada was made into a total Bridezilla for the lolz. And while I get that nerves and perfectionism make everyone a little crazy, it did almost feel like Nevada was demonized to make Catalina seem more likable and even-tempered by comparison. Which was totally unnecessary! One of the things I loved about the original story was Nevada's loving dynamic with her family. So making Nevada go le cray cray felt not only out of character but also kind of mean.
Ilona Andrews, I expect better from you!
As a fan of The Hidden Legacy trilogy, I'm giving this a four star rating because it was really, really fun and the mystery element was much less silly than I was afraid it was going to be. However, this is not a standalone and can't really be read and appreciated without the original trilogy under your belt, and it does have some pretty major problems that I just can't overlook, no matter how much I love IA.
4 out of 5 stars