Title: Cold Burn of Magic
Publish Date: April 28th 2015
"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"
Cover: I think this cover is gorgeous. I find covers featuring black silhouettes on a colorful background to be so striking and beautiful. This is one I definitely want a finished copy of to display on my shelf.
StoryLine: Monsters, mobsters, and magic, oh my. I don't think I've read too many dark urban fantasies before, so this was a fun change of pace for me. I loved the world building here. The many monsters and the ancient ways to protect yourself from them, the many mob Families with rivalries that go back many generations, the magicks and their Talents, I drank it up. The plot was fun and fast paced, the whole book took place over the course of about a week. And even though I had my suspicions about the plot twist, I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to see if I was right and how it turned out. The romance was pleasant, a little insta-lovey, but with enough angst and denial to keep it interesting. And no love triangle! I've said it before, I don't usually mind insta love or love triangles, but I do mind if there's both. I was very happy to see that Estep didn't try to through a love triangle in here as well.
Characters: What really pulled me into this book though, was the characters. I was surprised by how much I liked all the characters. Lila was tough and strong and a lot more honorable and good than she believed herself to be. Yeah, she might have been a thief, but she couldn't stand by and let someone else get hurt. As much as she tried to resist, she always ended up helping out others and standing up for them when they couldn't. I really value that in a protagonist, looking out for those that they might not even know.
And it wasn't just Lila I loved the side characters too:
Mo, who might be a con man but would do anything and everything for Lila. Felix, who was good natured, talked too much, and was a hopeless flirt.
Oscar, who was cranky, but also soft hearted and kind. Devon, who cared deeply for his friends and family and would do anything to keep them safe. Claudia, who is as tough and ruthless as you'd expect a mob leader to be, but is also fair and good as far as mob leaders go.
Parting Thoughts: I just really liked this book, and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. And let me just take a second to say how grateful I am that the wait is only 6 month instead of a year? When I finished the last page of Cold Burn of Magic, the first thing I did was check when the next was coming out, and I did a happy dance when I saw October 27th 2015.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.