Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

From Goodreads: 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 ...

My Rating: Wavering between 3 and 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: After enjoying the Mythos Academy series, I was looking forward to reading Cold Burn of Magic, the first book in Jennifer Estep's newest series. Cold Burn of Magic, however, was kind of not what I was expecting.

Firstly, the pacing was very uneven (but that may have been because this is the first book in the Black Blade series). See, Cold Burn of Magic starts off quite excitingly with Lila stealing a necklace from a house and getting chased by guards after she's caught, and ends on a solid, noncliffhanger note; but sort of stalls in the middle as it introduces the reader to an urban fantasy city where regular humans, humans with talents (i.e. superpowers), and monsters coexist. Unfortunately, a lot of this introduction came via telling rather than showing. For example, although there's a lot of talk about monsters, we don't really see any until the end when one conveniently appears to save Lila and Devon, the romantic interest. 

Secondly, though I liked the characters, Devon pales in comparison to Logan, the romantic interest from the Mythos Academy series. In fact, I liked Felix, Devon's best friend, better than Devon! As well, Lila reminded me a bit of Gwen because they both have powers that enable them to peek into other people’s minds. (Speaking of powers, the talents that people could have in Cold Burn of Magic weren't very well explained. For example, I still don’t understand how it’s possible for people to steal each other’s talents.)

Cold Burn of Magic will be released on April 28, 2015 by K-Teen. 

Comments About the Cover: It doesn’t really look very memorable. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Kensington) for free via NetGalley. 


  1. I started this and dropped it at least three times already. It just reads like all her other books, which is repetitive and kind of boring. I've read no more than 50 pages and I already pretty much know where the story will go. I'll read it, sure, but I don't expect to be blown away.

  2. I have teens who are big fans of the Mythos Academy and have this one on order for them. I wonder if they'll be more lenient or if they would have the same complaints as you, Z. I only read the prequel and first book to the Mythos Academy and liked them. I should go back and finish the series.

  3. Ah, I recall people liking the Mythos Academy series back when it was released. It's too bad to hear this new series isn't quite as good. I'm still curious about trying out Jennifer Estep's work sometime - I love all the elements she includes in her books, after all. We'll see how I feel about her writing...

  4. hm, it sounds pretty meh. I liked the Mythos Academy books, but they definitely had their flaws and by the end I couldn't finish the series. It sounds like this series is a rewrite of Mythos, but not even as good.

  5. I loved the plot, I loved the characters, I loved the writing, I loved it all. I have faith that the romance will develop over the series, and I also have faith that it won’t overpower the rest of the series. I’m so excited to see where the rest of this series goes.

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