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Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

So. I am going ahead and reviewing Burn for Me, even though it doesn't come out for two months (I know), because I just can't seem to wait that long to tell you how fun it is. I knew Ilona Andrews had two full-length releases out this year and I was super excited about this brand new series, but somehow the latest Kate always overshadows other titles in my mind. I also had it set in my head somehow that this one resided more on the paranormal end of the spectrum, which is fine, even though I tend not to respond quite as well to that genre. I trust this author implicitly. But I was really pleasantly surprised as I was reading to find out that (shirtless cover aside), though the romantic subplot plays a much more central role and proceeds more quickly than it does in the Kate Daniels novels, it is never overwrought and in no way overshadows the rich world-building, fast pace, and fantastic characters I've come to expect from Ilona Andrews.

Nevada Baylor prefers not to attract attention. Of any sort. In a world ruled by rigidly stratified magical practitioners known as Primes, Nevada operates as far below the radar as possible. After the death of her father, she took up the reins of the family PI business. Making sparing and judicious use of her ability to determine whether or not people are telling the truth, and utilizing every scrap of talent from each of her siblings, her cousins, her ex-military mother, and even her mechanic grandmother, she is determined to provide for them all and stay afloat. But when their parent company calls her in and blackmails her into taking a case no one with half a brain cell would touch, Neva knows her days are numbered. And when she inadvertently (and completely against her will) partners up with Mad Rogan—the most notorious and insane Prime of all—she figures she might as well take advantage of Rogan's legendary abilities before the whole thing goes up in flames. Rogan has his own reasons for trying to track down the rogue Prime that's taking the city by storm. And so together the two set out to save the city. Whether or not they can manage it without killing each other along the way is another question entirely.

Burn for Me is just a cracking good read. The action, mystery, romance, and humor are all entwined in just such a way as to make the reading of it a nonstop pleasure. My interest never flagged, and I liked Neva and Rogan every bit as much as I hoped I would. My favorite thing about Andrews heroines is how hard they try. How doggedly they love and protect the ones that are theirs. How desperately they cloak their secrets. And how ferociously they fight to save the world. I loved Nevada for the way she held her family together, ran her business, and managed to handle crazy, magnetic Rogan. The glimpses we get of Rogan's past are painful and fascinating; his history as a telekinetic Prime and as a forged weapon is both twisted and suffocating. Working together, these two amount to a lit flame. And it was no hardship at all tracking them on their wild course through the city, arguing, plotting, and working their way closer together. Neva is rightfully guarded around Rogan, while Rogan doesn't know the meaning of the word "boundary." The combination of the two is something of a compulsive delight. My favorite moments, of course, are when Neva's deceptively simple ability allows her insight into Rogan. For example:
I was suddenly so tired. My eyes were burning. My throat still hurt.

Mad Rogan raised his hand. A bottle of water landed into it. He handed it to me. "Rinse your mouth and eyes. Don't swallow."

I opened the bottle, gulped, swished the water inside my mouth, and spat. The scratching subsided.

The younger of the men reappeared in the warehouse door and nodded to us. We started toward him.

"Thank you for saving my grandmother," I said.

"You're no good to me if you're burying a relative instead of looking for Pierce. I did it for completely selfish reasons," he said.

Lie.
I hated that it had to end. And I am already awaiting the sequel with the usual ill concealed impatience.

Burn for Me is due out October 28th
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Comments

  1. I've had kind of UF burnout lately (no clue why), but this really sounds like it'd be up my ally. Hmmmm...

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  2. Oh,oh! Thanks so much, Angie, for posting this review so early. I pre-ordered it ages ago, and after reading your review, I am glad October will soon be here. Is the tone of the book a bit like the Edge or the kinsmen books? I remember Ilona saying in their blog that the idea of the book cam from the kinsmen stories where corporate families with members with special gifts/powers run the world.

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  3. I'm with Sarah in that I've read surprisingly little UF this year considering my usual love and enthusiasm for the genre, but reading Magic Burns reminded me how much I love it and made me doubly excited for this one. And your inability to wait makes me even MORE excited!! I'm so glad it's another Ilona heroine, because I'm with you 100% on what makes them awesome.

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  4. I loved this one so much! The spark between the characters, the setting, just everything!

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  5. Like I mentioned on Twitter, I really can't wait to read this! Ilona mentioned that it's similar to Silent Blade and Silver Shark and I loved reading those two (I even reread them recently). I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy reading Burn for Me. I just wish it was available right now.

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  6. I'm so excited for this book! It's been on my list for a while. I love books where romance happens alongside another plot. After The Winter King was read, this is next on my list. :)

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  7. Fingers crossed, Sarah. It's not as gritty as the Kate Daniels books, but it's just a super fun ride.

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  8. My pleasure! It's definitely closest to the tone of the Kinsmen books. Though the scifi element is missing and there's some of the feel of the massive history of Kate's world (which I loved).

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  9. Yeah, Neva is just great. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

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  10. Yay!! I agree. Everything was on point.

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  11. I loved Silent Blade so much. I think this one is definitely closest in tone to the Kinsmen. But it has some Kate in it to be sure. :)

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  12. Exactly. I'm the same.

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  13. WANT!!! Just imagine me, stomping around and grumbling about how far away October is... grumble, grumble...

    Although I am seriously relieved to hear it is living up to expectations *whew*

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  14. Lol! I shall picture you that way from now until October.

    But yes. No worries necessary. :)

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  15. Ooh, thanks for the early review! So excited for this book!

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  16. Good to hear, because I just pre-ordered it!

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  17. My pleasure, Rebecca. It's just so much fun.

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