Here we are the first Monday of May. Can you believe that summer is right around the corner? If you are trying to compile your summer reading list, I have a terrific new series from Jennifer Estep that you should check out. For those of you unfamiliar with Jennifer Estep, she is the author of the adult UF series: Elemental Assassin as well as the YA series Mythos Academy. Her new book, Cold Burn of Magic delivers a tale with a magical city run by mafia type magical families. Oh and there are monsters that live in the city that don't hesitate to eat people. Are you intrigued yet? I am excited to have Jennifer Estep here once again for a short interview. Let's meet Jennifer:
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Jennifer is the New York Times bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series; the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy; the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series; and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.
Visit Jennifer on her website,blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Here is my interview with Jennifer:
Cold Burn of Magic, the first book in my Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series, was released on April 28.
Cold Burn of Magic focuses on Lila Merriweather, a 17-year-old thief who lives in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia, a town dubbed “the most magical place in America.” Tourists come from around the world to tour all the magic-themed shops and attractions, as well as see monsters like tree trolls, copper crushers, and more in their natural habitats.
Lila does her best to stay off the grid and avoid the Families — mobs — who control the town. But when she saves a member of the Sinclair Family during an attack, Lila finds herself caught in the middle of a brewing war between the Sinclairs and the Draconis, the two most powerful Families in town.
So basically, the book is about magic, monsters, and mobsters.
The monsters were one of my favorite parts of the book. Do you have a favorite monster and if so why?
JE: As far as Cold Burn of Magic goes, I really liked writing the lochness in that one. That’s probably my favorite monster in the Black Blade series so far.
I just thought it would be cool if there was this town where people went to see monsters, so that was one of my inspirations for my fictional town of Cloudburst Falls. So far, I’ve had a lot of fun putting my own spin on some creepy monsters, and I hope readers like them as well.
If you could have a magical talent like one of the characters in Cold Burn of Magic, what kind of talent would you want and why?
JE: There are so many magical talents that would be cool to have, but I’ll go with Lila’s soulsight magic. I think it would be interesting to be able to look at someone and know what they were really feeling.
Do you find it hard to let go of a series and start over with a new world and different characters, or do you look forward to the challenge?
JE: A little bit of both. I finished up my Mythos Academy Series in 2014, and it was a little bittersweet to say goodbye to the characters and world, since I had been writing about them for a couple of years. But hopefully, fans enjoyed the conclusion to the series.
But on the other hand, it’s always exciting to start a new series and come up with new characters, magic, settings, and more. I hope everyone has fun getting to know Lila and reading about her adventures.
Summer is right around the corner, do you have any books picked out for summer reading?
JE: I have about 40 books in my TBR pile right now, so I have plenty to read this summer. LOL. Some of the books I’m looking forward to reading include The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows and The Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy.
Can you tell us what is on the horizon for you and your next releases?
JE: Dark Heart of Magic, the second book in my Black Blade series, will be released on Oct. 27. The third book is tentatively scheduled to be released in 2016.
I’ll also have two Elemental Assassin books out this year. Spider’s Trap, book 13, will be released on July 28, with book 14 set to be released on Dec. 29.
And I will also be releasing a new book in my Bigtime series. Fandemic, book 5, will be out on June 2.
Thanks so much, Jennifer, for taking the time to answer my questions. Best of luck with all your new releases. I am already eager for more!
JE: Thanks! I appreciate that. Happy reading, everyone! J
A huge thanks to Jennifer for stopping by to see. As you can see, she is one busy lady with five books releasing this year! Have you read anything by Ms. Estep? If not, what are you waiting for? In fact, Jennifer wants to get someone started on her latest series, so today she is offering up a copy of Cold Burn of Magic to one lucky U.S. winner. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter after reading the Contest Policies Good Luck!
Here is my review:
Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1) by Jennifer Estep
There Be Monsters Here. . .
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. . .
Paperback, 368 pages
Published: April 28th 2015 by K-Teen
Four stars: An exciting story with magic and monsters!
Lila quickly riffles through the desk looking for the box holding the ruby necklace. She is an expert thief, hired to retrieve a ruby necklace. Before she can escape, she is cornered by three guards, but luckily for Lila, she has a few tricks up her sleeve that aid her getaway. At seventeen, Lila has known her fair share of hardship. She is alone, living in the basement of the library, working dangerous jobs to support herself. Lila lives in a magical tourist town inhabited by monsters and controlled by rival families who don't hesitate to kill one another. Lila's rule is to keep her head down and avoid trouble, but that changes when she inadvertently saves the life of Devon Sinclair, the son and heir to one of the ruling families. Now Lila is forced to make some life changing decisions. Will she come out unscathed?
What I Liked:
- Ms. Estep once again manages to impress with her outstanding world building, engaging characters and exciting story lines. If you have yet to try a book by Jennifer Estep, now is a good time to grab Cold Burn of Magic and start her latest series.
- Lila is a characters that takes a bit of time to warm up to. In the beginning, she is selfish and shallow and only cares about one thing: herself. However, as you peel back the layers and get to know her, you see that there is more to her than meets the eye. She is selfish for a reason since she has been on her own since her mother was murdered when she was thirteen. Lila is a fierce fighter, and when the chips are down, she does the right thing. I enjoyed watching her growth and by the end, I was impressed and ready to go the distance with her.
- The world building is terrific. Ms. Estep delivers a magical city run by several feuding families. Many of the inhabitants have magical talents or special abilities depending on their gift. in the city, there are also lots of different monsters that will eat unsuspecting humans if they don't pay the tolls to the monsters. There are even pixies! I loved the monsters and the world Ms. Estep created.
- I was surprised and pleased to find that there wasn't a romance in this one. It isn't often in the YA genre that you get a story without a romance. Yes, there are seeds being sown for a future romantic involvement and there are sparks of attraction, but nothing solidifies in this book. I appreciated that this book for the most part was romance free and that it took it's time to develop a solid friendship. When a romance does blossom, I think it will be fantastic.
- I enjoyed the numerous story lines laid out in this book. Some come to fruition and reach a conclusion by the end, while others are established for the overall series. There is a lot going on, and many exciting developments in the works. The main series story line is setting up to be sinister and scary. I am looking forward to more.
- I appreciated that this book didn't end on a cliffhanger. There are several story lines set up for the series that will be ongoing, and then there were several story lines that were wrapped up at the end of this book. I loved that I didn't get a nasty cliffhanger.
And The Not So Much:
- It took a little while for me to settle into this one. I think the reason is that I wasn't connecting with Lila in the beginning, but once I did, things took off.
- I was left wanting to more about the mob magical families that controlled everything. I am guessing that more information regarding the families and their feuds will be forthcoming.
- The villain was rather easy to pinpoint as he gave himself away early on. Not a big issue, but I wish that it had been more of a surprise.
Cold Burn of Magic is an exciting series beginning. I loved the world and the characters and I am eager for more in this series. If you are a fan of Jennifer Estep and you are wanting a terrific new Urban Fantasy series for young adults, dig in with this book right away.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.