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Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Cold Burn of Magic

by Jennifer Estep

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I would classify this book as a young adult category book. Having said that it perhaps a bit less young adult than some of the young adult books that I have read. Jennifer Estep has created a new and enjoyable universe where monsters, magiks and mundanes live together. She brings in elements of mob families a' la maffia families into the mix and throws the young but talented thief Lila into the mix. Jennifer has also created some new and interesting magic powers.

All Lila wants to do is to live her life as a thief alone but, not surprisingly, she is soon thrown into the murky waters of family intrigue and, also not very surprising, things start to heat up and Lila quickly gets her hands full defending herself as well as the man she is, somewhat forcibly, hired to protect.

I liked the world building as well as the characters which are well done in the usual Jennifer Estep way. Lila is a good main character, independent, talented, knows how to fight and has a sharp tongue.

The story itself is good with a few twists in it and the main bud guy, at least in the long run, is a thoroughly dislikable character. Although the story is somewhat young adult it is fairly rich, the plot holds together and it is not as silly as in some young adult book. There are a bit of romance (or should I say romances) but it is not overdone and kept on a reasonable level such that it does not intrude on the main story or becomes a boring filler element.

I liked the book. It is a fun read and I will surely pick up the next book in the series. ( )
  perjonsson | Oct 28, 2017 |
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

In accordance with current FTC Guidelines, please let it be known this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.


When I first started reading Cold Burn of Magic, I did NOT think I was going to like it. To have a setting where the main character goes from a magic-slinging sword fight, to texting on her cellphone in an SUV, was very hard to conceptualize. However as the book progressed, and some of my confusion was cleared, I was able to truly understand and enjoy the story more. The setting takes place in a United States tourist town named Cloudburst Falls, where magic and creatures are the theme, and various magical families compete for ownership of it. Think of it like mafia families sharing ownership of Disney land, only the magic, creatures, and deadly sword fights are all real. The main character, an orphaned thief named Lila, gets caught between the two biggest magical families in Cloudburst Falls and has to join one of them in order to survive.

The Good:

Although I had difficulty getting my head around the setting of the story in the beginning, this faded, and I was slowly able to further enjoy the many intricate and unique elements that made up the world Jennifer Estep created in this story. One of these enjoyable elements, was the magic that certain characters were born with. Magic in this story was not just limited to types, but also degrees of strength and rarity. A character could have a weak ability to heal and/or a strong ability for super-strength. Another nice element to the magic system, was that although genetics played a role in whether or not you received magical abilities, the characters were not merely limited to the abilities in there family tree. If your mom was super-fast, and your dad super-strong, you may have an affinity towards these abilities, but you could also end up being able to freeze things instead.

Another unique story element, was the clear description of various and distinct creatures. Different creatures had different abilities, different preferences of appeasement, and liked to live in different places. All of them however could be dangerous when provoked or if hungry.

The Bad:

One of the issues I had with Cold Burn of Magic, was that I felt a few of the character’s personalities were too inconsistent. Just when you thought you knew them and how they felt, they would completely turn and do something out of character. This led to some slight frustration, and made me have to re-read pages a few times, just to make sure I wasn’t making a mistake in what I read.

Another problem that I had, was that some of the major plot points I found to be too predictable. By paying attention to what was said in the story, I was able to guess not just the identity of the bad guy, but also their manner of death by the time I was halfway through the book. I feel like some of the more important clues could have come a bit later in the story, which would have increased, or rather actually provided, a level of surprise.

The other concerns that I had were minor. First it seemed to end too abruptly. Just when I felt like the story was starting to move along and pieces were falling into place, the story pretty much finished. The major conflict that Lila addressed throughout the book, was never truly resolved. Instead it seems that this was left for the sequel to deal with. Another concern, was the under-utilization of the various creatures talked about in the story. Aside from a few descriptions and sightings, few of the creatures played any role in the first book. This had me a little disappointed after all the great descriptions that were given for them. Finally, I have to ask two questions. First, why is no one using guns? Yes they are banned in the town, but if people are killing each other, why would they not break other laws too? Second, why are all these people with magic and magical creatures so well known…but yet only exist in this tiny geographical area of the U.S.?


This was not my favorite book, but it was an enjoyable one. It had a unique setting with a unique magic and weapon system, with mysterious creatures that made me want to learn more. The story felt like it came to an abrupt stop once it finally started to pick up, but at least there is a definite sequel to remedy that. If I had been asked to review this book after the first two chapters, I would have given it 1 to 2 stars…if I was feeling generous. However, after reading the rest of the book, it kept improving, thus becoming more understandable and interesting. That is why my final rating for this book is a solid 3 stars, and also why myself and other Fiction Foresight Reviewers do not DNF books! This is a book that I would recommend to an urban fantasy lover for a vacation or long commute to pass the time.

( )
  FictionForesight | Apr 26, 2016 |
Diese und weitere Rezensionen findet ihr auf meinem Blog Anima Libri - Buchseele

Juchu, ein neues Buch aus der Feder von Jennifer Estep! Nach ihrer "Mythos Academy"-Serie habe ich mich ja doch sehr auf ihre neue Serie "Black Blade" gefreut. Und dann ist es doch tatsächlich das erste Buch der Autorin geworden, das nur drei Sterne von mir bekommen hat...

Das letzte Buch von Jennifer Estep, das ich rezensiert habe, war "Spinnenjagd" und das erste, das weniger als fünf Sterne bekommen hat. Und bei einem Blick in die Rezension fiel mir gerade vor allem ein Wort ins Auge: Repetitiv! Und genau dieses Wort wollte ich, sehr zur Belustigung einer guten Freundin, auch unbedingt in dieser Rezension unterbringen, denn es beschreibt die ersten 64% des Buchs nur allzu gut.

Jennifer Esteps neue Welt ist nicht uninteressant. Die Geschichte spielt in Cloudburst Falls, einer Stadt in den USA (?), in der es vor Magie nur so wimmelt und zwar in Form von Magiern und Monstern. Zu ersteren gehört auch Lila, die sogar direkt über zwei besondere Talente verfügt und sich als Auftragsdiebin über Wasser hält. Dazu kommen die Familien, Mafia-artige Strukturen magischer Familien, die über die Stadt herrschen und von denen sich Lila eigentlich fernhalten wollte - eigentlich. Denn plötzlich ist ihr das nicht mehr möglich.

Klingt cool, oder? War es eigentlich auch. Aber eben nicht nur. Denn erst einmal war die Geschichte vor allem auch sehr langatmig. Wobei das gar nicht so sehr die Handlung selbst betraf sondern viel mehr die Hintergrundinformationen, denn die gibt es nur häppchenweise und diese Häppchen werden dann wieder und wieder durchgekaut. Das war auf Dauer eben doch recht ermüdend und ich hätte mir mehr Informationen gewünscht bzw. dass man einige, die man sich durchaus schon selbst zusammen reimen konnte, einfach früher erhalten hätte.

Und leider war das nicht der einzige Punkt, in dem ich mit "Black Blade: Das eisige Feuer der Magie" nicht so recht glücklich war. Denn auch in Sachen Spannung konnte mich der Roman nicht überzeugen. Ja, er ist spannend, aber eben nicht spannend genug, denn im Grunde genommen ist hier das eine oder andere doch schon von Anfang an vorhersehbar. Auch die Figuren waren zwar interessant, konnten mich aber nicht restlos in ihren Bann ziehen - wobei ich es durchaus positiv fand, dass die Romanze hier nicht im Mittelpunkt steht.

Alles in allem ist Jennifer Esteps "Black Blade: Das eisige Feuer der Magie" zwar kein schlechter Roman, aber eben auch kein überzeugender Serienauftakt. Ich werde die Serie zwar aller Wahrscheinlichkeit weiter verfolgen, aber einen richtig positiven Eindruck konnte dieser erste Band dann doch nicht bei mir hinterlassen - sehr schade! ( )
  FiliaLibri | Nov 10, 2015 |
My review of this book is part of a multi-book review at http://popcornreads.com/?p=8624. Enjoy! ( )
  PopcornReads | Nov 3, 2015 |
Seventeen year-old Lila stays under the radar in the tourist town that boasts it’s the most magical place in America; a place with mortals, those who have magic, and the monsters that live in the surrounding woods and mountains. The town is run by magical mob-like families and you don’t want to come to their attention if you aren’t a member of one of them. Having been trained by her mother, Lila is an outstanding thief and excellent as a fighter with a couple of magical Talents that are kind of rare.

Much to her chagrin, she steps in when seeing an assassination attempt and comes to the attention of the second most powerful of the families.

If I were rating this book at only one or two chapters in, the rating would not have been too good. Lila has a mouth and attitude that aren’t especially endearing, especially when coupled with what she does to earn money. That and when recapping what took place 4 years prior that now has her in her current situation, too many things just felt off.

But the story and her situation soon sucked me in and we see a much different side of her than what she wants and needs others to see. Smart, capable, loyal and compassionate while attempting to not let others get too close. The characters are interesting as is the mystery, action and the already building back story.

Read from a library book. I’ll definitely be reading the next one. ( )
  dearheart | Sep 25, 2015 |
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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 blood-iron 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....
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Living under the library in a magical city of monsters and rival families, a reluctant young bodyguard and thief risks her life to save a boy only to be targeted by powerful adversaries.

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