Hidden Legacy: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Posted on December 9, 2014

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burn for me by ilona andrews

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

The cover worried me. It looked like a cover for a cheesy paranormal romance with more action between the sheets than out of it. I shouldn’t have worried. The husband and wife team Ilona Andrews has not failed me yet in delivering tightly plotted stories. The Kate Daniel series is my favorite urban fantasy series ever! The Clean Sweep series published weekly on the authors’ website was also a lot of fun. The Edge Series did not capture my attention though possibly because it did not feature the slow burn romance I had come to expect from Ilona Andrews. Maybe I will return to this series, but for now, I am just in love with their A Hidden Legacy series. So far there is only the first book and I probably will wait months (!) for the sequel. I read in the authors’ blog that it will span three books, which might be too few for me as I am looking forward to enjoy a lot of Nevada and Mad Rogan adventures.

In Nevada’s world, there is Youtube and Facebook and all the usual 21st century inventions. It would probably look indistinguishable from ours. The major difference is that power revolves not on simple money or might of arms but on the strength of one’s magic. You see, in the 19th century European scientists discovered a serum that would awaken magical talents in those who took it. The aristocracy and the rich were first in line of those who obtained it. Families begot children who can control the elements, move objects by power of mind, and teleport objects. Those who previously married for status, money and power now married for magic, because strong magic would give them everything.

A century and a half later, families with strong magic have evolved into dynasties, or Houses, as they call themselves. And one of the most powerful Houses in Houston just begot a massively strong pyrokinetic son who wants to destroy the city.

Nevada Baylor, a small-time private investigator with a knack for telling truth from lies is forced into taking on the case of retrieving the errant son before he does anything drastic–like burn her to death. To make things worse, she has somehow gotten the attention of Connor “Mad” Rogan, a Prime telekinetic whose power is off the charts. He abducts her and chains her in his basement to get information from her. He probably would have killed her if she was not able to resist his mental coercion. Not a great way to start any relationship.

She is forced to accept his help as only a Prime can defeat a Prime. They chase after clues and race against time to find an artifact that amplifies magical talent before the terrorists could get their hands on it.

Nevada reminds me a little of Kate Daniels. They are both stubborn and independent. They both have a strong alpha male pursuing them romantically. But unlike Kate, Nevada has very little power and must rely on her wits and investigative skills to survive. Nevada has a strong family support system whereas Kate’s family died on her and has a father who probably wants her dead. Although there are hints that Nevada is still growing into her powers, I doubt it will be the kind that could devastate nations and terrify gods (as in the case with Kate). This makes me like her a lot. I guess I do miss heroines who can still stay human even as they become a part of a more dangerous world.

Mad Rogan is enigmatic, magnetic, terrifyingly powerful, and a psychopath. He kills without remorse. He can level cities with a thought! But I hope there is more to his character than ruthlessness. Even his pursuit of Nevada stems from a desire to feed a newly discovered need rather than a genuine affection for her. At this point, he is more in lust with her than in love.

But I know we shall get there. The worthy heroine and the bad boy — this is a trope that never fails to trigger swoons from fans.

The world-building in this series is superb and makes sense. I can see dozens of books and short stories being spawned from this universe. The series would very likely feature individual cases or mysteries while it reveals more clues to a greater plot per book.

I really like this series. I give it a rating of four stars. The reason I do not rate it five stars is the presence of certain logic holes in how the magic or talents are used. I think there are three situations where Mad Rogan is easily injured and Nevada has to save his ass or keep him from getting killed. These incidents establish Nevada as relevant in fights but it made me scratch my head over the discrepancies in Mad Rogan’s abilities. In one scene, he renders adversaries immediately weaponless by mentally cutting their guns into pieces. But in another scene, he has to wield a metal door as a shield while Nevada shoots at armed enemies. Why couldn’t he have destroyed the guns like he did before or why could he have not telekinetically control the armor or clothes of the enemies to move them out of the way?

This is rather geeky. But when I read I like to imagine myself in the world I am reading so any loop hole in the world-building throws me off.

But I don’t want to end my review on that note. I am eagerly waiting for the sequel. I would love to see how Mad Rogan can overcome Nevada’s challenge, which is to prove to her she will choose to be with him. I believe this will be a tall order. Nevada has morality and compassion, whereas Mad Rogan seems to have none.

So how would this play out? I can’t wait to find out.

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Posted in: fantastic