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Hey guys! It’s no secret that here was Rabid Reads we ❤ Jennifer Estep, so it’s with great pleasure that we welcome her back to the blog to answer a couple of questions about COLD BURN OF MAGIC, and give away a copy to one lucky follower.
01- Do you have something against moms (in 3 of your series, the female protagonist’s mother was murdered…)?
02- Symbology seems to be a recurring element in all of your books; what’s your fascination with insignias?
03- Do you actively try to incorporate Easter eggs into all of your novels, or does it just sorta happen?
04- I love quirky secondary characters, but Oscar—the honeybeer guzzling, redneck, cowboy, pixie—takes the cake. How did he end up in your BLACK BLADE universe?
05- How does writing a book about a protagonist that protects (i.e. bodyguard) differ from one who kills (i.e. assassin)?
06- I found that Lila’s voice was more mature than Gwen’s (MYTHOS ACADEMY); was that your goal with your new YA series? And, does this mean that Merriweather might see more action on the romantic front than Frost did?
07- Why did you opt to go with monsters instead of the usual vampires, shifters, etc?
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. . .
COLD BURN OF MAGIC’s heroine is a younger, more reckless, less tested version of Gin Blanco, so right away I felt at home in Jennifer Estep’s BLACK BLADE series. Lila Merriweather has two Talents, one of which she keeps on the DL and she has sworn to avenge her mom’s murder—ring any bells? That mostly sums up the correlations between this world, and ELEMENTAL ASSASSIN; as a body guard the protagonist protects rather than kills, although sometimes the latter happens as a result of the former, her back story is an open book, and the antagonist is immediately apparent. This novel blended the top elements from this author’s Young Adult & Urban Fantasy titles into a smashing debut.
As much as I love meeting new characters, and immersing myself in an original plot, world-building still trumps all. First installments are usually where the bulk of a series’ foundation is located, and this book was no different. Estep left me giddy with delight as I wormed my way through her symbology, magicks, and monsters. Getting a feel for the Families, especially the Draconis & the Sinclairs was a close second with the romance trailing as a distant third, but that wasn’t unexpected, and quite frankly I prefer it that way.
In Urban Fantasy, whether we’re talking adult or YA, it’s pivotal that the lead be easy to connect with, and Lila filled that requirement well. A lot of info gets thrown readers’ way with regards to her past, current motivations, and future goals, but as important as all that info is, she was also incredibly likeable which ensured that she was fleshed out in all of the right places. Her POV had a degree of maturity to it that Estep’s MYTHOS ACADEMY novels lacked to a certain extent, so it only took me a split second to decide that BLACK BLADE was going on my keeper shelf.
In addition to an inviting universe, and an agreeable heroine, this author’s food fetish was ever-present, as was her knack for creating standout secondary characters. Mo reminded me of Fletcher, but with his own unique personality twists, and Devon didn’t exactly cause me to insta-drool, although he’s off to a pretty good start as far as love interests go. I need more deets before I can pass judgment on Felix as BFF material, and Claudia could go either way at this point. The clear winner was Oscar: the honeybeer guzzling, redneck, cowboy, pixie. Hehe! Need I say more?
Jennifer Estep knows what her readers want, and delivers it with COLD BURN OF MAGIC. Brilliant!
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