Burn for Me, or The Avon Book, is the first in a new series by Ilona Andrews. Since Ilona writes one of my favorite series (Kate Daniels), I was excited but nervous. What if it didn’t live up to expectations?
Let’s just get this out-of-the-way – the cover is, well, crap. I’ve seen pictures of a supposed alternate cover and it’s hard to believe the publisher chose this one. Even some of the fan art that is out there would better portray the story. But, please, please, please. Do not let the cover deter you from reading BFM. It does no justice to the excellent story and writing within the pages.
Ilona Andrews always delivers on world building and even though this is only book one we have learned tons about the magic of this world. Basically, scientists discovered a serum that would bring out natural magical talents in the 1800’s. Since then many families with these abilities have bred themselves to increase power. There are different levels of power with the highest being Prime.
The characters are the stars. Nevada is a private detective who now owns her family firm whose mortgage is held by another magical family. She has minor magical abilities and can determine when someone is lying or truthful. She is forced by her contract to hunt for a Prime, Adam, who is using his pyrokinetic power to start fires around the city. Mad Rogan is the head of a powerful house whose telekinetic abilities are so strong that he is feared by almost everyone. They have to work together to try to take down Adam before he destroys the city. Secondary characters including Nevada’s family are well written and add a lot of texture to the story.
This is urban fantasy at its best. If you’re expecting a bodice ripper, think again. It’s all about the characters and their world. The love story takes a back seat and that works fine for me.
5/5 stars and very highly recommended. Get The Avon Book as soon as you can! Now, excuse me while I go look up the expected publication date of book two so I can start obsessing about it.