Welcome to our very first "Book Talk". In posts like this Melanie (From Melanie's Muses - just in case there was any doubt) and author Susan Harris will both read the same book and then post their thoughts. Make sure you scroll to the end for your chance to win a paperback copy Emerald Blaze!
Standalone or series?
Melanie - The publicity director says it can be read as a Standalone, so that's what I did!
Susan - Series- although please ignore Melanie when she says you can read this book without reading books 1-4 and the novella. You just can’t get a feel for why the characters are the way they are unless you’ve dived in from book 1.
Melanie - I managed just fine!
Susan - but you would have had to manage if you had read the books from the start...it's like jumping into a show on season 2!
How did we get this book?
Publisher sent it to Melanie. Susan purchased via Book Depository
Why did we choose to read this book: Susan was already a fan of Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniel’s series and of the other books in the Hidden Legacy series… and had been trying to convince Melanie to start it - Melanie decided to just start here as the Publisher sent her 2 copies of this one and insisted it would work much to Susan's disapproval!
And Now To The Review!
Susan - As a continuation of the series, it’s your typical middle book- fast paced and engaging. Catalina has changed a lot since the last book, even more so from the quiet and fearful girl she was because her family kept her protected. Now, she’s a Prime in charge of the family business trying to crumble under the weight of it all.
Melanie - Susan assured me there would be no wolves. On the first page there were wolves! OK so it turns out they weren't ACTUALLY wolves but when I have a magical book, and it says "Wolf in man's clothing" how was I supposed to know that this was code for "Assassin"? Why not just say Assassin? *rolls eyes*
Susan -It is perfectly acceptable to describe a predator or assasin as a wolf- you just have this "Thing" about wolves...le sigh
Susan -For me, I’ve always loved the family dynamics in the Hidden Legacy series. You can tell that the characters love each other deeply and would do anything to protect one another. Now that Nevada has gotten married and almost ready to pop with her and Rogan’s first child, Catalina has taken over the role of being the breadwinner and defacto stalwart of the family. Dealing with a broken heart while trying to find her feet as the head of a newly formed House, for someone like Catalina, it can be lonely and heavy to bear the burden. When Alessandro comes back into the picture, Catalina has to deal with the consequences of the deal she made with her grandmother, Victoria Tremaine, one that means Catalina may never have the happily ever after her sister has.
I did however find that the “Villain” of the book and the outcome was easy for me to predict, but maybe that’s because I could see the plot. I think when you had a villain like Adam Pierce from Nevada’s series…unless you have a bigger more bad-ass evil Prime then I feel kinda cheated.
Highlight of the book, with all the books, has to be Bug…I bloody love that foul mouth little git and would 100% sign up to read a book based on him
Melanie - OK, so obviously I didn't have any of that background info and to be honest it didn't really make that much difference to me. The magic set up is pretty standard (except the damn wolves thing), and you have Primes at the top in various houses and with their own specialties, and even rules that were unique to this story/world were easy enough for an experienced reader to follow. So I guess the question is, would I have enjoyed it more had I known the families and their history before? Personally I don't think so. The highlight of the book for me was by far a random statement about how artificial consciousness works, which I will admit was random but it was so good that it bumped the star rating up for me. I don't think any prior knowledge would have changed my thoughts, although not having read any with a true "big bad" maybe I didn't notice so much that it was missing? So maybe that worked in my favor!
Susan - Emerald Blaze is another fantastic read from the husband and wife duo, Ilona Andrews. I look forward to the final book in the series to see just what happens between Catalina and Alessandro and if her grandmother gets her own way. I’m mostly excited to see who may be the next member of the Baylor family to get a spin off of their own…
Melanie - Emerald As my introduction to what I now know is a husband and wife duo, Ilona Andrews, I will say it improved as it went on. I don't think I will be rushing out to read any more, but I certainly didn't hate it.
Susan – 4 Stars
Melanie - 4 Stars (but only just) .
Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you liked our "double take" on the same book and if you have a book you would like us to read just let us know!
GIVEAWAY DETAILS & HOW TO ENTER!
Melanie's Muses will be giving away a paperback copy of Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews.
For your chance to win- leave a comment ON THIS POST ON THE WEBSITE (comments left on shares around other social media WILL NOT COUNT) - Telling us if you have read any of Ilona's books before.
The winner will be picked randomly from qualifying comments. Having read the books does not increase your chances of winning.
Winner will be announced during the Live show on September 20th (and then posted here on the blog as well on the 21st). Full Rules Below!
Good luck everyone!