Review: Diamond Fire – Ilona Andrews

Review: Diamond Fire – Ilona AndrewsDiamond Fire
by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3.5
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

together with their parents
invite you to join
their wedding celebration
November 6, 2018
Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

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5 stars icon fantasy icon

I’m a humongous Ilona Andrews fan.  I’ve been reading their Kate Daniels series since the first book came out in 2007, and I’ve happily consumed their Edge and Innkeeper novels as well.  My favorite, however, is their latest series, Hidden Legacy.  I adored Nevada, her strong moral compass and her dedication to her family, so while I’m sad we’re moving on to a new character, I’m also excited to learn more about Catalina and the rest of House Baylor.

This novella is meant as a bridge between Nevada’s novels and Catalina’s novels, so while the prequel is from Nevada’s point of view, the rest of the story is from Catalina’s POV.  The best way I can describe this is “Ilona Andrews does Poirot.”  A Rogan family heirloom has gone missing, and the only possible perps are the members of Rogan’s extended family, who are staying at his mom’s mansion in advance of the wedding.  Nevada’s busy being a bridezilla in the most Nevada-way possible, so Mrs. Rogan enlists Catalina’s help, and what ensues is a ridiculously fun investigation, Baylor-style, that gives us a taste of Catalina’s unique style and also manages to tie up a few loose plot threads.

Catalina shares many of the Baylor family characteristics with Nevada – her commitment to family and doing what’s right, even if it’s difficult, for starters.  The similarities end there.  While Nevada, as the oldest, has been shouldering the family’s burdens since her father died, Catalina, due to her Siren magic, has been much more sheltered.  While we got a bit of that in the previous novels, the full ramifications of her gift are explored more here.  Catalina is a very different young woman than Nevada, but she is just as kickass.  The plot moves along quickly, with lots of hurdles to overcome, from a possible poisoning attempt to finding a bedazzler for Rogan’s niece’s stuffed unicorn.  There was one particular plot thread left dangling that I had a major quibble with at the end of the third book, as it felt like was more specific to Nevada and Rogan than the overarching “Primes will take over the world!” plot line, and that’s finally wrapped up here.

My one criticism – there are so many characters for a novella of this size!  Even with the family tree at the front of the book, I had issues keeping the characters straight.  I can’t help but wishing this was a full-length novel, but I understand the constraints behind that.  For one thing, there’s not much here in the way of romance, besides the obvious romantic setting of a wedding, though for very good reasons in Catalina’s case.  I think a lot of people would’ve been confused by a whodunit mystery smack dab in the middle of a romance series.  It does appear to set up Catalina’s romantic interest for the next novels, and I am ALL IN for that couple!

Overall, this was a delightful cherry on top to Nevada and Rogan’s HEA, and a deft handover to Catalina.  I am ever so excited to see what comes next for her!

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