Top positive review
Why you will love this book--no spoilers!
Reviewed in the United States on July 25, 2017
This series may be Ilona Andrews' best yet--yes, even better than the truly excellent Kate Daniels series or Innkeeper. Both the main and secondary characters are vital, interesting, and mostly likable people that deserve many, many more books. Heck, even the tertiary characters like Heart, Kurt and Officer Munoz are well-developed PEOPLE in the able hands of Ilona and Gordon Andrews. The world-building is stellar, the plots are tight and interesting, the romance is exciting and believable, and the editing is excellent.
Urban fantasy is a genre flooded with mediocre writing and poor editing, and books from Ilona Andrews (and the fantastic Patricia Briggs) are shining examples of what really, really good writing and editing can create. As an analogy, most urban fantasy is like regular food. Some of it is McDonalds--satisfies at the time but isn't really good. Some of it is like Applebees--actually pretty good food, and a better experience. Enjoyable, but still formulaic, predictable and not terribly exciting. This series (and Kate Daniels) are like an exquisite, Michelin-starred chef-created meal that is truly a work of art. Yes, you might have beef at all three places, but at the fancy restaurant it's going to be perfectly prepared, with tastes that both please and challenge your palate, and will be beautifully presented. THAT'S what reading this series is like--eating a gourmet meal. Luckily for us, this book costs no more than most, although I would have bought it in hardcover without hesitation. In a fading genre, books like this will always sell, because they are so very good.
I won't recap the book, as others have already done that and I want to keep this spoiler-free, but here are my likes and dislikes of this book:
1. The characters. Not only do you root for them, but these are people that you would really want to know and hang out with in real life. They try to be the best people they can be, they learn and grow, they don't make stupid, dramatic mistakes to further the plot, and never once do you want to yell, "You idiot, what are you thinking?!?" Instead, you'll find yourself cheering them on. Even more, no one is black and white. Characters are painted in myriad shades of gray, making them more complex and interesting.
2. The sense of family and loyalty that makes the Baylor clan who they are. They aren't perfect by a long shot, but they are awesome, and they love and support one another. Hatred, jealousy and backstabbing have their place in stories, but thankfully the authors didn't infect this family with any of that. They are a family you love to love, and that love and support extends to others--Cornelius and Matilda, for example. Others care for and fight for them because of this, too.
3.. The infinite potential for more books in this world. I would be thrilled if Avon is smart enough to renew Hidden Legacy for at least another three books. This world has so much more to explore, and there are so many secondary characters who deserve their own stories--Cornelius, Augustine, each of the Baylors (I would LOVE to see how Leon turns out!), and even unrelated characters simply set in the Hidden Legacy world. MOAR BOOKS PLZ!
4. The selfless but possessive love between Nevada and Rogan. There's no artificial romantic angst between them, but they do have issues and bumps in the road. They handle them like real, mature people who want the best for the other person, yet whom are not saints or martyrs.
5. Love wins in the end in this book. Romantic love, family love, parental love, platonic love. Love wins, goodness wins, but there's nothing syrupy or cheesy about it.
1. The covers and titles of the series. The authors had little to no input on either, and Avon really dropped the ball on these. Thank goodness for Kindle, because I wouldn't want to be seen reading any of the three with a visible cover. Not only do they not represent the type or quality of story, but they're dated and incredibly cheesy. And the titles sound as if they let a bunch of sixth-grade fangirls name them. Do better, Avon, these stories deserve it. You can make covers and titles that will pull in new readers without making the books seem like modern bodicerippers. I suppose we should be grateful that they didn't come up with titles like, "The Prime's Plaything" or "Loved by a Hurricane". Barf.
2. The fact that this is the end of the series contract. The authors have said that if Avon doesn't renew, they will self-publish at least one more book. That's great, but not enough! As I said before, this world and its characters can support (and deserve) a whole, long series. Get to it, Avon! You've got another Kate Daniels on your hands.
Buy this book, and the two before it. You won't be disappointed. I promise.