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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4)

Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy #4) -  Ilona Andrews

Straight up, I thoroughly enjoyed this book; for fans of the series it's absolutely worth every minute and every page.


BUT, it doesn't quite meet the high bar the Andrews team has set for itself.  Couple that with my own inability to shift my perceptions, and the book, for me, doesn't match the quality of the first three, or anything in the Kate Daniels or Innkeeper series.


The first stumbling block is all mine:  I had a hard time seeing Catalina, the MC of this book, as an adult.  Even though Andrews has this story taking place 3 years after the events of book #3, she remained a teenager in my head, no matter how hard I tried to let her grow up.  That failure on my part made any romantic tension between Catalina and Alessandro fizzle; it lacked the edginess I expect from Andrews and I found Alessandro's god-like perfection unbelievable.  I like him, and I like Catalina, and I like the idea of them together, but it's all too fairy-tale princess for me in this story.


The second stumbling block was the predictability of more than a couple parts of the story.  Typically Andrews is anything but predictable, so it's disappointing to see an old, worn out trope or two being bandied about here.  Catalina's self-sacrifice is hard to admire as it and its future consequences are just too obvious.


Less of an issue, as it's a not infrequent theme in all her books, was the over-blown fight scene on the freeway.  The Andrews team really does like unleashing ridiculous over-the-top monsters into the middle of Houston interstate traffic.  I always feel like these scenes go too far and tip into silliness, but eh - they're a few pages and who hasn't fantasied about picking up an 18 wheeler and swinging through 5 lanes of traffic?


As I said at the start, it's a good story and well worth the read; it's just not a great story, and I actually enjoyed Sweep of the Blade more - and it takes place in space.  Even so, I'm really pissed I have to wait for who knows how long until the next book comes out.  I want to find out what happens next.


I read this because I've been waiting for it for months, but I'm also using it for Halloween Bingo, for my Spellbound square.