Review of Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1), by Jennifer Estep

I bought a paperback copy of Jennifer Estep’s Cold Burn of Magic out in the real world.

Description from Goodreads:
It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call–get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her. . .

I didn’t love this. It’s told in first person, past tense and just felt very flatly told. Imagine a three-year-old who has a story to tell you and it’s full of “and then I” and “then the monster” and “I thought,” etc. I wasn’t hugely engaged in the story. I thought………[I’ve literally finished this book not 10 minutes ago and I can’t remember her name]….the main character was exceptionally shallow. I mean, she only seemed to have anger and sarcasm where her personality should have been. There’s some huge plot holes, not the least of which is that the town is full of monsters, that will literally eat you if you cross their bridge, for example, but somehow some people don’t believe in them. The villains (both sub-plots’ worth) are evil just for the sake of being evil. And they are all VERY OBVIOUS. I won’t be pursuing this series.

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