RogerBW's Blog

Blood Heir, Ilona Andrews 02 February 2021

2021 modern fantasy, first in the Aurelia Ryder series, sequels to Kate Daniels. Eight years after Julie Lennart left post-magic-apocalypse Atlanta, Aurelia Ryder is back, with a new face, a prophecy to subvert and a murder to solve.

So this is book 1 of a new series… and I suppose you could start here. There are certainly clues about who's who, who's a power in the land, and why it all matters, but without having read Kate's books they would have little emotional resonance.

On the other hand if you have read Kate's books… all right, they never promised a happy-ever-after, but it's eight years later, things have gone to pot all through the city, and this is the sort of problem Kate solves. She doesn't come on stage here, but she ought to; she's not dead, she's not injured, and frankly a Kate who didn't fight world-threatening menaces every once in a while would be a Kate who became self-destructively bored. (But of course if she did turn up she'd steal the book…)

Maybe it would have worked better if it had been set in a different city of the same world. But several other characters from the Kate books return, and the long-term reader can appreciate how they've changed.

There's also sadly little of the Kate Daniels sense of humour. It's not completely missing, but this is a book written in 2020 in the USA, so it was never going to be a feast of cheerfulness. (Indeed, the Iron Covenant sequels have been delayed, because they are rather darker and the Andrews collective couldn't get into a mood to write them.) Still, I thought the Kate books got that balance just about right.

The cloak hid all that, but it couldn't hide Dakkan, my spear. My grandmother had a huge problem with that name, because the closest translation of it to English would be "Stabby." She claimed it wasn't a proper name for a weapon, so after the first Dakkan broke, I offered to name the new one Sharpy McStabbison, the Son of Stabby, after which she groaned and left my quarters, followed by a throng of her advisors all giving me reproachful looks.

Basically this feels like something written in response to a demand for more of the same, but because the Andrews collective are competent they couldn't just turn the handle and crank out another Kate book. That story really is over. But for my taste this is a bit too much of an imitation Kate book for its own strengths to show through: here are the battle scenes, here are the chunky powers, here's the obvious romance that neither party can acknowledge because this is after all a planned trilogy, all things that the Kate books did and what I remember is the high points of those, so anything else is likely to suffer by comparison. I'd frankly prefer more deviation from the Kate pattern, enjoyable as that was, and more demonstration of how Aurelia/Julie does things her own way and in the manner established by her own personality.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards museum music mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1