Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Two novellas by Ilona Andrews

I've recently read two novellas by author Ilona Andrews, a team of writers I've come to really like because their stories always feel like were well thought and structured.
The following two novellas were written at different moments in the authors' careers, being Diamond Fire from this year and A Mere Formality from 2008.

A Mere Formality is a short story set in the Koslov universe, which basically means a science fiction world somewhere and the story centers on Deirdre, a woman who is part of a team to deal with some conversations between different groups.
While this happens, a member of one very formal group dies and the group then demands compensation because the person who died was at the time attending a negotiations dinner. However, the group - a security/military sort of organization - is very respectful of its ow rules, never demanding money from their tasks which means the compensation can't be monetary. The solution is one Deirdre wasn't expecting...
I think this short story has many amazing elements, such as its world building which is pretty complete for such a short amount of pages.The story itself is also interesting, considering his was the result of a dare, as the authors themselves have said. However, after being so spoiled by their amazing work, the less good aspects of this novel are also obvious and I can't ignore them. I mean, this is still cute and informative but it doesn't feel as "magical" in terms of how it affects the reader (in my opinion).
Grade: 5/10

Diamond Fire is a novella set in the Hidden legacy series, which featured mostly Nevada Baylor as protagonist. 
This novella follows the three books that have been published and the authors have promised a sequel trilogy centered on Catalina, one of Nevada's sisters.
This novella has Catalina as a narrator too, probably to sort of set her up as a narrator for the incoming novels. I liked this novella a lot, is very complete, has a mystery to be solved and many clues about Catalina herself, which is amazing catnip to any fan of these authors' writing.
Again, I was left marveled by how so many little details, little things the characters say or do and apparently only part of characterization end up being substantial and important and allow the reader to have so many clues about every important subject.
Overall, a great addition to the series simply because it gives us more scenes with these people and for me that is pretty much perfect.
Grade: 9/10

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