Friday, September 2, 2022

Ilona Andrews - Ruby Fever

An escaped spider, the unexpected arrival of an Imperial Russian Prince, the senseless assassination of a powerful figure, a shocking attack on the supposedly invincible Warden of Texas, Catalina’s boss... And it’s only Monday.
Within hours, the fate of Houston—not to mention the House of Baylor—now rests on Catalina, who will have to harness her powers as never before. But even with her fellow Prime and fiancé Alessandro Sagredo by her side, she may not be able to expose who’s responsible before all hell really breaks loose.

Comment: This is the 6th story in the Hidden Legacy series, although one can see it also as the third book of Catalina's arc, whereas books 1 to 3 were Nevadas's. I can only assume, as so many readers do, that there will be a third arc featuring the POV of Arabella, the youngest sister.

Things are complicated for Catalina and her family. Their warehouse was destroyed, they must now live in a new place and there are always situations to worry about. They are all still working cases, but everything gets worse when they hear someone was killed and while investigating they learn Linus Duncan, a family friend, locked himself in his house and is his life is in danger. As the problems pile up, will Catalina and Alessandro solve them? Plus, people are coming to them and worrying them even more, such as the case of Alessandro's Russian cousin Konstantin....will the Baylors once more save those they care about?

In this third story, most of the loose ends in the series come to a term. If the authors cannot write more  - or won't do so - this story explains things and offers a pretty good conclusion to many past occurrences, but it isn't a good idea to simply read this one without any of the others, as there is a lot of content which is sequential and I would say this one would be too confusing for a new reader. On the other hand, there are still some details one can see as ambiguous and that means it will be easy to keep the series if possible/desired.

I've probably said about all the books by this team of authors that I love their writing style. Even if some scenes or books aren't as engaging, the overall effect is always one of competence and fascination. I think the tone and the style of writing is unique to them but very compelling and I'm not only eager to keep reading but it is fun and immersive, making it hard to stop if I have to.

The plot is sequential, as I've said. It's true the structure hold on well on its own, but a lot of happens has some sort of connection to past events we saw in other books. This means that while possible get the idea anyway, it's clearly a lot more enriching to savor the story if one has read those first. I was surprised over one or two situations here but Catalina and the others were very professional as always, and their moral conduct of just doing the right thing helping them make some choices.

However, although the fast pace and the fights and the magical stuff are all great elements, I must say that of course my personal attention was definitely on the characters. Everyone is characterized in such a way that makes it interesting to know things about them. There's something about the way they behave that makes everyone, including the villains sometimes, fascinating and each little detail makes me eager to see them more, like here, Cornelius and his daughter live with the Baylors and Matilda shows up in two or three scenes and it's always so special just to glimpse her. I really love this sense of friendship and community the family shares among themselves and with friends.

The romance between Alessandro and Catalina is practically established so I must say this was definitely secondary in this book. The end is cute, has a sweet epilogue, but on the page we only have a few scenes with them being together or talking about feelings. Of course, since we know they are in love, only small moments are enough to makes us see that. I also thought it was expected that, since their relationship is so strong, that their powers would also feel stronger because of that, because they trusted and supported one another.

I think these stories are so richly done, even if certain elements aren't as appealing to this or that reader, that I let myself imagine the what ifs of the characters' lives and decisions...we are told about a vacation Catalina and Alessandro will do at the end, so that we can be reassured of their HEA, we got glimpses of what is going with Connor and Nevada... so of course I can't help be intrigued by what will be Arabella's journey, how will her personality be key to future adventures... In a less clear vision, I also imagine adventures and romances for Cornelius, Augustine... it's quite a satisfaction to think of these characters as if they could be real people we would like to meet and for me, this can say it all about a book well done.

I think the battle scenes are always a bit too detailed, I miss a bit more interaction between the family, perhaps a bit more romance... but all things considered, this was a very good book, without a doubt.
Grade: 8/10


  1. I definitely want to see a Cornelius book along with Arabella. Yeah, I thought this one leaned more fantasy side than romance.

    1. If these authors weren't so good in general, readers wouldn't so easily dream about spin offs with characters they wrote so well to begin with!! lolol