by Ilona Andrews
Series: Ryder - Kate Daniels World #1
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Nancy Yost Literary Agency
Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it's a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.
Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she's back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name-Aurelia Ryder-drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.
If Aurelia's true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she'd ever loved could threaten everything.
While I’m a huge fan of the Kate Daniels and Iron Dog series, and liked all the characters an awful lot, I’ve never been super-excited about a book or series dedicated to Kate’s daughter Julie, but I liked her and Derek enough to be interested in picking it up.
The hardest part of a spin-off series for me, is the first half of the first book; it’s always a long, drawn-out slog for the veterans of the series because of the necessary background information for the new readers. It makes the story start off so slowly, and Blood Heir is no exception. I’m not going to sugar-coat it: I was bored until page 178 or so, when the dynamics of the plot finally got interesting.
I’m also feeling a little ambivalent about Julie’s transformation. I liked her quite a bit the way she was, and I’d have enjoyed her story more had she remained as she was. Instead she’s been transmogrified into a super-beautiful, super-magical badass and while I guess I can understand the authors’ enjoying the range this allows them, I think I’d have found a story about Julie being a badass without the superlatives even more interesting.
I’ll admit to being a tad more intrigued about Derek’s evolution, but perhaps that’s because it’s more mysterious (so far). Either way though, it feels as though the authors’ have just created an imitation of Kate and Curran – right down to what will obviously be the series arc – and it short-changes what were fascinating characters previously.
For all my hurrumphing though, it was a very readable story I was able to knock-off in just a couple of days. I liked it enough to read a second one whenever in the far off future it should arrive, in hopes that the deadly dull (but necessary) world building has been gotten through and the second book will allow for a more interesting read.