Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #3)

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Avon on July 25, 2017

Source: Publisher

My thanks to the publisher for providing me with a digital review copy. No compensation was provided for this review, and all opinions are my own.

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love.

  

Epic magic, crazy plot twists, huge battles, snappy verbal sparring, and a deep abiding love for one’s family and partner are the backbone of the Hidden Legacy series, and Ilona Andrews delivers on all fronts here. WILDFIRE is almost everything I could’ve hoped for from the Hidden Legacy series finale, an urban fantasy/romance hybrid that has become one of my favourites in recent years.

Nevada Baylor has been through the ringer in the last few months, facing more danger and personal upheaval than the average person does in a lifetime. Of course, Nevada and the rest of the Baylor clan aren’t exactly “average” peopleThey have some pretty big secrets, ones they’ve kept hidden for years in hopes of having a normal life. But any chance of normalcy died when Nevada entered the deadly world of Prime magic users…and when she fell in love with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

It’s not often that we get to see what happens to a couple after they confess their feelings for one another, so I really appreciated seeing how well Nevada and Connor work together to meet challenges after they’ve officially gotten together. Whether it’s the drama of an ex being back in the picture, life-changing decisions about the future of the Baylor family, or questions about the future of their relationship, they face it all together. The trust and mutual respect between them is even more swoon worthy than their chemistry, in my opinion — especially since they were once enemies. It’s also been great to see Connor cool it a bit with his over the top alpha behaviour, stepping back and letting Nevada take the lead with both their relationship and their work.

Believe it or not, I love the world building in this series even more than the romance. Let that sink in for a second. The world of magical Houses ruled by ruthless, cunning Primes co-exists adjacent to the regular human world but it operates under a completely different set of rules. With the body count that follows Connor — and these days, Nevada — you’d think that the police would be dogging their every move, but not so. The human police know better than to interfere with House business, especially since no amount of weaponry can stand against the power of even a handful of Primes. It’s a high octane, high risk world — but thankfully there are plenty of lighter moments too. Breaking up the corruption, conspiracies, and fights to the death are perfectly balanced moments of humour…like a magical bear named Sergeant Teddy.

My only quibble with WILDFIRE was the lack of follow-up on the conspiracy at the heart of the series. Nevada and Connor have been trying to solve it for three books and instead of having the conspirators revealed, they’re merely hinted at…in the closing lines of the book. Given the way that it ended, I feel pretty certain that Avon must be planning to offer up a new contract to Ilona Andrews for a spin-off series, which means that we should be getting answers about the conspiracy at some point. Personally, I would kill for a spin-off following Nevada’s younger sisters or her cousins, so fingers crossed!

WHEN NICK ASKS THE TOUGH QUESTIONS

I buddy read WILDFIRE with Nick from Nick and Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist, and she came up with the awesome idea to ask each other a tough question about the series. Here’s what Nick asked me:

“You’re in the middle of a battle that you’re about to lose. You can summon only one of the characters from the series, who do you choose?”

On the surface, this is an easy question — of course I’d choose Connor! He’s known for summoning hurricanes that can destroy cities, after all. But those hurricanes also threaten his people, and civilians…and they take a while to get going. That’s why I’d summon Leon, Nevada’s cousin. He has a very specific magical ability that would make him an ace in the hole for a losing battle. Y’all who’ve read the series will know exactly what I mean!

If you could choose any magical character to summon during a battle, who you you choose? Are you a fan of the Hidden Legacy series? Let me know in the comments!

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  • I love this review and I love you! Your feelings and mine are exactly the same regarding this “finale”. I say finale, but let’s hope it’s not the last book! I’m convinced they are going to write more – they HAVE to right??
    Ha! I had a feeling you’d choose Leon! And he’s the smartest pick, in my opinion too. Though tbh Cornelius & rats would probably do the trick too! 😉 But with Leon everything would be quicker. Glad you enjoyed this series, Danya! 🙂

    • I love YOU! There’s no way this is the end of the series…right? I’ve heard rumblings from other bloggers that Avon might extend the contract for more books but it’s all based on sales. Fingers crossed that we get a spin-off! I NEED more of these characters!

      Leon is an absolute darling, which just makes his abilities even more interesting. Cornelius would be a good pick too! I was a bit worried he’d get distracted trying to make friends with creatures though (a la Zeus). The Hidden Legacy series is everything! 😀

  • Woah! High ratings for this one! I’m so glad you loved it. But wait, this is a finale? I wonder if I should read this one before I read the Kate Daniels series? What do you think? They both sound like something that I would love and knowing that this one is done and that you loved the series….. I don’t know! Advice please!

    • It sure is! Well, it’s the finale so far — based on the ending of this story, I’m thinking there might be a spin-off series in the works at some point. Personally I think you’ll love both Kate Daniels AND Hidden Legacy, so the two most important factors are: 1) how much romance you like in a story and 2) whether you’re down for a long-running series. KD is much longer than HL and it has much less romance; HL is under a romance publisher, after all. HL is my preferred series, for what it’s worth. 😉

      • I just got Burn for Me from my library…. Because it totally isn’t scheduled in my reads…. You are so BAD for me! 😉 I love it! Thanks Danya!

  • Everyone and their mother is reading this one…except for me :(/

  • I haven’t read this series at all, but I do love me some magic battles! I’d probably summon Vin, from Mistborn, as my battle buddy so I could see some cool stunts before I got absolutely wrecked by our opponents due to my total lack of magical abilities. 😀

    • Ooooh, Vin would be awesome in a magical battle! So long as there were lots of metals around, of course. LOL yes…that’s the thing about magical battles: most readers wouldn’t be a lot of help during them!

  • Greg Hill

    I love the name Nevada. And a finale- glad it was a good send off. Always sad when a beloved series has to end. 🙁 You’re right though, how often do we see a couple AFTER they’re together? Nice that Nevada steps up too if Conor was mr. alpha dude lol.

    Love the question and your answer. Definitely makes one more curious about the series. 🙂

    • Isn’t it great? There are a lot of cool names in this series, actually. My favourite romance stories are ones where we see a couple work stuff out after getting together, so this was a real treat — especially when Nevada put Connor in his place. 😉

      The Hidden Legacy books are so much fun, Greg. Highly recommended if you want your urban fantasy with a healthy dose of romance. 😀

  • Karen

    They write the best relationships. They’re so mature and respectful – flawed – but still great.

    I need to catch up and read book #2 but I’m looking forward to reading this.

    For What It’s Worth

    • Karen, you’re in for a major treat. WHITE HOT is my favourite of the whole series — it’s just a *teeny* bit stronger than the other two books, in my opinion. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!

  • I read book one and really liked it, I just have to get around to reading books 2 and 3. I really love a good UF so this is one I have to finish.

    • Oooh, if you really liked the first then you’re going to love the second book! It’s the best in the series, imo. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this series, Nereyda!

  • I’m so glad both you and Nick ended up loving the conclusion (for now, hopefully) as it sounds epic and amazing!! I need to read this pronto. And, I love the fun questions you each asked each other and laughed when I saw Nick’s dilemma. (:

    • WILDFIRE really is the best conclusion fans could’ve hoped for, I think. 🙂 This series is so much fun Kim, I highly recommend it when you’re in the mood for something romantic. LOL, thank you! 😉

  • I’m so glad the finale lived up to the rest of the series for you! I haven’t read this one, but I do like urban fantasy / Romance mashups. And I agree that trust and respect and those kind of things are so much more swoon-worthy than the lust filled chemistry. It’s always nice getting to see characters once they’ve started the relationship since that’s where most books end.

    • Thanks Kristen, it was definitely a great finale! Knowing your love of PNR/UF combos, I think you’d love this series — the romance develops from kind of a sketchy place into a respectful, equal partnership, which I think is awesome. The world building is great too!

  • I’m so happy you got the final book you wanted — that’s the best feeling in the world!

    • It really is! And it’s so rare in urban fantasy series too, so I was extra pleased. 🙂

  • Glad you love this series too! I get what you mean about the conspiracy only being a springboard for a spin off but I am excited for Baylor family 🙂 The world building is amazing!! Great review, Danya!

    • The Hidden Legacy books are definitely some of my favourites from recent years! The magic system really developed over time and I ended up being very impressed by the world. I love the Baylors and I’m stoked for the potential of a spinoff, but I would’ve liked more resolution with that plot line. Thanks so much, Cyn! 🙂

  • Yep, I am with you on being slightly annoyed this book lacked resolution. I mean, I get it, Avon are obviously seeing how the past two books perform before offering a new contract but it’s so frustrating. I needed my story resolution! That being said, so much else was going on in this book I get why they couldn’t. I mean, there was the forming a house business (which really didn’t get as much plot time as it probably deserved) and the mystery of the missing husband. They were fighting against Nevada’s grandmother, who has time for a conspiracy to fully develop as well? If they had done it would have felt rushed.

    I am pleased that Nevada and Connor are shown to have a relationship based on mutual respect. He is such an alpha male that it’s always worrying that he would be too controlling or Nevada would change to suit him and that so isn’t the case. I loved how even though he was angry and wanted to jump into things he let her make her own choices! And the Baylor family were my favourites. Just completely my favourites. And Zeus. Zeus was also a favourite of mine.

    As for the one character you would summon into the middle of a battle? That’s a tough one. I would need to know what type of battle to best utilise a character. A magic one? I would want whatever power that examiner dude (was it Michael, matthew? It began with an M) but the one that came when Nevada was with her grandmother, I would want that dude. But either of Nevada’s sisters would be good as well, depending on circumstances you either entice everyone to you (and then run like hell) or you send a rampaging beast if it’s more fitting (if there aren’t humans but more of a creature battle).