Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews

27422533

The newest book in the Hidden Legacy series has just been released and some of us have already read it, of course. And loved it! Just when you think it can’t get any better, it gets better! Here is our interview-style review of the book and the series overall.

What are your overall thoughts about Wildfire?

Shelly: I thought it was so great, I could fangirl all day and  night. So much happens and its nonstop action and very plot-driven. Sergeant Teddy (the super-intelligent and genetically enhanced grizzly) and Zeus (the lion tentacle creature from the arcane realm) were such cool new “animal” characters. A lot of pieces of the puzzle were resolved, but there is still so much more left to discover!

Kira: I feel like the odd man out because I didn’t love this. It was wicked good but my least favorite in the series so far. The plot was great, and I love the direction the series is going. Victoria Tremaine was full of surprises. There were a couple of things that annoyed me with this. I’ll discuss those later on.

Do you have a favorite character?

Shelly: Well, Rogan of course. But, I really like so many of the supporting characters. Cornelius, and all the Baylors…

Kira: Hands down it’s Rogan. No one else even compares. Grandma Frida is cool too.

If you were a Prime, what ability would you have?

Shelly: If I could be a combination of a Summoner and then have the ability to communicate and control what comes out of that realm (like Cornelius’ House does with regular animals), I’d go for that one. Psionics and aegis are cool too.

Kira: Of all the abilities I’ve seen so far, I want to be able to teleport only as long as I could do it for long distances. It’d be great for getting out of dangerous situations. Traveling would be so much easier. Like they showed in Burn for Me, if thievery is your thing that is easier too. It would also be sweet to be a mnemonic and have nearly perfect memory recall.

If you were stuck on an island, which Baylor would you take with you and why?

Shelly: I think I’m gonna go with Arabella, only because of all the characters, I think she would be able to get me OFF the island. I wouldn’t want to be stuck on an island for ever (maybe just a nice sunny day). Even if we had to swim away, she could protect me from sharks.

Kira: Grandma Frida. She’s funny, witty, caring and protective. The woman is crafty as hell. She’d probably know how to take whatever random materials you’d have on an island and know how to build something from it.

Are there any criticisms or issues you had with Wildfire or the series in general?

Shelly: The ex drama and angst over Nevada and Rogan’s relationship was my one sore spot. Even considering that, it wasn’t heavy-handed and I could deal with it (and I’m allergic to drama).

Kira: The relationship ambivalence with Rogan and Nevada got on my nerves. The two of them clearly love each other, but Rogan is convinced Nevada will regret their relationship if their children aren’t primes someday. Since he planted that seed of doubt in her mind in White Hot, it kept popping up in her thoughts. Neither of them showed interest in other people, but Nevada had another guy expressing interest in her. Rogan’s ex was around for the whole book, creating lots of drama.

Genetics has been spoken about quite a bit in regards to magical abilities. It’s been emphasized that primes are more likely to come from two strong primes, otherwise the power weakens. Certain abilities are much more compatible than others, so two people without similar abilities are likely to produce children with weaker or no abilities. So why the hell is Nevada’s family loaded with people with special talents? Her dad had no abilities. Her mother and grandmother aren’t incredibly powerful. I’m not even sure if they have abilities or not. If they do it must be related to their military type of skills. This is a wild guess, but that magic doesn’t seem like it would be compatible with the magic from Nevada’s father side of the family. Between the father having no abilities and the mother not having considerable power, how did they produce three powerful kids? I know it’s possible the way genetics work. Sometimes things skip a generation, but it doesn’t seem like the most plausible scenario that all 3 kids are powerful with rare abilities. It’s not just them either. Leon has a rare and powerful ability, and Bernard has his own powerful ability. The two of them are cousins. Where did their abilities come from? With everything we’ve been told about how the magic passes genetically, this entire family is an anomaly. I’d like an explanation for this that’s better than genetics are random.

Who should get their own spinoff in this world (character or House)?

Shelly: I am really fascinated with the arcane realm that the Summoners pull these monster-like creatures from. I would love to learn more about Summoning and this strange other world. I think there could be a good trilogy’s-worth of material focusing just on a Summoner House. I would devour read that!

Kira: Catalina Baylor seems like she’d be a good choice for spinoff. I’d love to know what she can really do with her siren powers. Every ability has such depth to it. There must be more than simply luring people to her. It seemed like something was going on behind the scenes with her in Wildfire. It definitely seemed like there was mutual interest with Catalina and Alessandro Sagredo.

Any last thoughts?

Shelly: This series, in my view, shows how much the Andrews have grown as writers and is very indicative of their style. The humor, the action scenes, the world-building, and even the way they make a character come to life the minute they are on the page… it sounds cheesy, but it’s magical. They write amazing villains too. Victoria Tremaine was fantastic in this and stole all her scenes. This is book depression territory, it’s so good!

Kira: I am so happy there will be a fourth book! I love Nevada and Rogan. I’m not ready for their story to be done yet. It would be great to have a book where they can work together as a couple without doubts about whether or not they’re right for each other. This world Ilona Andrews has created is fascinating. Look how crazy everything is, and most of the characters we’ve met are just from one part of Texas.

7ya8izz

vNQH81495253758

Ilona Andrews and Jeaniene Frost Book Signing!

I went to the Ilona Andrews and Jeaniene Frost book signing on July 27th. The three of them are awesome people! It was a great experience. Gordon and Ilona are hilarious. They had the crowd laughing the entire time. Between being awestruck and my natural introvert tendencies I had no clue what to say to them when I was getting my books signed. They were cool as hell so it didn’t matter.

IA and JF

They were kind enough to sign more than one copy of a book. I got Jeaniene Frost to sign Halfway to the Grave. I was damn lucky I had that. Most of the Jeaniene Frost books I own are ebooks. I didn’t want to go to a signing and not get a book signed by her. She gave me a cool bookmark advertising the Night Huntress series!

20170729_002729

Gordon and Ilona signed the hardcover copy of Wildfire I bought to get access to the event. They also signed two other paperbacks I brought with me.

20170729_002821

I did record some of the discussion but didn’t have enough space on my phone to record the whole thing. I listened to the recording before writing this, but some things are just based on my memory. I have tried to paraphrase things as accurately as possible. There are a few quotes below which were taken directly from what I recorded.

Jeaniene Frost

What are her favorite characters or her favorite ones to write?

Her favorite character tends to be the one she is writing at the moment. Right now she is researching for an Ian book. Writing him will be difficult because he is “beyond [her] comfort zone.” She writes with a vague plot in mind but most of the story develops during the writing process. Where Ian ends up is a mystery right now, even to her.

Vlad:

She has done a considerable amount of research on vampires. Originally she didn’t want to include Dracula aka Vlad Tepesh in her books. Researching the real Vlad Dracul inspired her. The name Ilona was mentioned in her books as a wife of Vlad’s. Many people thought this was a shout out to Ilona Andrews. It was not. The name Ilona was used because it was historically accurate.

Inspiration for the Night Huntress series:

She had a dream about a couple fighting and they intrigued her. She began to lay backstory to those people. She delved into why they were arguing and why they felt the way they did about each other and what brought them to that point. Eventually a novel was developed. She had no idea at the time that it would become a series.

Possible works in the future:

She is thinking about writing a book or books on Kate from the final Night Huntress book. Chances are Cat and Bones would have small roles in those.

Gordon and Ilona Andrews

Next up:

They are currently working on the last Kate Daniels book where according to Gordon “cool stuff happens.”

They will be doing other books in the Kate Daniels world. Kate and Curran will make appearances but won’t ever be the main characters again.

Next up is Hugh d’Ambray!!!!

After that is the next Innkeeper Chronicles book.

TV Shows:

They would like to have one of their series be turned into a TV show, but there haven’t been any offers. They surmise that it may have to do with the amount of magic used in their books. To make it look good on the screen it would involve a fair amount of CGI which could get costly. They’re definitely open to the idea of a TV show.

How do they write together?

They plot out their books first. Ilona usually writes the first draft. It’s a highly collaborative process for the two of them. They go through everything together and discuss dialogue and fight scenes. Sometimes they recruit their kids to act out certain scenes.

What are their favorite characters or their favorite ones to write?

Ilona: Her favorite character constantly changes. She enjoys writing Desandra because “the woman has no filter.” She likes writing all of the protagonists and used to like writing Aunt Bea. “It’s hard to pick a favorite because they are all amusing in their own way.”

Gordan: Curran is the easiest to write. It’s hard to write Jim because they don’t really know what he’s thinking. Basically it sounds like they don’t dig deep to figure out what makes him tick. He also likes writing Cornelius from Hidden Legacy.

Where did the name Baylor come from?

They chose it because it is a common name in Texas, and that is where the Baylors live.

***Spoilers below for those who are not up to date with Kate Daniels and Hidden Legacy.***

Roland (from Kate Daniels):

No character has one side to them. They thought it would be more interesting to have Roland be more than just a bad guy. There is a part of him that genuinely loves Kate. There’s also the part of him that is obsessed with power. Unfortunately for Kate that is the side of him that tends to matter the most to him. They may love each other but they’ll never have a normal relationship.

Hidden Legacy Series:

They tried to wrap everything up in Wildfire. The publisher wanted a word count that did not go over a specific amount, and they couldn’t cover everything and stay within that word count. The publisher may extend the contract for them to write a fourth Hidden Legacy book if the sales for Wildfire are good. Regardless they will write a fourth book in the series even if they have to self publish. They confirmed there definitely will be at least one more book.

Catalina’s magic (from Hidden Legacy):

Her magic was revealed at the end of White Hot. Nevada had explained that it didn’t work on the people who already love her. Rogan seemed unaffected by it. They explained that he loves Nevada and already views her family as his family, which is why he didn’t get sucked into her story like everyone else. When she used her magic for the trials at the end of Wildfire, only one person was affected by her magic. Ilona explained that Catalina can target specific people with her magic. So it can be one person or a group. It entirely depends on how she wants to use it.

***HUGE SPOILERS for future books. Read at your own risk! You have been warned.***

Hugh d’Ambray:

They want to self publish Hugh’s book before the final Kate Daniels book because for his appearance in the final Kate book to make sense the readers need to know what has been going on with him.

In Hugh’s book, he’s at a low point in the beginning of the book. Somehow he ends up in an arranged marriage, and they develop feelings for each other. Apparently she gives him a hard time. He gives her a hard time back. They continue in this cycle, and this ignites their curiosity for each other.

Hugh and his wife show up in the last Kate book. Kate and Curran are confused because they still view him as the bad guy. Somehow everyone else knows what has transpired with Hugh and that he is okay now. He is there to fight with them against some common enemy. Whether that is Roland or not, I don’t know.

vNQH81495253758

Q & A with Author Pippa DaCosta!

Hey guys, guess what?!? Scorpion Trap released today!!!

tenor

 

Once upon a time I was a newbie blogger. I had a dream of some day getting the chance to talk to the most amazing authors of our day. I would just get to sit and bask in the glow of their genius. I never thought that I would actually get the chance this soon. Or that it would be with the amazing Pippa DaCosta! It was better than I could have expected. So you should all go buy her book to say “Thank You For Being So Awesome!” I’m only kind of kidding. Scorpion Trap is the fourth book in the series, so you really should buy the first three too.

Okay, I’ll stop rambling now. Here is just a bit of insight into the brilliance that is Pippa DaCosta:

Abby: In See No Evil you blew our minds with your visions of the Duat. What exciting new world building can we expect from Scorpion Trap?

Pippa DaCosta: Scorpion Trap takes Ace and Shu out of their comfort zone and dumps them in Egypt. I absolutely loved writing the location. If I can squeeze any of my personal experience into my books, I jump at the chance. I went to Egypt many years ago and visited some of the sights mentioned in Scorpion Trap. Who would have guessed that over ten years later the taste, the heat, and the smells, would all find their way into Ace’s story. But as for the little nuggets of ‘fantasy’ world building, it’s difficult to say without drifting into spoiler territory. I can say that we learn more about Isis, her past, and how the gods must have lived long ago. One of my favourite aspects of Ace’s world is how he talks to the magic of the old world through ancient buildings. We see a lot more of that in Scorpion Trap too.

 

Abby: Rumor has it that we will get to see more of Curtis Vance. Is this true? Is there a chance The Heartstone Thief will be the start of a new series?

Pippa DaCosta: I love Curtis. I think he’s one of the nicest anti-heroes I’ve written, which is saying something! The Heartstone Thief took a long time to write compared with my other series’. The world building and the story arc are vast but because of the foundation already in place, there is definitely potential to continue the story into more books. I did deliberately leave a few little threads dangling with the hope that I could go back to the series later. I can’t say when a sequel will happen, but I have a new notebook (I buy a new notebook for every new story) and my notes in place, so I do hope that I can return to Curtis Vance sometime this year.

 

Abby: Speaking of things we can expect to see in the future, we have a few hopeful ideas. Will we get to read more Science Fiction from you? What are the chances that there is a delightfully violent vampire series bouncing around in your mind?

Pippa DaCosta: Okay, well, clearly you’re reading my mind as I have a little secret project I’m working on that is a scifi AND fantasy mash-up, and it has vampires (and shifters and fae – because if I’m going to put vampires in space then I might as well throw everything else in there too). It sounds as though that will deliver pretty much everything you want. If you’re after more scifi such as Girl From Above (as are the many, many readers who email me weekly!) then I really can’t make any promises. I would love to continue writing in that world but the characters all went through such a steep character arc that I don’t think any new plot idea could better the existing four books. If a new idea comes along – as it sometimes does with old characters – I’ll jump at the chance to go back to Girl From Above. So yes, new books coming, with vampires and space (whoo hoo!), but probably no new books from any existing scifi series’.

 

Abby: Which of your characters has the most unpublished back story? Can you share any details with us?

Pippa DaCosta: It has to be Shukra – the demon sorceress from the Soul Eater series. Cursed to Ace’s side (kinda like his reluctant sidekick – don’t ever tell her I said that) she has masses of backstory. We know her as the blackest soul Ace has ever hunted in Duat. A soul so black, so evil, that he personally tracked her down. That’s bad, with a capital B. There’s a little mention in Serpent’s Game (book #5 – currently in the first draft stage) where Ace explains his first official job as an investigator for hire. One of Shukra’s demon-pals decides to lord it over medieval London. Shukra tries to warn her old drinking buddy but it doesn’t go well, and ultimately we end up with the Great fire of London (it’s interesting to note that Ace doesn’t come out of that job all squeaky clean either 😉 ). Shukra has been tamed a bit since then, but she has so much backstory that she could almost have her own spin-off series – if villains were allowed to have their stories told. Unfortunately she has a black soul for a reason. I don’t think her backstory would have a happy ending!

 

Abby: It isn’t easy to write morally ambiguous characters that readers will not only find believable, but will champion as well. Yet, I believe that all of your main characters are like this while still being vastly different. What’s your trick to balancing the haunted with the monster?

Pippa DaCosta: I write very close to the ‘acceptable’ line when it comes to anti-heroes, especially for urban fantasy which often centres around a heroic wise-cracking main character. As soon as I began this writing journey, I knew I wanted to do something different with the genre. I wanted to dirty it up, make it real. Muse was the first of my characters to really walk that line between heroic and gritty. Her being half-demon gave me some leeway to play with her darker side. Something as simple as sleeping with two of the male leads in the first book of a series. That just doesn’t happen in urban fantasy. She has since been called the Jessica Jones of urban fantasy, and I think that’s true, especially considering her abusive past. No doubt about it, when we join her in Beyond The Veil #1 Veil Series, she’s about as screwed up as they come. To make a character feel real, as an author, it’s my job to build them up, give them layers. Those layers turn them from cardboard cutouts into real people. If they’re too good or too bad for no apparent reason, then that’s not going to be interesting or entertaining. I need to give the characters reasons, motives, for being as they are. They each need a killer backstory and a weakness. Muse has a lot of power, but she’s crippled by her past. Akil is a fantastic villain, but it’s not until the second book in the series (Devil May Care) when we see him at his lowest, that we really begin to feel for him. Stefan starts out heroic, but it quickly goes wrong. Curtis Vance from the Heartstone Thief isn’t just a thief, he’s had to survive on the streets, later being picked up by a whore-house madam – his past is perhaps the most tragic of all. Every main character has depth to them, a reason why they are who they are, and it’s often brutal because life isn’t all fluffy bunnies and rainbows. By the way, fluffy bunnies and rainbows have no place in urban fantasy unless they’re mutant bunnies and rainbows with rabid leprechauns waiting to chew off the hand attempting to steal the gold.

 

Abby: Now for a critical question. We need you to settle one of our oldest debates. Who is better Team Akil or Team Stefan? Please note that I’m Team Stefan, and I’m greatly outnumbered. I would appreciate all the help I can get. 😉

Pippa DaCosta: Ugh, this is a tough one. Oh my gosh, yah know what, I love Akil. Who wouldn’t, right? BUT, Stefan goes through hell in the Veil series. Literally and figuratively. He fights every single step of the way. He only ever wanted to be the good guy. He never asked for anything, just the chance to prove himself. Besides Muse, he has the most incredible story and for that, I think I’m team Stefan. Still, Akil. Yah know. Akil is what he is. Complicated and yet simple at the same time, devilish, bad… so very bad and yet alarmingly good – or was it all for his own machinations

 

Abby: Possibly the most important question you will ever be asked about your writing. At least in my opinion, because weapons are important. If you lived in one of your worlds, what would be your signature weapon?

Pippa DaCosta: Oh, if I had to pick an existing weapon, it would be Alysdair from the Soul Eater series. That sword is epic. It EATS SOULS. Dude! C’mon. But if it’s my random choice, probably a crossbow. I’ve dabbled in archery (and fencing). Swords are too predictable and all up-in-your-face slashy, plus a gun beats a sword. So I’m going with a crossbow. You don’t have to get too close to use a crossbow. And some throwing knives tucked down the boots. You can never be too careful.

 

Abby: Since you told us anything goes, would you say tequila or vodka is better for inspiration?

Pippa DaCosta: Ah-ha, this is where I prove that I’m the exception to the rule that authors drink copious amounts. I don’t drink alcohol (that one time at London Book Fair shall not be mentioned). Or, perhaps, what I should say is that I’m an impossible lightweight. One whiff of tequila and I’ll be asleep on the table, or the floor, I’m not fussy. So neither would be great for inspiration. At least, not for me. Although I do sometimes get ideas from dreams, so there is that. *Ace says vodka.

 

Abby: Lastly, I feel the need to warn you that I’m mostly asking this just because the other MacHalos didn’t think I would. But it needs to be asked. Would you say that you were born awesome, or were you genetically modified post-birth to mass produce written pieces of glorious scrumptiousness?

Pippa DaCosta: Definitely genetically modified. I blame my genes. I’m part gypsy, part Irish, part Jewish. Lots of parts make a very unusual whole. That sounds so wrong, but you get the idea.

 

A very special thank you to Pippa for agreeing to answer a few questions for us! And to all the MacHalos who contributed to these interesting questions.

 

32337095

 

OUT NOW $2.99 until Wednesday!

Amazon
iBooks
Nook
Kobo
Google Play

GoodReads

 

IMG_20170502_093013