Ilona andrews

Review: Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews

20705702Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Darned satisfying read. I wish the publishers didn’t push it as a paranormal romance. Burn for Me is an urban fantasy, hero’s journey through and through. Nevada Baylor is a small time private investigator forced to take on a case far above her pay grade. But the alternative is losing her business and her family’s home. So, with wit and a talent for detecting lies she treads into the murky waters of House politics. (more…)


Kate and Curran Fanart

In Magic Strikes, there was a scene in Chapter 27 where Kate and Curran had an argument after a fight in an underground gladiatorial ring. Curran had silver embedded all over his chest and as we know, silver is poisonous to shapeshifters.

“He was silver!” I snarled in his face. “I had it under control. What was going through your head? Here’s a toxic silver golem; I think I’ll jump on his back! That’s a damn good idea!”
He scooped me up and suddenly I was pressed against his chest. “Were you worried about me?”
“No, I’m ranting for fun, because I’m a disagreeable bitch!”
He smiled.
“You’re a moron!” I told him.
He just looked at me. Happy golden lights danced in his eyes. I’d learned exactly what those sparks meant. Fury fled, replaced by alarm.
“Kiss me and I’ll kill you,” I warned.
“It might be worth it,” he aid softly.
If he held me a moment longer, I’d lose it and kiss him first. I was so damn happy he was alive.

(The above passage and the characters belong to Ilona Andrews. Artwork is mine.)

Ilona Andrews gives her take on narrative ‘voices’

I wrote to Ilona Andrews for advice on my writing, and the authors graciously answered me on their blog. My question was the following:

“I know the best advice given to new/young writers is read, read, read and write, write, write. So, I read and read, but while writing I’ve discovered a block I can’t seem to get past. While writing short stories or fables this doesn’t bother me so much, but when trying to put an idea for a longer story on paper, I try to stay away from emulating the authors of the genre I’m trying in – that is, I try to write in third person :] – but somehow I can’t find the voice I’m looking for. I can’t decide how to narrate my story. The narrative decides how you explain the characters and how you unfold the story, right?  So, my first question – how did you find your voice? How did you KNOW it was the right style to write your story in?

Ilona Andrews:

Emulating other authors is normal.  I’ve pointed it out before – almost every successful writer goes through a stage where he or she writes a derivative work.  That’s how we learn to write.  🙂

“…That is, I try to write in third person” – does it feel “right” writing in the third person or is this a choice you are making to distinguish yourself from other writers?  If it’s the second, then your voice troubles might be happening because you are forcing yourself into the pattern you don’t subconsciously feel is comfortable for you.  Here is a secret: (more…)

From Bayou Moon – (a well-written funny)

He’d spent the night in the boat. Next to the spaghetti queen.

William glanced at the hobo girl. She sat across from him, huddled in a clump. Her stench had gotten worse overnight, probably from the dampness. Another night like the last one, and he might snap and dunk her into that river just to clear the air.

She saw him looking. Dark eyes regarded him with slight scorn.

William leaned forward and pointed at the river. “I don’t know why you rolled in spaghetti sauce,” he said in a confidential voice. “I don’t really care. But that water over there won’t hurt you. Try washing it off.”

She stuck her tongue out.

“Maybe after you’re clean,” he said.

Her eyes widened. She stared at him for a long moment. A little crazy spark lit up in her dark irises. She raised her finger, licked it, and rubbed some dirt off her forehead.

Now what?

The girl showed him her stained finger and reached toward him slowly, aiming for his face.

“No,” William said. “Bad hobo.”

The finger kept coming closer.


Now what cracked me up here – and you, I’m guessing – is the well placed “Bad hobo”. I had never thought that word funny before but it worked here.

For more conversational snippets from this book click —> ME!



Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews (a review)

Silver Shark (Kinsmen #2)    Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.85/5 (one must be very clear about these things) =D

I’ll begin by the worst fault of the book – the absolutely heinous, most maddening, unpardonable of all      its flaws – it’s too short.

The premise is set beautifully. The first 25% of my ebook takes me from a war torn world, where existence is a punishment to be endured in service of a cause beyond your understanding and with loyalty to an unfeeling corporation trapped in an unending battle began and run by greed, to a planet where every colour is bursting with life and touch, scent and taste are allowed to bring forth the best and the worst of your emotions.

Claire Shannon leaves her dreary, apparently inescapable life in Uley and arrives in Rada, in the flower province of Dahlia.

If you’ve read the first Kinsmen novella, Silent Blade, then you know about this province. You know the wealth and power the gifted Kinsmen wield and their constant battle for supremacy tempered by tradition, protocol, customs and alliances.

Here Claire arrives as a refugee after enduring a painful scan by the immigration officers that could unveil her secret- that she was a trained psycher in Uley and that she can kill with her mind. She passes the test and her brain is declared inert. She is given a job recommendation and arrives at Guardian Inc. for her first interview. Here she meets the head of the Escana Kinsmen family, Venturo Escana, who looks at her drab clothing, chemical stained hair and hires her out of pity. She becomes an Admin in his office. She leaves Guardian Inc. that first day her mind reeling from the beauty of the Adonis who had stood in front of her and the startling brightness of his powerful mind, and coming to grips with her chagrin at being pitied by some one as magnificent as him.

And so the preview ended. I was almost panting for what came next. The authors were ridiculously good with the details and made sure I appreciated her position perfectly. They described both her home planet and the new one that she was coming to love with vivid strokes from a mixed pallet.

This could have gone in so many ways, and while I stewed over what can happen next for two weeks (till the book came out), I knew I could safely leave the story in the hands of two of my favourite authors. My imagination frankly couldn’t come up with anything remotely satisfactory.

The best part is that they skimmed over everything I would have wanted them to go into.

The worst part is that they skimmed over everything I would have wanted them to go into.

There was the office romance, there was the fight between Claire and Venturo in their psycher forms (inside the bionet), and there was the final ‘F U’ to the bad guys when her truth came out and the two ganged up to teach the idiots a lesson, there was even a little disapproval from a family member to keep the plot well rounded – but dammit, why did they have to make it so short? It seems such a waste of a wonderful plot-line filled with so much…potential!

I can’t get over that. I’m going back to my kindle app to read it again. Maybe I’ll feel less emotional about it tomorrow. Probably not.

VERDICT: Loved it.

DISCLOSURE: I emailed Ilona Andrews complaining about how the ebook was only available in Amazon and B&N, and neither would sell it to me (Amazon- wont accept my visa card, B&N- wont sell to anyone but US and Canadian citizens), and pleading them to put it up on smashwords.

They sent me the ebook in two formats in answer.

That was the sweetest thing!!

So, I think it’s only fair to warn you that I am struggling with unexpected gratitude towards them and am likely biased. (In their favour, if you couldn’t guess)

Take my words with a pinch of salt. :]

View all my reviews

Short story (by Ilona Andrews)

[This story is now available in ebook format – grab it guys.]

Days of Swine and Roses

Alena took a deep breath. “I’m not going on a date with Chad Thurman.”

A deafening silence descended on the dining room. Mother’s face assumed a thoughtful expression. No doubt she was already stringing persuasive and weighty logical arguments in favor of the date in her head. To Mother no was simply a yes that hadn’t had a chance to hear her out.

Next to Mother, Aunt Ksenia looked aghast. No surprise there. Aunt Ksenia was all about duty to the family. There was no support to be had in her corner.

Behind Ksenia’s chair, Cousin Boris checked his mother’s face and carefully arranged his face into a mask of patronizing disapproval. If he ever did manage to formulate his own thought, it would likely knock him senseless.

Alena glanced across the table. Her older sister Liz looked troubled, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. Her husband Vik must’ve found the situation highly amusing, because corners of his mouth crept upward in a half-realized smile. Alena mentally steeled herself and looked to Father leaning against the wall. Alexander Koronov’s eyes plainly told he was not amused. Like staring straight into a storm.

“You-” Ksenia began, but Mother raised her hand.

“Why not?” She asked calmly.

Alena knew exactly what would come next: all of her protests would be dismantled to pieces like an old clock taken apart gear by gear, but she had no choice. She had to at least try to put up a fight. “I don’t like him.” (more…)