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Review: Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews (Aurelia Ryder #1)

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Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews // VBC Review

Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1)
Ilona Andrews
Published: Jan. 12, 2020 (NYLA)
Purchase at: Amazon or Bookshop
Review Source: Purchased

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference previous events in the Kate Daniels series. If you haven’t yet started, check out VBC’s review of Magic Bites.

Eight years ago Julie Olsen left Atlanta in order to figure out who she wants to be and where she feels she belongs, to figure out her magic.

Now, she’s back, with new power, a new face, and a new name: Aurelia Ryder. All this helps with the reason she’s returned which revolves around thwarting a prophecy that would mean Kate’s death if it’s allowed to come to fruition. As we all know, the future’s path is malleable, but if Julie interacts with Kate, the prophecy is guaranteed to happen.

However, trying remain low-key will prove difficult as she’s pulled into investigating the murder of a beloved Priest. Things are further complicated when Julie comes face to face with Derek Gaunt, her onetime childhood crush, who also left Atlanta a couple years after Julie, except no one knew where he went – he didn’t come looking for her that’s for sure.

Julie has more pressing matters than dealing with a blast from her past, but seeing that Derek has entangled himself in the same mystery, they just might have to put their animosity aside and work together.

So, truth, the early serialization of this book on Ilona Andrews’ website really got me through the early waves of the pandemic when me trying to sit down and read most anything felt more like a chore than escape. While this finished copy is not exactly the same as what was started all those months ago, I’m still brought back to that, much-needed, feeling from the first time I started reading through the Kate Daniels series years and years ago.

I loved every minute I spent reading Blood Heir and it’s certainly a book I wish I could go back and read for the first time again.

I think the nostalgia factor fits well into the overall story where we have Julie coming back to Atlanta. Seeing as how she was raised, and heavily influenced by, Kate it makes complete sense that she would carry herself in a similar fashion. I loved the subtle differences in the way Julie embraces her power, the fact that she actively seeks out her grandmother (Erra) and grandfather (Roland) as her mentors.

Of course there is no way I can go through a review without mentioning Julie and Derek. Longtime fans of the series will know this for the slow-burn it’s meant to be. Despite having waited through so many books at this point, I really do appreciate Ilona Andrews’ taking their time to build these characters up as individuals first. Seriously, though, each scene they have together simply sparks. A whole book of them bantering back and forth would have been sufficient for me! Honestly, though, I liked seeing how they’ve grown, yet still remain true to the characters we’ve known from the beginning. Since the book is from Julie’s point of view, Derek still has this slight air of mystery about him that I’d love to see explored in future books (fingers crossed!).

The only nitpicky thing I have is the mystery got a little too tangled for me in places. I’d have to stop periodically and reconnect the dots about who what looking for whom and why. It does help that the story is full of exposition. If you haven’t done a re-read of the OG series in a while you won’t be lost, but it’s also very welcoming for new readers.

Overall, I loved getting back into this world. Seeing what favorite characters are up to, seeing that next generation come to the forefront. It’s a wonderful, natural progression for a series I hold very near and dear.  

 Sexual Content: None

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