Author: Ilona Andrews
My rating: 3.85 of 5 stars
Quick points: not as good as the other books in the series. More focus on plot than on the characters. Contains awesome female characters and plenty of magic fights.
When her nemesis strikes too close to home, Catalina must protect her nearest and dearest with all she’s got. Arkan has made good use of the serum, using it to gain himself powerful soldiers and to manipulate favors from those indebted to him. With the Russian Imperium interfering, and with her family coming under attack one time too many, Catalina has a lot to deal with. And that’s without taking into account the skeletons hiding in her closet.
It’s nice to see how Catalina matured over the series. From the shy teen flustered over a crush, to a woman trying to lead her House, and finally to a highly competent Warden (assistant) tasked with the safety of millions. But magic and danger aside, my favorite moments are when the Baylor family acts as a family first, and deals with minor life matters like war & financial issues second. It’s those little family moments, the friendly bickering, the concern they all share for each other, that makes this stand apart from all other urban fantasy novels. This book could’ve used a bit more of that family time, but it was still great.
Since this is the final book in Catalina’s series, it did a lot of wrapping up of loose ends, some of which began in Nevada’s series. The books repeat several themes & tropes between the Nevada and Catalina series. Obviously, for anyone who’s read this far already, it’s because they enjoyed it the first time and want to experience it again in a different flavor. So, while some elements may be predictable, it’s the ride that matters, and this book certainly packs a good trip. Lots of guns, magic, and romance. Also, Russian princes and dark sirens.
Along with all the magic and fighting comes some more good messed up family moments and secrets. I think these are a membership requirement for being one of the magic powerful Families. There have to be bad sheep, skeletons in the closet (the more, the better), and emotionally challenged forebears and/or offspring. One of the series’ central themes is the idea of power corrupts. And these Families have both financial and magical powers. Not at all a good combination for greedy human nature.
This book was a good conclusion to Catalina’s story. I wish it had more family time and less fighting for their lives, (more character focus and less plot) but I enjoyed the moments it offered in between. Mostly, I’m excited for the way it setup a potential Arabella sequel. Of all the sisters, I think I like her the most now, which is a far cry from the immature teen she was in Nevada’s story. But until then, Ruby Fever has a good collection of dark family secrets, new magics, romance, and plenty of guns.