Cold Burn of Magic Audiobook by Jennifer Estep (REVIEW)

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Reviews | 23 comments

Review of: Cold Burn of Magic Audiobook
Jennifer Estep

Reviewed by:
On October 29, 2015
Last modified:May 31, 2016


Cold Burn of Magic Audiobook

By: Jennifer Estep

Narrated by: Brittany Pressley

Published by: Audible Studios 09/29/15

Cold Burn of Magic Audiobook by Jennifer Estep

4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

Black Blade #1

9 hrs and 56 mins

YA urban Fantasy text

Cold Burn of Magic Audiobook Sample

Cold Burn of Magic Audiobook

4 Hearts

I’ve been a big fan of Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series for adults for many years now. I religiously purchase that series audiobook on release day every year. I’ve yet to try another series by her. I’m not a big fan of young adult novels. I used to read them all the time, but I got really burnt out on the similar tropes that seem to pop up on all the paranormal YA novels. I even blacklisted them from my reading for a while. I’m starting to pick them back up, mostly from authors that I already love. I’m really glad that I did here. This series isn’t like any other YA series I’ve ever read.

This is a fantastic world that Ms. Estep has built around magical and powerful families. There are a ton of similarities between this series and the adult Elemental Assassin series. But, not so much that I felt like I was reading a younger version of the same story. There are straight up humans that don’t have magic and there are people with magic who kinda run things. They all have different types of magic, some even have more than one magic power. As with the Elemental Assassin series, the magic families have all the power and they exploit that power.

There are also really great characters in this story. Lila Merriweather is our main character. She has had a rough life. Her mother died when she was young. Her father is MIA. She was in foster care for a while, then decided that she was better off taking care of herself on the streets. She wasn’t completely alone though, she has Mo. Mo is an adult that helped her with documents and signing things for school. He also gives her jobs to help her. He also her only real friend and a mentor for her. He is also the one who convinces her that she should take the bodyguarding job with one of the powerful families.

Devon Sinclair is the only son of the Sinclair family. There have also been many attempts to kill him lately.  When his current bodyguard is killed in Mo’s shop, Mo and Devon’s mother work out a deal to get Lila to become his new bodyguard. I liked Devon. He could be like so many other “trust fund babies”, of which you do see some in this book, but he isn’t. He is a real down to earth guy.

I also have a penchant for loving secondary characters, and that is no different here. I just fell in love with Oscar. He is a redneck pixie that lives in a dollhouse sized dilapidated trailer in Lila’s new room in the Sinclair home. The Sinclair’s felt she needed a pixie, so Oscar helps out around her suite. He also has a tiny pet tortoise named Tiny. If you’ve ever read Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series, Oscar makes me think of a hillbilly Jenks. Always drinking honey beer in the trailer, where Jenks would get drunk on just plain ole honey and lived in a rolltop desk (even if only in the winter). I can’t wait to see where Oscar goes in this series.

This story was full of monsters, action,  and great characters. The worldbuilding was amazing. Both Lila and Devon proved to be wonderful young adult characters without all the angst that seems to creep into so many YA novels. We do see them interact with some of the other kids and do things like go on dates, which sounds mundane, but turns out not.

Cold Burn of Magic Audiobook Narration

4 Hearts

This is my first book with Brittany Pressley. She did a great job with the narration of this series. It takes place in a mythical town of Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia. So there are Southern accents for most of the characters. There is even the accent for the aforementioned Oscar, the drunk, hillbilly pixie. I thought she did a great job with all the different voices. I could always tell who was talking. She really brought out the tone of the story and did great with the snark. I plan to finish this series on audio.

Jennifer Estep
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer has worked as a features writer and page designer for a daily newspaper and has more than 10 years of journalism experience. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and other writing groups.

Jennifer’s books have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, and a variety of other publications.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

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Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Brittany Pressley is an audiobook narrator, songwriter, and vocal producer in New York City. She has narrated several audiobooks, including works by Alyson Noel and R. L. Stine. Her notable screen credits include being a newscaster on FOX Kid’s News and playing Courtney in the Fox Television Network series Swans Crossing. Pressley also has a background in theater, having played Peaseblossom in Shakespeare in the Park’s production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Maria in The Sound of Music for Carey Productions. She has also done both regional and national commercial spots and PSAs for TV and Radio, including MasterCard, Nickelodeon, and MTV.

Audible Audiobooks

Reviewed by:

ML Simmons Reviewer

  • 4
    editor rating
Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.


  1. Yay! Glad to hear you enjoyed this one. Oscar and Tiny were great characters 😀

  2. Isn’t this like YA Elemental Assassin?! I wish it’d crossover with Gin, but I doubt that as they have different publishers. I love that this is in the same Estep universe!

    • It is very similar to Elemental Assassins, but I’m not sure it is the same world. Ashland is mentioned once, but the monsters of this world don’t exist (that I know of in Gin’s world). This has Trolls, Pixies and Loch Ness, to name a few. It does have a similar feel. If you like Elemental Assassins, I think you would enjoy Black Blade.

  3. I haven’t read Elemental Assassins series yet, but this sounds good and it’s just getting started so maybe I’ll start with these first. Nice review, Melanie!

    • This series would be a great introduction to this author. If you like her, it might make you decide to tackle the longer Elemental Assassins series. I hope you enjoy.

  4. I am learning that I do better with UF when I listen that read. I read this one and found it to be okay but listening to the narrator I am thinking I might have liked it more if I listened to it. 🙂

    • I started book two this morning. Maybe try book two on audio. I hope you like it better that way. For me, I always prefer listening unless the narrator isn’t up to par.

      • Just read the second one this week…lol. I actually liked it better than the first one, so maybe the third one I will listen to and see.

  5. So glad this rocked on audio. I plan to start the Elemental series on audio in January.

    • I love the narrator for the Elemental Assassins series too. I hope you enjoy.

  6. I just got both books on audio. Can’t wait to enjoy them!

    • I really loved this one and I’m about halfway through book two. I hope you love them as much as I have.

  7. I really enjoyed the idea of this one! Just finished book 2 yesterday and I really had a good time again so I’m curious for more. I hope it will be the same for you!

  8. I am glad you gave this one a try! I really enjoyed this book. It does have some similarities to her elemental assassin series indeed, but not too much that it get’s annoying. Lila and Devon are both such great characters. And I totally agree with you that Oscar is awesome, I really liked him. This book had a lot of interestign side characters. I also liked Devon his friend, can’t remember his name at the moment. Great Review!

    • Yes, Felix is a lot of fun too. I’m almost done with book two and really enjoying it as well.

  9. Never read any of her stuff, but I do hear the characters in this are excellent <3

    • I love Jennifer Estep. I hope you get a chance to try her one day.

  10. I am finally going to read one of Estep’s books ONE OF THESE DAYS! I hope. I listened to the sample and have listened to one other book by Brittany Pressley before. Sounds like she has become a much better narrator since Party Games 🙂

    • This is my first with Brittany Pressley. Glad to hear she was better that your first encounter with her. I hope you get a chance to try Jennifer Estep. I love her work. I know that the length of the Elemental Assassins series scares a lot of people off, but this one is short, so a great introduction.

  11. I haven’t read any of her work yet and I don’t typically read YA. I like adult reads much better. Thanks for the honest review.

    I am actually been craving UF, so maybe I’ll give Elemental series a go.

    • I’m not a big YA fan either. I’m starting to pick a few here and there when a few select bloggers recommend them to me. I will say that I do like the Elemental Assassins series better. It is probably the adult vs YA thing. I hope you enjoy.

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