Title: Cursed by Fire
Series: Blood & Magic #1
Author: Danielle Annett
Designer: Mae I Design
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: January 2015
It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems.
Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined.
When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.
For regular visitors, you may have guessed already that this novel is the one that inspired my post last week:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’ll start with a warning – this book ends on a cliffhanger – not a ‘heroine is about to die’ style cliffhanger, but this volume offers no resolutions to any of the plot strands.
Before I purchase a book, I make a point of checking the reviews for this information, because I find this type of ‘ending’ seriously annoying. Unfortunately, when I signed up for this review tour there were none available.
So if, like me, you don’t do cliffhangers, then pass. If you don’t mind them, and you’re an urban fantasy fan, then read on, because you’ll likely enjoy this one. In my attempt to be fair to the author and the many good components in this book, I’ve rated it on the assumption that you are in the ‘don’t mind cliffhangers’ group.
The setting is comfortingly familiar – paranormals have recently been ‘outed’ and the various races are having to learn to integrate into an evolving society. The usual suspects are in evidence: vampires, shifters, magic users, plus a wickedly cool harpy. And then there are the humans; some more human than others. Ari is essentially human, but she’s also a psyker – a human with psychic powers, in her case, pyrokinesis – a power over which she has uncertain control.
After a tough time growing up on the streets, she’s working as a private investigator. Her latest case – that of a missing boy – has gone horribly wrong. He’s dead, and in a pretty gruesome manner, apparently at the fangs of a vampire. But all is not as it seems, and as she tries to track down his killer, things become ever more complicated.
I absolutely loved the underlying concept here – that humans are the most dangerous of all creatures; it’s so horribly true.
Ari is a strong character with depth and a clear voice. Those around her are equally well crafted. The dialogue is great, and often witty, which lifts the sometimes grim subject matter.
There are some wonderful turns of phrase, though it felt to me that the book was one edit short of polished, with a few small story inconsistencies, a fair number of word repetitions, and some redundancies. I could pretty well predict that if Ari was going to change clothes, she would inevitably ‘throw’ something on.
The layers upon layers of intrigue that build up as the story progresses are tantalizing with promise, which probably added to my frustration when I realised that none of it was going to be resolved in this novel.
Oh, and I hated the unnecessary epilogue – just spoiled the whole mystery of where the next book might be going. I would remove it.
So recommended for those who don’t mind being left hanging in the breeze until the next one is out, but not if you want any form of wrap up to satisfy you.
I received a copy of this novel in return for an unbiased review. All thoughts are my own.
About the Author
Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.
Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.
You can learn more about Danielle on her website found at http://www.danielleannett.blogspot.com or follow on on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDanielleAnnett and on twitter @Danielle_Annett