Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: Fireborn by Keri Arthur

(Souls of Fire #1)
Keri Arthur
Release: July 1, 2014
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From New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur comes a brand new series featuring heroine Emberly Pearson—a phoenix capable of taking on human form, and cursed with the ability to foresee death…

Emberly has spent a good number of her many lives trying to save humans. So when her prophetic dreams reveal the death of Sam, a man she once loved, she does everything in her power to prevent that from happening. But in saving his life, she gets more than she bargained for.

Sam is working undercover for the Paranormal Investigations Team, and those who are trying to murder him are actually humans infected by a plague-like virus, the Crimson Death—a by-product of a failed government experiment that attempted to identify the enzymes that make vampires immortal. Now, all those infected must be eliminated.

But when Emberly’s boss is murdered and his irreplaceable research stolen, she needs to find the guilty party before she goes down in flames…

Review by Gretl:

I was attracted to Fireborn because I've never seen a book about a phoenix before. Keri Arthur's version is a spirit being that can take three forms - flesh, flame and firebird. Each phoenix has a soul mate, another phoenix that they need to recharge, to reproduce and to be reborn every hundred years. But their kind are cursed to be unable to fall in love with each other, and the need to keep another phoenix in their life often alienates their significant others. That's exactly what ruined Emberly's relationship with Sam five years ago. He left when he found out about her soul mate Rory and didn't listen to her attempts to explain their relationship. So Emberly and Sam's reunion, as you might expect, is not exactly pleasant. When she continues to get involved in his investigation in an effort to find her boss's killer and recover his research, things get even more awkward between them.

This world is the same or very similar to the one in which Arthur's Riley Jensen and Dark Angels series are set. I think the rules for vampires might be slightly different in this one, but I don't remember well enough to say for certain. The way Emberly uses her flame form also reminds me of Risa from those books, as does her tendency to get abducted. But there are some great new supes in this one too. In addition to the phoenices, there's a fire fae, Jackson, who has instant chemistry with Emberly due to their shared affinity for fire. There's also mention of earth, air and water fae, though we haven't met any of them yet. I really liked Jackson, but I felt like this exaggerated sex drive that he and Emberly have, or maybe the need to have a biological explanation for it, felt too much like the werewolves in Arthur's other series.

I've seen some people refer to the love triangle or even quadrangle in this book, but I really didn't see it that way. The only one Emberly really loves is Sam. In fact, I thought that she and Jackson had one too many conversations about how they could never be in a committed relationship. Likewise, Emberly's looking for the man she loved underneath the new darkness in Sam got a little repetitive.

What I did enjoy were the action and the mystery. Emberly was a cop in a previous life, so she feels right at home as an investigator. I enjoyed following the clues along with her. And I liked Emberly, Jackson and Rory. They're fun, original characters. Sam's angry and unpleasant most of the time, so I'm not so sure about him yet. There are a lot of loose ends left at the end of the book but I liked the direction Emberly is going. I feel like this series has a lot of potential.

Recommended for fans of: Keri Arthur's Riley Jensen and Dark Angel series, SJ Harper's Fallen Siren series, sexy Urban Fantasy

  3.5 / 5 stars


  1. This book sounds interesting, but I'm so tired of love triangles. I think I'll check this one out from the library to see what I think about it, though, because like you, I've never seen a book about a Phoenix. Great review!

    Amber @ Fall Into Books

    1. I didn't think it was very triangular, one of the guys is more of a frenemy and one is kind of like a brother. More like it has the potential to be a triangle later. But see what you think.


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