Friday, June 18, 2010

Review: Red Hot Fury - Kasey Mackenzie

Marissa Holloway, Chief Magical Investigator for the Boston Police Department has spent the years since fully coming into her Fury birthright maintaining the peace between the arcane and the mundane of the world. Usually by solving supernatural crimes, more specifically murders.

When she's called to the site of a murdered sister-Fury, only to discover the body isn't who she's supposed to be, things get crazy in a hurry. Suspended from her job, Riss finds herself on the run from enemies she didn't know she had.

Unable to trust almost anyone, Riss turns to her ex, Warhound Scott Murphy, to help her solve the mysteries that just keep piling up on one another. But with the protection Scott can offer comes a resurgence of feelings between them. Riss'll have to keep a tight hold on not only passion, but her Rage in order to solve the case, and stop an impending war.

I went into Red Hot Fury excited and interested in the world that Kasey Mackenzie created. Her main protagonist is a Fury, a rarely written about character from mythology. Ms. Mackenzie continued to do this, drawing from not only Greek and Roman myths, but others – including Irish and Egypitian. When the Bastai showed up (Cats from Egypt’s goddess Bast) I was ecstatic.

Red Hot Fury maintains a furiously (ha) fast pace. The storyline moves along quickly, leaving you gasping for breath from one thing before plunging you headlong into the next. There are numerous action sequences which are very well-written and vivid.

Unfortunately the concept and fast pace weren’t enough to make this novel great. While the plot hurtled along, at times it felt like it was doing so to cover up some very incomplete world building. There were gaping holes in how the arcane, magical beings, interacted with each other, the mundanes (humans) and their powers. For example, while I have a good idea that furies can shape-change into a variety of forms, I have little understanding of each of them. I think there are three main forms, but I’d be hard pressed to describe any of them except full-Fury.

I truly liked Riss. She’s an interesting character to read through which is especially important in a first-person POV novel. She’s sassy, caring and smart-assed, with just a touch of naiveté thrown in there to round her out. However, she never felt completely real to me. I didn’t understand some of her thoughts or emotional processes. Sometimes I felt like her inner thoughts didn’t match her outer actions, with no reasoning given for that discrepancy.

All of the other characters in the novel suffered because of the first-person POV. It was hard to get to know any of them well or understand their motivations. More than once I wanted to just jump into Scott’s head and find out exactly what he was thinking.

Ms. Mackenzie has a great idea that I would love to see expanded and built upon in future Shades of Fury novels. However, in the end, despite this intriguing concept, Red Hot Fury didn’t live up to what I was hoping for. Still if you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed novel with a fresh, new subject, then Red Hot Fury is definitely for you!!

Grade: C+

Book Link | Amazon (print) | B&N (print) | Borders (print) | Book Depository | Ace

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