Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Firelight by Kristen Callihan

Title: Firelight
Author: Kristen Callihan
Series: Darkest London, Book 1
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 31 January 2012

London, 1881
Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

I admit it, the first thing that drew me to this book was the gorgeous, fiery cover. Somehow this book got pushed quite far down my to-be-read pile, and I’m so incredibly sorry that it took me so long to pull it out.

Firelight is a beautifully written, passionate, mysterious book that kept me on the edge of my seat to find out how things turn out for Miri and Archer. The world is simply built, with nothing that makes it too confusing or extravagant, and it’s more striking because of it. We’re thrust into a dark, gothic Victorian London that has just a bit of pervading supernatural.

Miranda Ellis has a touch of paranormal around her. I realize now that we never really learn why or how she has this special gift – or curse – but it never bothered me to not know that while I was reading. I just accepted her, and loved her. She’s a great heroine, strong inside of herself, not afraid of going after what she wants or believes in. But she has a brain in her head, she thinks things through, doesn’t put herself needlessly at risk, and also has such an incredibly generous, accepting heart.

Archer was a mystery much of the book, at least what his affliction was. He wears a mask and covers his skin nearly all of the time, so I pictured him a lot like V from V for Vendetta. But his personality shone through. He’s definitely tortured, a lot of it brought on himself and perhaps more than needs be, but I couldn’t help but feel for him as he struggled with his absolute adoration of Miri, and how to show her that.

Most of the book I spent trying to figure out what was going on with Archer, and what his curse was. The not talking between Miri and Archer about their respective secrets, while understandable considering both of their histories, dragged on just a bit too long for me. I would have liked them to expose themselves fully a bit earlier, however I have to admit that when it did happen I was ecstatic at how it happened, and the resulting scene that was so full of love and acceptance I was teary eyed.

Firelight had such evocative, beautiful prose that it was incredibly hard to put down, and pulled at my mind every moment I was away from it. I can’t wait to read Moonglow which comes out July 31, 2012.

If you’re looking for something different from nearly everything else out there, or just looking for a great read, I highly recommend picking up Firelight by Kristen Callihan!

Grade: B

Book Link | Amazon | Kindle | nook | kobo | Sony | Book Depository | Hachette Book Group

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