Monday, 20 February 2012

Book Review: Firelight by Kristen Callihan

First published: 31st January 2012
By: Forever

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.

My review:

I should say right away that I don't normally read adult romance and was not really the target audience for this. I just wanted to give something new a try but, while there were some things I liked about Firelight, it wasn't the book to win me around to the genre.

Miranda is a strong heroine and I enjoyed her interactions with almost all the other characters. She has wit and intelligence and it's fun to see her banter with everyone from society ladies to London pickpockets. Her backstory is really interesting: how she discovered her powers, how she inadvertently ruined her family and was forced into a life of crime - now that sounds like my kind of book. But this is a romance, so the romance was the central plot (duh!). Unfortunately, I found Archer, the love interest, to be more one-note as a character: "I love Miranda, but I can't be with her, but I want to be with her, because I love Miranda" ad infinitum. I think Miranda deserves better, really.

The book has very readable prose and the plot chugs along at a good pace, with the subplot of the strange serial murders turning up at the right moments to prevent things from becoming dull (and the killings are delightfully gruesome for those who get a kick out of the macabre), but ultimately, I just didn't feel much of a connection with any of it. I think a problem was that I was looking for something different when I tried this novel, and apart from featuring adults and sex scenes (which were admittedly hot), I didn't find much here that was all that different from the YA paranormal romances I've read. I almost DNF-ed it at one point, when it was heavily telegraphed that a character was a werewolf - I was like, "Werewolves? Again?"

I didn't mind reading Firelight and it's the kind of novel that would probably serve you well on a long, dreary aeroplane flight, but there was nothing there to make it any more than that for me.

Rating: 2.5 stars

This book was provided to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review.


  1. I keep hearing the same kinds of comments about this book and for some reason it makes me even more curious about reading it. The cover is certainly gorgeous and I'm curious to see how it pans out. Though I've been really critical lately of books so I may end up DNF-ing this one...

    1. I think the cover and the synopsis really got my expectations up high. It's not bad; you probably won't hate it, but I hesitate to recommend it when there are so many great books out there. Maybe try a couple of chapters and DNF it if it doesn't grab you.


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