Into the Fire (Birth of the Pheonix #1) by Ashelyn Drake
Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.
But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.
A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.
I received an ARC of this book on behalf of Month9Books. This book will be released on September 9th, 2014.
This book, and what I’m assuming will be at least one upcoming sequel given the ending, is based around a very interesting premise. Take your basic teenage love story; add a dash of pheonix fire and the idea that the main character will forget everything within the month; oh, and let’s not forget the Hunter who’s after her essence.
I like the idea of the Pheonix instead of the ever popular werewolves and vampires for this type of novel. Don’t get me wrong, there’s quite a bit of the cliche story-line to it, but this is a teenage romance story at heart so I expected that going in. Still, I liked what made it different.
The idea of forgetting everything after your first rebirth was executed quite well. Cara’s brother, Jeremy, has just experienced his rebirth when the novel begins, and sets the stage for Cara’s worries throughout the book. I kind of felt like Cara’s reactions at the beginning of the book were a little more of the “telling not showing” variety, but once Drake fell into more of a pattern and the story progressed, Cara felt a lot more tangible.
Drake uses an interesting structure in how she wrote, and I’m not sure it’s my favorite—it’s one of the primary reasons I’m only giving this a 3 instead of something higher. It’s written in first-person, and the point of view regularly switches between Cara and Logan. I understand the decision, and for the most part it worked. However, as a reader I kept having to remind myself who was “I” for any given chapter. This structuring only really works if your characters have very distinct voices, and I’m not sure that Cara and Logan were strong enough individual characters to really pull it off.
The plot and pacing was very nicely put together. I like the way the pieces fell, and everything was set up quite well. I honestly kind of anticipated the big punch line even though Cara herself didn’t see it coming, but the fact that I predicted it didn’t detract from the reading experience at the big conclusion. More importantly, I didn’t feel bored while I was reading some of the slower parts, and everything seemed to fit together appropriately.
Speaking of … this does end with a bit of a cliff hanger — you have fair warning. I’d like to read the follow-on to this when it gets released
Posted on August 6, 2014, in Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, Young Adult and tagged arc copy, ashelyn drake, book reviews, books, fantasy, into the fire, paranormal romance, pheonix, urban fantasy, young adult. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.