Today I'm thrilled to be wrapping up the tour for Fireborn, the first installment of the new Souls of Fire series by Keri Arthur. I thoroughly enjoyed this book (as you'll see in my review below) and can't wait to see what future books have in store for Emberly!
Souls of Fire #1
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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…
Fireborn is the first in a new urban fantasy series from Ms. Arthur, thrusting us into a paranormal world full of the more familiar supernatural creatures such as vamps and weres, but utterly delighting us with the introduction of an entity we’ve seen very rarely (if at all): Phoenixes. Emberly is a phoenix, immortal in the sense that she experiences rebirth again and again and in possession of two separate forms when she calls on her fire. Given the unusualness of her kind, we find ourselves helpless to do anything but glory in everything we learn about her history, her various abilities, and the mythology of phoenixes in general. In addition to a truly fascinating protagonist in Emberly, we’re also given a complex mystery surrounding the Crimson Death virus, one that is clearly going to carry through future books despite the nice stopping point we find at the end of this first installment.
Emberly, while grabbing our attention from the beginning simply due to the fact that she’s a phoenix, also reaches out and tugs on our heartstrings as well, a troubled history with former lover Sam making itself known through clipped conversations and a painful exchange of barbs in the opening chapters. Though Sam’s anger at how his relationship with Emberly dissolved years prior is more than understandable when we learn what happened between them, we have the benefit of being in Emberly’s head rather than Sam’s, so we’re better able to see the why's of her actions when Sam can’t allow himself to see past his hurt. Thus we have the setup for what will undoubtedly be an emotional journey for the two of them, one that shows no signs of finding any type of resolution in the near future.
As is the case with many urban fantasy stories, Emberly is surrounded by a bevy of interested men, including Sam (though he fights it has hard as he can), but thankfully Ms. Arthur manages to create a situation between Emberly, Rory, Jackson and Sam that’s not nearly as frustrating as we might expect upon hearing of such a romantic setup. Each man has a distinct role in her life, but Emberly is not a woman who gets herself into irritatingly complex emotional entanglements, instead we learn early on that her heart belongs fully to Sam–despite his cool treatment of her throughout–while the other two fulfill very different types of needs or wants. Rory and Jackson are not love interests in any real way, they are friends, partners and sometimes lovers to Emberly, there for her when her heart or body take a brutal beating.
Overall, Fireborn is an intriguing start to the Souls of Fire series, giving our imaginations something new to play with as Emberly and Rory’s phoenixes take center stage, and ensuring our hearts are as involved as our minds thanks to Sam's heartbreaking presence in Emberly's life. Emberly is strong, smart and fiercely loyal to those she cares about (even if certain other people might argue the last one), and she is certainly someone with whom I can't wait to spend more time in the next installment.
*I'm the last stop on this month long tour, below is the full list of participating blogs so you can go back and check out additional reviews, excerpts and more!
6/23 - SciFi Chick
6/24 - I Smell Sheep
6/25 - On Starships and Dragonwings
6/26 - Manga Maniac Cafe
6/27 - Fang-Tastic Books
6/30 - Tynga's Reviews
7/3 - A Book Obsession
7/4 - Rabid Reads
7/7 - Wicked 'Lil Pixie
7/8 - A Great Read
7/9 - My Bookish Ways
7/10 - Supernatural Snark
7/11 - Not Yet Read
7/14 - HEAs Are Us
7/15 - Live to Read
7/16 - The Book Pushers
7/17 - Paranormal Book Club
7/18 - Awesomesauce Book Club
7/21 - Nyx Book Reviews
7/22 - Literal Addiction
7/23 - Supernatural Snark