Paranormal Young Adult
Available October 14th
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Aria is an elemental artist—she creates fire from her hands. But her power is not natural. She steals it from lightning. It’s dangerous and illegal in her world. When she’s recruited to perform, she seizes the chance to get away from her family. But her power is fading too fast to keep stealing from the sky. She has no choice but to turn to a Granter—a modern day genie. She gets one wish at an extremely high price. Aria’s willing to take a chance, but then she falls in love with the Granter . . . and he wants his freedom. Aria must decide what she’s willing to bargain and how much her own heart, body, and soul are worth.
In a world where the sport of elemental powers is the most popular form of entertainment, readers will be swept away by a romance with stakes higher than life and death.
The Fire Artist is ripe with the type of tension that accompanies waiting for the other shoe to drop, knowing things for our young protagonist are going to rapidly unravel while we can do nothing but sit idly by and let it happen. The weight of our stress only grows heavier as her story progresses, the rope holding the guillotine blade over Aria's fragile neck fraying with each and every chapter until we reach the moment it finally gives and she must face the fate that's been building from the beginning. While we find ourselves fully invested in Aria's future however, wishing and hoping right along with her for a life free of her abusive father, the romance leaves a bit to be desired as does the final showdown with the man responsible for the deterioration of her family.
Aria is an engaging protagonist, the brief glimpses we get of how she came to be a fire artist more than enough to have us taking up secure residence in her corner, ready to do battle against a father blinded to anything and everything but his own desire for wealth and status. Though we root for her throughout, she's a young woman who really proves her mettle in the latter half of the story, her silence with regard to her father's abuse and her mother's obliviousness in the first half making us want to scream at the top of our lungs on her behalf. Once her Faustian bargain is made though, Aria comes to vibrant life, owning up to her mistakes and fully accepting the consequences of her actions as she seeks to fix her family as much as possible before the devil comes to collect his due.
The romance with Taj, a granter of wishes, is one aspect of this story that keeps it from a higher rating, the development of feelings seeming to exist only between them on the pages while failing to transcend the ink and paper to draw our hearts into the mix as well. There's thankfully very little drama between them and certainly no second love interest in sight, but the evolution of like to love does happen fairly quickly for Aria, and we simply don't have time to catch up and get lost in the haze of joyous confusion that accompanies first love. That being said however, Taj is sweet and charming–and a lover of books–so while we might wish for a little more from their relationship, the two of them are still enjoyable as a couple.
The other small flaw with this tale is more personal in nature and likely something that will be a non-issue for many a reader, but there are times (for me) in a paranormal story when a supernatural solution to a problem seems like the easy way out, a quick fix to something deserving of a more realistic resolution. In this case, that problem is Aria's father, his comeuppance in the final chapters occurring in such a way as to be somewhat unsatisfying given all the pain and hurt he caused his wife and daughters. Overall though, The Fire Artist is a quick and entertaining read, not necessarily one that blazes a new trail in the young adult market but still a story that proves itself to be a fun way to spend a few hours nonetheless.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.