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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

eBook Review: Kiss of Fire


Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn't know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn't want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won't let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to.

The scar is the reason she is being hunted.

If only she knew that she was.

If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air.

Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.


The synopsis covers about  2/3rds of the book's actual plot.  Once the scar is revealed things take a seriously paranormal turn.  A seriously dangerous paranormal turn.  Once things are given more context, some of the stuff that occurs between Ryland and Joclyn make a lot more sense.  As does why Ryland's father and associates are uber-creepy.

For the most part I enjoyed this book.  Since the paranormal stuff didn't kick in or become explained until closer to halfway through the first half of the book felt like one big set up for it (especially in hindsight).  Ryland's protectiveness over Joclyn, his increasingly more romantic attentiveness towards her, the evasiveness of his answers at times--it all makes so much more sense in hindsight.  On first reading he comes off a bit stalker-y honestly.  Not dangerous stalker-y, exactly, but uncomfortable stalker-y, especially given his father's dislike of Ry's friendship with Joclyn.

To go off on a bit of a tangent--Ry's dad Edmund is a control freak, but largely indifferent to Joclyn and her mother.  He had no apparent problem with Ry's and Jos' friendship as kids, but became more and more annoyed as they grew older.  On Jos' part I can understand why for her it didn't feel like a dangerous friendship so much as problematic possibly for her mother's continuing employment prospects.  Ry knew better; Ry knew what his father was really like and what he could really do.  Yet he kept seeking Jos out and endangering her.  I didn't really forgive him for that.

Wyn is awesome--as I suspect she is meant to be.  She only gets more awesome when you meet Ovaline--er Ovailia, sorry whenever I saw her name I read it as Ovaline.  Who is less interesting and more irritating.  Ilyan grew on me, though he hides a lot from Jos so that was a little annoying, but rather expected since a lot is on the line.

I was interested in the world mostly.  Jos sometimes was too angry or frustrated or overwhelmed to be interesting enough in a longer term for me.  But the world Ethington created was intriguing, rooted in magic from Prague and ancient societies adapting to the new age.  The second book's synopsis promises a more thorough look at this society with Czech being tossed around like its the cool new slang (how accurate that Czech is I can't say, my talent for linguistics is minimal at best) so I'm excited for that.

Just...please let's keep the "I can control myself!" out bursts to a minimum since if nothing else Jos proved she could not control herself at the critical moment.