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Through the Fire (First Responders #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  537 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Firefighting burns in Aidan O'Neill's blood. The son of a fireman, O'Neill has a sixth sense about fire and often takes dangerous risks. When one act of disobedience nearly gets a rookie killed, O'Neill is suspended. His weeks off are supposed to be a time to reflect but instead he escapes to Mexico, where another rash act of bravery actually kills him. But only for a few ...more
Kindle Edition, 328 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Bethany House Publishers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,428)
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Allison Kohn
This is a fast paced book about a fireman who is having trouble dealing with the death of his father who died in a fast burning, too hot fire that was never investigated. In the first few chapters he gets suspended, goes to Mexico and saves the life of a child, almost losing his life in the process, and gets called back to work before his two week suspension is over, because of a plethora of fast burning, too hot fires in the their sector of the city.
Caitlyn Santi
4.5 Stars!!!

I loved this book! This was an awesome story, although it is different than most suspense novels, but I loved that! I have recently discovered that I enjoy suspense stories about firefighters, and I really enjoyed this one. I especially loved the fact that the author is a firefighter and paramedic so he writes from personal experience, this book was written so realistically that many times I felt like I was really there, living the story right alongside the characters! The mystery be
You could probably get through the first third of this without knowing it's meant to be Christian fiction, except for the clean language. The beginning sets up Aidan (A-O to his friends) as a somewhat reckless firefighter who has a weird relationship with fire, and a family history of tragedy. The second third introduces the mystery element: these fires aren't right. They're being set by an arsonist. The last third seems to switch gears completely, making it a full-force Christian fiction story ...more
Caroline Baisley
Not Your Typical Mystery

I had to take this story in small bites. As a social worker, the main character's emotions were painfully intense. The author knows his way around emotions. He is also adept at portraying firefighting. The only thing I would have changed is I would have given more explanation of the tools mentioned in the story. As someone who grew up with multiple generations of firefighters swapping fire stories over dinner, hoses, axes, venting and Hurst tools were every day words. But
It took me a while to get into this story. Once I did, though, I really enjoyed it!
Don't let them tell you to dummy your lovely language!
Great read.
Michelle Moore
Through The Fire by Shawn Grady

We start off in a day of the life of a fireman, Aidan O'Neill. Only, Aidan isn't just a fireman. He's got a gift, passed through his family. He has the ability to hear the fire, read the flames, know where they're going to be next. What a fantastic gift this must be for a fireman!
However, and I believe due to this gift, Aidan has placed his work above all else. In some attempt to avenge his fathers' death, he will not rest until he has "beat" every single fire that
"Through the Fire" is a Christian suspense novel about firefighters and a serial arsonist. The fast-paced, non-stop action mainly involved fighting fires. The details about firefighting and firefighters were expertly woven into the story in a way that brought the job vividly alive in my imagination without slowing the action.

The characters were interesting, but I felt like we only "got to know" Aidan. Even him, we didn't get to know very well. I also never understood why anyone at the station wo
Victor Gentile

You ever read a book where the mystery is so thick that you feel compelled to flip to the end of the book and find out who the culprit is? Well that is exactly how I felt when I was reading “Through The Fire” by Shawn Grady, published by Bethany House.

There is an arsonist loose in Reno, Nevada and he is on a rampage trying to burn down the city. City officials and Fire Department brass want this person found and it is up to fireman Aidan O’Neill and Battalion One to find him. Aidan O’Neill isn’t
Aidan O'Neill serves as a firefighter in Reno, Nevada. Following the deaths of his father and grandfather, Aidan turned his back on God. Fiver years on Aidan is still angry and grieving. An emergency call that goes wrong and a string of fires set by a serial arsonist in his community push Adan to make a life-changing decision. This part of the plot alone will keep you on the edge of your seat. Add in a budding romance with Julianne, a talented fire investigator working to solve the mystery of th ...more
Bill Garrison
The debut novel of Shawn Grady, THROUGH THE FIRE, is an adventurous chronicle of Reno firefighter Aiden O'Neil and his struggle to overcome the loss of his firefighter father several years ago. Grady shines when writing about the daily fears and dangers faced by firefighters while on the job, and the numerous accounts of Aiden and friends fighting the fires are the best part of the novel.

Aiden is also a really good character. When his actions cause a rookie firefighter to almost lose his life, A
In Through the Fire by Shawn Grady Aidan O’Neill is a firefighter in Reno, Nevada who is chasing a firebug who he suspects set the fire that killed his father five years ago. The closer Aidan gets to finding out who the arsonist is, the more it seems the fires are chasing him. With the help of fire investigator Julianne, Aidan hopes to find the arsonist before the fire finds him.

Although, the basic storyline of this book is somewhat of a cliché – the overconfident firefighter seeking to avenge t
Clockstein Lockstein
Through the Fire by Shawn Grady is a powerful debut novel about the power of redemption and letting go of the past. Aidan O'Neill has firefighting in his blood. His grandfather, father, and uncle all served the Reno Fire Department with honor, but he blames himself for the death of his father in a fire several years ago. A.O. has become almost self-destructive in his quest to find the truth about his father's death and to prove himself as worthy. His recklessness leads to his dismissal from the ...more
I decided three things as I read this: 1) Firefighters are awesome. 2) I really don't like Aidan. 3) It's hard for me to enjoy a book much when I really don't like the main character who's supposed to be a sympathetic character.

There was some interesting writing - mostly when the author was describing the regular calls that a firefighter has - and it was enough to keep me from completely disliking this novel, but there was too much annoying stuff and poorly done writing to let it be much better
Stefan Yates
Through the Fire is a decent thriller and a solid debut novel for Shawn Grady. Grady obviously knows his subject matter well and this adds a depth of realism that would otherwise be difficult to achieve. That realism combined with Grady's colorful descriptions and his broad and varying use of the English language set this book apart from a standard run-of-the-mill thriller and earned an extra half of a star on my rating. Mr. Grady excels at painting the scene with vivid strokes and I appreciate ...more
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Review on my blog:

3.5 stars

Through the Fire, Shawn Grady's debut novel, is the first book I've read of his, though I've been wanting to read his books for a while (especially Tomorrow We Die).

I thought the story was good and I was shocked by the ending (did not see it coming at all). I've read some books about firefighters, but not a lot, so I liked that aspect of Through the Fire. A few times the
Nora St Laurent
Wow, I just finished reading Through the Fire. I’m thankful for the review copy of this fascinating, enlightening book. I realized how clueless I was as to what firefighters go through day-in and day-out to save peoples lives and risk their own! It’s astounding!

Only someone who’s been in a firefighter’s shoes could show the realistic side of this demanding, sacrificial job that most of us take for granted. Shawn Grady’s been in the fire as a firefighter in Reno, for many years, which gives him a
Edwina Cowgill
Through The Fire is a spell-binding, edge-of-your-seat read from page one to page 328. Written in first person from the view point of the main character, Aidan O’Neill, it is a book that you will not forget for a long time. This book is Shawn Grady’s debut novel and he has “hit it out of the ballpark” on his first try. Mr. Grady is writing from experience – he has served over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in Reno, Nevada, the setting for Through the Fire.

Here is the back cover summary:
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
After reading Falls Like Lightning, I had to get my hands on another Shawn Grady book. Fortunately, my library came through.

Aidan is a Reno firefighter with a gift for reading or hearing how a fire will react or the direction it will take. After a difficult call where his young partner is injured, Aidan has a psychological reaction and can no longer read fires. An arson is targeting Reno and Aidan believes these fires are related to the one that killed his firefighter father years ago. He teams
-GoodReads/First Reads win Nov 09
-March 29- received book

The best way to describe this book is to say that it has a 2 star beginning and a 4 star ending. I decided to meet in the middle for my final review.

I wasn't really sure where the story was going for the first half. Everything seems to jump around and it didn't feel like a plot was coming together. But, around page 200 it started to jive and the last 100 pages definitely caught my attention.

You can tell the author was (is?) a firefighter.
I'm a little confused to all the 5 star ratings. This book jumped around and chapters ended abruptly...I had a hard time getting into the story and then following what the author was trying to do. I wasn't invested in any of the characters and didn't really like the main character, Aiden much at all. It was a clean book, but it was odd how religion was only really thrown at you at the end where everyone suddenly "found the light."
"Even smoke runs from the fire. But I find myself compelled to enter hell's havoc and the swirling chasm, to take for my own the taming of the element, screwing my courage to the sticking place. When blackness billows heaven-bent from hallways, and flame tips lick lintels like a serpent's tongue, the Sirens stand singing. Mast ties won't hold fast.

Enter the cloud.

Enveloped by heat.

Vanquish the destroyer.

I come from a family of firemen. And borne into my blood was a gift. It arrives at times in w
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Firefighting burns in Aidan O'Neill's blood. The son of a fireman, O'Neill has a sixth sense about fire and often takes dangerous risks. When one act of disobedience nearly gets a rookie killed, O'Neill is suspended. His weeks off are supposed to be a time to reflect but instead he escapes to Mexico, where another rash act of bravery actually kills him. But only for a few minutes.
Called back to Reno, he's now haunted by visions of hell and paralyzed in the face of fire. And at the worst time, be
I've always loved firefighters and appreciated the job they do. At least, I thought so until I read Through the Fire. While reading Shawn Grady's book, I realized I had no understanding of what firefighter's face on a daily basis. Their bravery, sacrifice, and willingness to put their lives on the line for a stranger is portrayed so well in Grady's book. The story is real and heart-wrenching. The characters and their struggles spoke to me. Grady's knowledge of firefighters is first hand and that ...more
Linda Rainey
This a book for adrenaline junkies. There is a lot of suspense from beginning to end
I enjoyed the characters.
Best of all is how The Lord is there to guide us through life's trial of fire.
I can't wait to read more books.
Couldn't get further than the first few pages - the narrative is so clumsy and full of hackneyed phrases that it just jarred too much. The story may be excellent but it wasn't worth wading through the poor writing to find out
Paul Goble
Firefighter solves arson mystery.

The writing is excellent. Unlike many books written in the first person, the scene is set vividly, with information being introduced at just the right time. Literary devices such as alliteration remain in the background, supporting a fast-paced and hard-to-predict plot. The action takes off in the first chapter, but well-placed chapter breaks allow the reader to take a break. The descriptions of life as a firefighter are excellent, as would be expected from an au
A boring book. Had to skim through a lot of the description of how the firemen were putting out their fires. Simple plot, not much thinking involved. Won't read any more of this author's books.
Took a while for me to get interested in the book, relate to the characters but once I did I found the book very interesting. I was surprised at the ending. A good read overall.
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I'm a novelist who has served as a firefighter and paramedic for over fifteen years in the Reno-Tahoe area, where I live with my wife and three children.

Through the Fire
Tomorrow We Die
Falls Like Lightning

More info can be found at
More about Shawn Grady...

Other Books in the Series

First Responders (3 books)
  • Tomorrow We Die
  • Falls Like Lightning
Falls Like Lightning Tomorrow We Die

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