First Novels Club's Reviews > Blue Fire

Blue Fire by Janice Hardy
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's review
Feb 07, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed, donna
Read in October, 2010

Janice Hardy's BLUE FIRE is book two in The Healing Wars trilogy, and man, this book escaped MNS with a capital E. Do yourself a favor -- don't read this book before going to sleep. I made that mistake, and I was lying awake for nearly an hour -- after all that action, I couldn't relax!

Basically, it’s nonstop awesome.

If you didn’t read the first book, THE SHIFTER, let me set it up this way – pretend you’re reading a prequel to THE HUNGER GAMES and District 13 has just been blown to smithereens, and the rebellion’s pretty much done, the bad guys have won. But before there’s like decades upon decades of awful Hunger Games under an evil ruler, there’s this one girl who might be able to prevent all that, even though she doesn’t realize it. And like Katniss, she gets pulled into the middle of it all. That’s where THE SHIFTER begins, and BLUE FIRE continues her story.

Got it? Good.

I rarely read middle grade novels, and I generally don’t read high fantasies. But this is upper-middle-grade with very high stakes, and there are no elves to speak of. The world that Janice Hardy has created jumps off the page and envelops you.

First off, the entire trilogy’s premise is amazing – certain people can heal with a touch? Great, right? Take that wonderful-sounding idea and make it dark and twisted. Buy and sell it. Use it in a political war. Throw a fifteen-year-old girl named Nya in the middle of everything.

I love Nya for a number of reasons, but mostly because I always understand her choices. She makes tough ones, ones that cause people to die. And she gets herself into and out of dangerous situations with complete plausibility. Part courage, part luck, part skill, part stubbornness, plus a whole dose of sass.

In BLUE FIRE, Nya begins with the same simple goal that she had in THE SHIFTER – keep the people she loves safe. Unfortunately, because of her unique ability to shift pain from one person to another – an ability that’s unfolding into something a bit more – this is tougher than it sounds. The Duke of Baseer (the big bad) wants her, and he’ll do anything to get her.

Nya gets pulled deeper into political intrigue, further into the war that has ravaged her home and left her an orphan. In BLUE FIRE, she questions everything she believes, and she realizes that simply protecting her loved ones might not be enough.

BLUE FIRE is an action-packed middle novel – of course, it ends on more of a cliffhanger than THE SHIFTER, with more loose ends to tie up, but it provides an excellent bridge to book three while being a satisfying story on its own.

If you’ve read THE SHIFTER, definitely pick up BLUE FIRE, which came out this week – it’s worth it! And if you haven’t begun THE HEALING WARS yet, it’s time to start!

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03/09 marked as: read

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