LMM's Reviews > Firelight

Firelight by Kristen Callihan
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Feb 14, 12

Read in February, 2012

Firelight was a perfectly fine/good 1st book in series…actually, stronger than the normal PNR formula IMO. I suspect for really hardcore romance readers this will be a big hit & there will be a lot of love for this book & for those who do romance but don't only seek that genre out, they'll like it a lot as well.

So to start, it's a bit status quo in the sense that it follows the typical outline for a romance novel. You have your plucky heroine & brooding (& in this case slightly emo at times) hero. The build of the romantic sexual tension hit its typical marks & more or less which goes something like; at 20% something slightly sexual happens, then at the 50% & then at the 80% it usually comes to fruition. There is angst & with that comes the usual misunderstandings & holding back as a result. I've read a helluva lot worse but it's there. It also has the usual soulmate vibe going on.

However, there are two main areas where this book falters for me and one was the plot. It was predictable who the baddie was and the reasons behind their actions as soon as the character was introduced so I didn't have any sense of urgency while reading.

The other main issue I had which prevents me from giving it a higher rating is that I found it was the main character (Miri) herself that was the actual deus ex machina & that was obvious as the book progressed. It came off as too contrived so it ultimately failed to elevate my general 'like' of the reading experience to love.

Dear Miri comes & saves the day, 90 years Archer waited for her & when he found her, she happens to be the one thing that could save his life & redeem him. It's because of this, that I just found the overall plot a bit too one note. It got a shrug of the shoulders in the end. You know, not bad...definitely not bad just not....quite.....there... in reality.

A smaller peeve was that Archer (the male MC) also had emo tendencies. It could've been worse but I'm sensitive to the emo & generally not in a patient way.

However in fairness, Callihan would redeem herself because actually, I found the character pretty honest about his feelings toward Miri and his dialogs were actually quite touching. It could've gone really purple & been extraordinarily cheesy but I don't think I rolled my eyes once.

With all that being said, I enjoyed the blooming relationship between Miri & Archer. The sexual tension was palpable & pretty hot. The UST was in da house in a good way. I appreciated how even though there was angst, it didn't drrraaaag it out which kept their evolvement moving along as a result.

It was a really easy book to read because the pacing was solid. Callihan didn't waste words, get overly descriptive or flowery with Victorian speech patterns. She was true to the times without indulging.

I wanted to acknowledge a little detail I caught too. When Daisy was doling out advice to Miri she said; " it would only add oil to the fire." I could've seen that slipping by a lot of other author's works.

There was humor, action & even imagination but I think most of all it had heart.

Callihan really tried here & I thought it was obvious in her execution. She tried to go out of the box & give the reader a new kind of paranormal creature & talent to contend with. And although I thought it felt a little flat, it wasn't as if I didn't realize that she was honestly giving it her best shot, trying to make it compelling & trying to work it out.

I thought she gave her characters a lot of likability & even though Miri was the stereotypical insanely gorgeous, spunky, unique, gave as good as she got, blah, blah, etc. I genuinely liked her. I had respect for her character because she was really true to herself. Oh and thank the Lord she actually was NOT a freakin' virgin! Go figure!

As for Archer, I really liked him because he had humility & didn't waste too much time revealing himself, (not the mask mind you), but his emotions to Miri. All along the way, he admitted how he was feeling & was truthful. That's another trait I respect in a character.

As Miri said; "there are lies and then there are lies." I thought Callihan did a great job making the reader understand the difference so I was able to have empathy for Archer & feel compassion for his plight.

This is definitely a good, easy, fun beach read & that's not a brush off when I say that. I love beach reads myself.

I hope Callihan just continues to grow & do her thing. I think she has a lot of potential as an author as well as the series. It's definitely a respectable 1st outing from a 1st time author.
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