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Fire & Shadow

(Hand of Kali #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Normal people sneak out to a party and have fun. Maya Rao ends the evening by incinerating the guy who attacks her.

Nik Lucas, sexy, new in town and totally forbidden, happens to walk in on her. Normal guys would run for the hills. Nik knows a whole lot more than he's telling.

Maya doesn't believe the gods are real, doesn't waste her time with mere mythology. But when gods,
Paperback, 386 pages
Published July 25th 2013 by Infinite Ink Books (first published July 23rd 2013)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  157 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ayer has a very light, easy flow to her writing that allows you to immerse yourself in the story without thinking about it. She takes you on a walk through a number of different areas and lands, each of which you can picture perfectly. Ayer also gives background information on the Hindi pantheon without making it into a history lesson. Those who aren’t familiar with these gods are given sufficient information to enjoy this upbeat and fast paced novel, while those who are will not be bogged down ...more
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, poc, self-pub
It is with a heavy heart that I write this review. Few book concepts made me happier than this one. A YA fantasy based on Hindu mythology? Seriously? How awesome is that? The concept rocks, the execution falters.

Maya Rao is your average Indian-American teen, balancing her parents expectations and culture with the quest for normalcy in high school. She's not really religious, she doesn't believe in the gods and goddesses and all of that superstitious mumbo jumbo. But when a high school party goes
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ry-2013, read-in-2013
review posted here ...

Fire is the first book in the new YA series ‘The Hand of Kali’ which is inspired by icons of the Hindu religion.

As the synopsis tells us… we have Maya, a teenager brought up by parents who believe all things about their religion – not Maya though, she refuses to see them as any more than stories. Her parents aren’t so strict that they would force Maya to believe if she doesn’t want to (unlike her poor friend Ria whose family are ub
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
A review copy was provided for an honest review. I'm one of those people who devour anything and everything that contains mythology in it, the novel Fire which incorporates Hindu myth is no exception. It was a different kind of reading experience for me because I've never paid a lot of attention to Hindu Gods/Goddesses but they are superlatively riveting. Ayer weaves India's culture and beliefs together with fun fantasy-based twists. Maya, the main character of the story really grew on me. She b ...more
Sher A. Hart
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
I enjoyed Fire, very different from Christian paranormal in having demons but no angels. The pantheon of Indian Gods seemed more similar to Greek mythology. I stopped to look up Kali, referred to as the dark Goddess, to make sure Maya’s parents weren’t worshipping a dark as in evil being. Reassured, I could empathize with Maya’s journey from total disbelief as an immigrant immersed in American culture to finding she had a key role to play as Kali’s hand. The power to go with her purpose/mission¬ ...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
I am a fan of T.G's writing. She knows how to tell a story. She captivates me in each of her books and sucks me into the story.

She has done it again in Fire. I really enjoy books that are mythical. This book takes in the Mythology of India. I am unfamiliar with the Gods of India and I am happy to learn more. It's fascinating to me that many cultures have their own God/Goddess mythology, and how many of them are similar in some aspects.

Mia is a teen who is struggling with the beliefs of her India
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Fire where to start this review..... man I am all over the place because I have never ever read a book that captivated and kept reading about Gods and mythology. For those of you reading this review wondering why that is important I will tell you that I love love love MYTHOLOGY books and history books. I love reading about the Gods and the different believes people have. This book was no exception and they way it started out to the very end was great to. Tee knows how to weave a story and hold y ...more
My Thoughts - 3 out of 5 unicorns - I liked it!
**Received an arc of the ebook for free as part of the book tour in exchange for an honest opinion.

Okay I totally love the book cover. It is beautiful and intriguing. I love the fire effect :)

This book is beautiful written, and the author did a fabulous job. I love this world she created. This was new for me because I have not read about the gods of India before. This is a great start to a series. There is a lot of education built into this book, s
Book Chatter-Cath
*For the sake of full disclosure, I recently started working as PA to this author*

I cannot tell you how much I have fallen for Maya, Nik and this absolutely gorgeous YA book by T.G. Ayer!

Fire is an intricate story that wraps itself in the wonderfully vibrate world of Hinduism. Its fierce and often brutal gods and goddesses, each with a vested interest in Maya, in the hand of Kali, need her help to keep the balance - for the sake of all mankind.

A vast array of characters from different times, pla
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
T. G. Ayer's newest novel. Fire, is a welcome addition to the YA supernatural world. What I loved most about this book is that none of it is typical. Told through 3rd person narration, Fire introduces readers to the rich mythology of the Hidu faith. The main character, Maya, has grown up in California largely viewing the tales her parents shared with her of gods and goddesses as nothing more than superstition and nonsense. However, after she is attacked at a party and starts to see monsters, May ...more
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very intense book. I found it very interesting that this Hindu family was so culturally strict in some ways and so informal in others. I have several friends who are Hindu and others who have lived in that area of the world and it is rare, particularly for girls to be granted that kind of leniency, especially in first generation families.

Of course, as I read further I began to see the reasoning, but it did give me a different view while reading as I compared it to my friends and excha
Athena Nagel
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This is definitely the type of story that I just love. Anything rooted in mythology is a passion of mine - any mythology. I do tend to focus most on Greek Mythology but not exclusively. The story takes off immediately. There is no time wasted at all diving right into the characters and the story. This is the first book in a series and I can't wait to read future editions. These gods(goddesses are new to me - I have never read about Indian mythology. TG Ayer does a great job spinning this story a ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book for the YA genre. Where most fantasy type books deal with Greek Mythology, this one delves into Hinduism. It was a refreshing change to see a fantasy story revolving around different Gods/Goddesses and the myths surrounding them.

Maya is a typical Indian teenager who, one day, finds out she is not so typical. The story takes you along on her adventures and her roller coaster emotions as she deals with all of the changes in her life and finding out what she didn't believe
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
Ms. Ayers pens "Fire" in her usual fantastic writing within a plot filled with Gods/Goddesses and myths, with a touch of religion. As usual her characters are very well developed, interesting and believable. This is a fantastic start to a new series and I can't wait for the next installment to come out. Highly recommended to all fantasy and magick fans.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Maya has a crush on a non-Indian boy, a relationship her parents would not allow. She is learning martial arts from her father and then she discovers she has fire starting abilities. The writing and pacing are really good and Maya is a likeable character. Her parents tell her that she is special and that she can sense demons. A really good, interesting fantasy adventure. 4 stars.
Kriselda Gray
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first book in TG Ayer's "Hand of Kali" series, this one centered around the gods and legends of Hinduism.

Even though she's been raised by a family devoted to the Hindu gods, Maya Rao doesn't believe they're real. That makes it all the more shocking when she discovers that she was born to be the Hand of Kali - her warrior on Earth to battle the Rakshasa demons who can possess people in order to do their master's bidding and sometimes kill people just for the fun of it, so some serious
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a very unusual story. Whilst I've read many demon-hunter stories before, the premise of this one - that the protagonist is a reincarnation of a priestess of Kali (known as the Hand of Kali), born with the ability to hunt and kill any rakshasa (demon) encountered - was not one I've seen before. I really liked the Hindu religion and mythology basis of the story and the way the elements were woven in, and the inclusion of the glossary and pronunciation guide at the beginning of the boo ...more
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite things about TG Ayer as an author is her use of mythology in her stories. The research that must go into understand each of the cultures the individual series focuses on must be crazy intense. Because of that research she is able to immerse a reader into a mythology even if you know nothing about it before starting her book. That is what this story did for me. It focuses on the Hindu legends and I'm not only looking forward to the next book, I am also interested in learning ab ...more
The Mysterious Reader
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I love about TG Ayers’ several series is her defy melding of fantasy and mythology. I especially love it when she does that with a mythology that I only know a little about. That certainly is the case here in Fire & Shadow, the first book in her The Hand of Kali series. Yes, on one hand it’s the oft-used plot of an ordinary girl, here our lead Maya, who - somewhat reluctantly - becomes much more. On that level it’s a great story, and the relationship between Maya and Nik (a ...more
Darlene Long
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can already tell that this is going to be a fun series to read. There is a lot of Indian mythology which is kinda easy to pick up, its all explained as you go along. I’ve never read a bad book of hers. I she is one of my favorite writers along with elin peer who writes ‘men from the north’ along with laurel k Hamilton with her Anita Blake series. Thank you ladies!!
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Maya was a normal girl until she was attacked by a boy at a party and shoots flames from her hands to kill him. She discovers that she has the powers of the Goddess Kali and must learn how to control her gift as the forces of evil move in on her and endanger everyone she loves.

I've always been interested in Hinduism's mythology, having studied it for two years at school. Kali in particular
Teresa S
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A young Hindu girl suddenly finds the she is the reincarnation of Kali, a Hindu goddess. Known as the Hand of Kali, her job is to kill demons. With the help of a few gods and goddesses, she sets out to save the world. Great plot and characters, loved it!
I received a complimentary copy and freely provide my honest review.
Grace Carmack
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: on-my-kindle
This book was ok. I didn't find it very exciting, and it definitely didn't quench my thirst to read a really good book. I found her and Nick's romance too sudden and quick. You don't fall in love in less than 24 hours, people. Had the occasional bad language and some steamy kissing scenes but other than it was fine. Targets older teens (16-18 year olds.) Wouldn't suggest it for anyone younger.
Fire & Shadow is book 1 in the Hand of Kali series.

The book started off really well and I was really into it in just the first few chapters. I loved the idea of Hindu mythology being brought in and real life problems Indian/Asian girls have, even in the West. But I found Maya really annoying and I felt the story was just going on.
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, i-own, hand-of-kali
I loved this book! I love stuff written based on religion. I just find it so fascinating. The fluidity of this book was wonderful. By the time you got to the end you just had to take a step back and think about some things. There's so much going on and so much packed in that your kind of in a whirlwind by the end. It. Was. Awesome! I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read, I love how the author makes us feel like we are right there in the moment. I absolutely lost myself in this book, and only the best literature has that effect.
Bonnie (A Backwards Story)
Ever since Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo put together a Diversity in YA Tour (and now a website) across the country that I was once lucky enough to attend, I've become more attuned to the lack of diversity in fantasy. One of the earliest things to appeal to me about FIRE as I began reading was the fact that Maya is Indian, and that her family immigrated to the USA. FIRE also introduces readers to Indian mythology and beliefs, which I don't know much about. These elements certainly kept my interest!

Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)
Gorgeous cover, brilliant idea, but the story? The inner editor in me saying there needs to be some major fixing. But first, let me narrow down the basis of Fire & Shadow before launching into what I didn't like about the book and why said book didn't get a fantabulously stellar rating.

~ There's a pronunciation guide! If I actually gave out bonus points, which I don't, a bonus point will be given to Ayer. Even though I didn't actually use the pronunciation guide, but helpful all the same to
Honestly, I kept going back and forth on this novel. I really, really liked that the lead character wasn’t your typical misunderstood gawky white heroine. On the other hand, I had trouble getting attached to Maya because she seemed to spend a good chunk of the book being angry at those around her and not accepting the situation and facing things head on. I liked that not all the adults in this book were total idiots or assholes. Maya has parents that honestly care about her and there is Claudia, ...more
Lakisha Spletzer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidante ...more

Other books in the series

Hand of Kali (4 books)
  • Blood & Gold (Hand of Kali, #2)
  • Time & Fate (Hand of Kali, #3)
  • Fury & Virtue (Hand of Kali, #4)