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Into the Fire (Under Fire #1)

4.56  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  26 reviews
*Winner of the 2016 Realm Makers "debut" award.*

Chosen by God. Hoping there’s a way out.

When Kate meets Nathan, he reveals the existence of the Guardians—men and women with God-given “superpowers.ˮ But not all Guardians honor their calling to protect innocent lives. Some choose to prey on the innocent instead.

Nathan’s touch leaves Kate with a flame-shaped mark on her wr
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Kim Vandel
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4.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Lisa Godfrees
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction, fantasy
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Worldview: Christian

PROS: What a treat to read. This author knows how to tell a story. She gives you enough information to ground you, but keeps the rest a mystery and feeds it to you as you go. The characters are great, from the female protagonist to the rest of the Guardians. Their rapport reminds me of the characters in Big Hero 6, not meaning that the book is juvenile, but that each character is fully developed with quirks and eccentricities of their own and you like them
Catherine Payne
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well-written, fast-paced Christian urban fantasy that deftly avoids preachiness and cliche.
Lynnette Bonner
After reading the first few words of this novel I was hooked all the way to the end where, in my disappointment that it was finished, I almost turned my eReader over to look for more of the story. This is a young adult, urban, dystopian (kind of), story that is sure to please anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games or Divergent. Take one handsome Guardian who is a former terrorist and is supposed to train one very reluctant new recruit, and combine that with a fallen Guardian who has turned her back ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Into the Fire is on my short list of favorite books. The MC is easy to like and root for. She is vulnerable without being too stupid to live (one of my pet peeves with so many female protagonists). The theme here is God chooses people to do things for which they are unprepared, and then He equips them for the job. Even so, they must step out in faith into situations with no assurance of victory.

Unlike many novels in the superpowers niche, I have read this book several times over, and it doesn't
Amanda Geaney
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Into the Fire was like a Christian version of the X-men. Kim Vandel does a great job of creating a sympathetic protagonist. Kate is a college freshman UW who is living a relatively mundane life. Aside from an overprotective mother, prodigal behaving brother, and best friend, Kate feels pretty invisible to those around her. That is until a rash on her arm becomes a pronounced tattoo-like mark. In time, she learns that the mark (pur) is a sign of God's calling on her life. She's soon introduced to ...more
Kathleen Freeman
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reminds me of Hunger Games, Heroes-- the TV show,or Arrow-- the TV show. I'm not saying Hunger Games wasn't a good book. It was. It kept me reading all night and made me think. I like that. Into the Fire also makes me think, but rather than pull me along with contrived-feeling drama,Into the Fire feels real, authentic. It's about a real girl with real struggles. She's trying to get through college, tiptoe around a mother with psychological issues, pull support from a father who is caught up in h ...more
L.J. Capehart
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book, and may I say, good job! I found the recommendation for this on another author's site, and I'm glad I did. Before I even finished reading the sample download, I knew I really had to buy it. The story pulls you in and makes it hard to put it down and go to sleep. Vandel's characters have depth that makes them interesting, the interactions and relationships are well thought out. I really wish I didn't have to wait for book two! I want it now! I've found another MUST READ ...more
Loraine Nunley
May 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. While it did take me some time to get invested in Kate’s story, when I did I was motivated to push forward by all of my questions. The same questions that Kate herself is asking. Who are these “Guardians” and how does she fit into their world? What powers is she going to receive? Will she accept this gift that she didn’t want? If she does, what is she willing to do in order to embrace this life that she is being offered? Every chapter gave me more insight, but still l ...more
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
I loved every second of this book. It gave us vital information to the story consistently through the book, from start to Finnish! This is also the first ya book I've read with Christian ties and I really fell in love with the idea of Guardians chosen by God. The end was incredible and holy cliffhangers batman!!!! Can't wait for book 2!!!
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cant wait for part 2!!!
Celesta Thiessen
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Jerrod Tune
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I couldn't put this book down (I mean, really, who needs sleep anyways...) and can't wait to read the next!
Amanda G. Stevens
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kate Brennan has a lot of life-juggling to do. She's a college freshman struggling with calculus and hoping to get into medical school. Her family is firmly in the dysfunctional camp, especially her controlling, passive aggressive mother. She's eighteen and has never dated, but she's hoping to change that very soon. She's really not looking to add any new stress to her life, but apparently God has other plans. A fire tattoo has appeared on her wrist, and a stranger named Nathan is telling her th ...more
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic book.

I've been striking gold lately with the indie/self-published books I've been reading, and this is a prime example of it. The main character's voice drew me into the story within the first couple chapters and I was hooked ever since. It isn't often that a voice draws me in like this one did. And so as soon as I realized how good the voice was, I knew that I was being drawn into an excellent story. And I enjoyed every step of the way.

Simply put, this story thrives on its cha
K.M. Weiland
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So, so good. Vandel does all the good stuff of supernatural teen stories--and does it better. The narrative is a tight weave that takes every advantage of its first-person POV to create an engaging and relatably flawed protagonist who sidesteps that all-too-common YA pitfall of whiny pity party.

The characters and their relationships are a joy (although they seem to be setting up for a really painful romantic triangle). The Christian/Guardian angle on superheros is refreshing, and the action is v
Dennis Brooke
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
What if an insecure University of Washington student found that she was called to be a hero? Kim Vandel has crafted a fascinating story about insecure Kate Brennan whose pre-med studies and life of quiet desperation are interrupted by a call to join a gifted group of people called The Guardians.
I found myself sympathizing with Kate’s struggles and soon became fascinated with the rich cast of characters surrounding her including a former terrorist and NFL quality quarterback. In this tale Kate st
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It has to be a very special book to grab me immediately and sustain that grip for the duration of the book. This book not only did that, the grip became more intense as I progressed through it.
Into the Fire is a fascinating book about a young woman who is surprised one day to find an image indelibly imprinted onto her wrist. It is a red three-in-one flame. She first tries to wipe it off, then she tries to scrub it off. Neither method has any effect. Then she is approached by a man who offers to
Alayna Mitchell
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Amazing. It was very well written. I don't normally care very much for first person but Kim Vandel pulls it off delightfully well.
It isn't one of those Christian books where you feel like the author wrote a sermon and then randomly threw in characters. The characters were clearly careful crafted and well-rounded. Hassan was my favorite.
There is nothing really inappropriate in the book, just a few hints at a few swear words when Kate's brother Ty, who is in real need of some saving grace, is arou
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, ya
Excellent! Christian YA at its finest. Better than good writing, engaging story line, in depth character development. READ IT!
Y.I. Lee
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was good. Imaginatively descriptive with great characters. I liked the character of the heroine, and felt for her with regard to the relationship with her mother. My favourite character was Hassan . I found him convincing and intriguing.
The story reminded me very much of X-Men, which I love.
I enjoyed the book, but not sure about the way it ended. It's debatable wether I would read more in the series.
But I can certainly recommend it.
Rolena Hatfield
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: superhero
I adore this book. Kate is so so so relateable. I literally sent a pic of one bit of dialogue and inner monologue to a friend saying this is exactly what was going on in my head when I'd had a super similar conversation. Admittedly it took me a couple chapters to find that connection with Kate (the beginning is a bit slow). But once I found it, I was hooked.
I loved the diverse characters.
The ending dropped my jaw.
I'd say fifty-two out of fifty-two for stunning. ;)
Adrea Bock
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fun quick read!

From the moment she saw her Pur I was hooked! I wish the lead up to the fight wasnt so long. Great action.
Dana Black
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Kim Vandel's debut novel does not disappoint! Into the Fire is packed with great characters, an interesting plot, a few good mysteries, and just enough action and suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Kate, a student at University of Washington, must face an unexpected choice when she discovers she is "marked" as a Guardian: an ancient group of protectors gifted with unique skills. For a teen studying medicine, there really isn't room in her schedule for super hero responsibilities
Charity Tinnin
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
What if two small groups of people were given supernatural abilities? What if they walked among us at university, the coffee shop, the bowling alley? Those are two of the questions Vandel explores in her debut novel. In the midst of surviving her freshman year at college, navigating dysfunctional family relationships, and exploring a first shot at love, Kate must also deal with the fact that she's been called to a life she's not so sure she wants to be a part of. Sure, the guardians have extra a ...more
Mindy Peltier
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was not a Speculative Fiction fan until I was hooked by this debut novel by Kim Vandel. The plot intrigued me and I followed Kate into a new world that frightened her, but eventually drew out her strengths and life purpose. As an extrovert, it was an educating experience to walk through Kate's introverted world and learned what it felt like to be invisible.

I especially love the realistic relationships Kate has with her broken family. She tries to please her dad, keep peace with her mom, and k
Marian Jacobs
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very well written book. The characters developed slowly and naturally. I had some theological issues at first, but after realizing what denomination the author attended, it made perfect sense.
Steve Reece
rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jun 23, 2017
rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2015
Deana Brougham
rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2015
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Power 2 6 Mar 31, 2015 10:32AM  
Kim Vandel is an award-winning author, a science nerd, and a recovering overachiever. She lives in the Seattle area, where she’s learned to substitute caffeine for Vitamin D. When not writing, she spends her time reading (or binge-watching Netflix) while she waits for the next superhero movie to release.