Rea's Reviews > Fire on the Island

Fire on the Island by J.K. Hogan
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's review
Aug 27, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: romance, paranormal

4.5 stars

Full review can be found here.

First of all, what a setting! I love the Scottish islands: they’re picturesque, they’re remote enough to each have a very distinct personality, and they’re the perfect getaway. I’ve been to several of the Scottish islands (Colonsay, Jura, Mull, and Islay) and my memories of them are all of a rural paradise, the kind that you don’t tend to find very often in Britain nowadays (though the beaches leave a lot to be desired). The author shows an obvious passion for her setting and managed to create that isolated island feeling that is just so important (in my opinion) in such a story. I felt that she did her setting justice. I hope that inhabitants of these islands would think so too.

Though perhaps not entirely original in subject matter, the story is definitely one of the more interesting paranormal romances that I’ve read so far this year. There was just the right balance of romance and action that I needed – one didn’t outweigh the other and there was no getting bogged down in the details to the point where I just lost interest in it all. Beyond this, as the character herself is not actually initiated into this supernatural world that she’s a part of, the reader was able to follow her baby steps. Isla is unaware of her heritage as a witch and so it never felt like she was taking the time to break away from her story in order to explain her world to me. I was able to discover everything alongside her and I felt that this gave the story a much smoother and more authentic feel.

There is one character, Marduk, who is quite the funny guy. I’m not as sure about the quotes he spews as you have to be aware of the general culture they come from in order for it to really work. This means that anyone not entirely familiar with Hollywood won’t connect with him as well. It really dates the story more than any other aspect of it. Some people like this but I’m one of those who are wary of it. Despite this, he was a great character and one of my favourites!

The romance did advance possibly a little on the fast side, but whirlwind romances do happen like that (my own included, so I can’t judge). I did have some issues with passing time on occasion – the narrative would tell me that X time had passed but I didn’t get the impression that it had been that long while reading.

The witches were fabulous. I’m particularly interested in witches right now (along with ghosts) so any book set on a Scottish island (part of my childhood) that adds witches (part of my paranormal preferences) is a definite hit for me before I’ve even cracked it open. There are other paranormal creatures also present and they're just the icing on the cake. I really enjoyed them all, even the ones that I'm usually not that big on in this genre.

What’s more, the characters caught my interest and they didn’t let go, each developing at a believable rate, allowing me to connect with them and really come to root for them in their fight against the evil demons. This is just what I look for in a book. Obviously this one turned up to be just my cup of tea.

I will definitely be tuning in for book two!
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