Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible, but Jon Barnett knows it’s something far worse. To stop the killers in Taurin Bay, he becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice in the form of recluse Madeline Smith.
Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the psychic abilities she can’t control–abilities that have killed. But when “ghost” Jon Barnett brings a warning of danger and her nephew disappears, Maddie has to leave her haven. She also has to learn to control the abilities she fears and place her trust in Jon Barnett, a man who is neither human nor ghost.
But as the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time, and the noose of sorcery threatens to kill Maddie and Jon, the greatest danger to them both could be the feelings they have for each other–feelings that they refuse to acknowledge.
I really loved Keri Arthur’s Jenson Riley series – it was urban fantasy at its very best. So I was desperate to read her other books, which as fate would have it, appeared on Netgalley. The publishers kindly gave me access to the eBook and I spent the next couple of days glued to my Kindle.
Circle of Fire was the first book in a very promising series. It introduces us to Madeline and Jon who are desperately seeking the abductors of several teenage victims. Although written third person (the first person narrative was what attracted me to the Riley Jenson series) it sucked me in quickly and didn’t let go. The plot was different from the usual urban fantasies and the suspense was sharp and sweet.
The character of Madeline was a little annoying in places, the fact that she has these amazing powers seems to have passed her by and, in my opinion, she spend too much curled in a ball rocking back and forth like an escaped asylum patient – but she does start to come out of shell toward the end of the book. Jon was a great character and I kind of imagined him as David Tennant or perhaps Benedict Cumberbatch.
From a writer’s perspective, I can’t really fault any of it. The writing style was perfect and the story was different – even though it actually came out in 2009, it was still very original (to me anyway)
Overall I’d give Circle of Fire 4 out 5 stars – A must read for Keri Arthur fans and newbies alike.
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