Sunday, 4 August 2013

Book Review: Rouge by Isabella Modra

“You have a fire inside of you.”

Hunter Harrison desperately hopes her guardian Joshua is joking when he confesses – very solemnly – that she is pyrokinetic. Hunter would normally laugh in his face, if it didn’t explain all the spontaneous fires that happen only when she’s nearby. Still, the logic is a little hard for a smart, socially isolated eighteen-year-old to comprehend. That is, until Joshua explains the truth behind her parent’s death.

Spun into a new life filled with cold truth, terrifying wonder and a mountain of responsibility, Hunter faces the flames dwelling inside her. But the fire is more deadly than Hunter can comprehend. It explodes when she’s angry. It erupts when she’s afraid. And, worst of all, it threatens the life of her boyfriend Eli, who is innocently unaware of her abilities.

So how does an extraordinary teenager juggle dealing with superpowers between work, graduating and keeping her hormones in check?

Simple. By fighting fire with fire.

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

As a debut novel, it was nice to see that good editing was employed throughout, with only a couple of small typos which can happen in any book. It was also nice to get a real background to the story as we follow what happened to Liz and Joshua in real time before Hunter was born. As well as giving you insight into the origin of the fire gift, it means that huge info dumps can be avoided later when we join Hunter. The author made a good choice here in showing us the past, not just telling us about it. For for a young debut author, I thought that the writing was polished, well presented and easy to follow. The story flowed smoothly and in an uncomplicated manner, which I liked.

I also liked the characters. Joshua is that mix of cold scientist and a guardian who finds it hard to show his emotions, making him a fascinating character. Hunter's tantrums did get a bit weary sometimes when I felt she was getting mad for no good reason and being unfair, but you can't really complain when it was a deliberate plot device! She wasn't the smartest person in the world and is reckless about hiding her powers, which was frustrating sometimes, but I did like her, which is vital. Eli was very sweet-how come I never met guys like him when I was at school??!! He was just the right calming influence on our fiery heroine. Jack interested me and I'd have liked to have seen a bit more of him in the book, as with Miss Smart but I understand that the author wanted to concentrate more on the three main players. There are hints given in the early part of the book which lead you to the big reveals, and if you are paying attention, you'll see them. Guessing what was coming doesn't spoil anything though.

"I can make fire out of nothing because my mother was infested by a Swedish drug and a supernatural lava creature"

The plot was nicely put together with the lava rock that can think for itself, the dangerous drug, and the superhero powers. This showed good imagination and the author wove it all together nicely without blinding us with science. The science bits were done simply so that the reader can understand what is happening without a degree in physics! I liked the final section of the book best as this is when the plot really takes off, especially the warehouse scene. I also liked the humour when Hunter was debating her superhero outfit and name.

For me, I did find it a bit too slow in places. That is not the fault of the author, that is just my preference for action packed urban fantasy. I cannot fault the storytelling in any way and I did enjoy reading it. The one thing I did take issue with was the unsafe sex sequence. I'm by no means a prude but I do feel that books aimed at the YA market should be careful on this issue. I don't mark down for things like that but other people out there might.

The book will appeal to fans of YA and adult paranormal and fantasy fans. There was a little sexual content but not too graphic. My feeling is that this could well be an author to keep an eye on.


1 comment:

  1. This one does sound good! I love when there's science in books! *geek*

    I'm also curious about these lava rocks now!

    Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews