Friday, 20 September 2013

Book Review: Fire by T.G Ayer

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, demons and hellhound's become the new normal and wielding fire becomes her new skill, she must decide what it is she really believes.

Can Maya accept that normal is something she will never be because it isn't normal to be
...the Hand of Kali.


My review:
*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 has fascinated me since I watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom! So I was pleased to see a book with the mythology plotline, a diverse cast of characters with Indian-American heroine, and a gorgeous book cover. When I started to read, I had mixed feelings about the book from the start.

This book has a lot going for it. The plot feels fresh, and the introduction of several Hindu gods and goddesses was very enjoyable. The reincarnation angle was good and I liked the way the author fed these themes into the story without it feeling like a huge info dump. People with no knowledge of Hinduism could follow the story without any trouble. There was just enough description of events to tell the story but not enough to bore you. I liked the author's writing style, her worldbuilding and the mythical elements that she chose to use. There was a good mixture of character based story and action scenes which kept the story ticking along nicely. I also found it interesting when the author explored the problems between the friends due to one being brought up as a modern American girl and the other being a traditional Hindu girl with strict, oppresive parenting to keep her in line. This was a nice side issue but would have been ever better if Ria was nicer!

So why only three stars you might ask? Well, my issue was with a couple of the characters, namely Maya and Ria. To be blunt, Maya was a rude, petty, whining childish brat a lot of the time, and I really didn't like her in the first half of the book. Maya moans constantly about the secrets being kept from her but when someone tries to explain things to her, she interrupts, refuses to listen, challenges them or throws a tantrum about not being told sooner. When someone disagrees with her, she just has to start a fight about it ie she has an arguement with Nik about whether the palace walls are smooth or can be climbed! When Nik asks her for help with a problem that could change the world, she has a tantrum about him not telling her who he was and thinks 'all Nik could think about was himself and his precious needs'. Oh grow up Maya! The guy is on a mission to save the world! With Maya it is 'Me Me Me' all the time-The Gods should come to see her not the other way round, she won't help the world unless there is something in it for her, she spends most of the book saying nasty things to hurt Nik, Joss and her parents, she doesn't say sorry when she knows she is wrong and she's always having bitchy thoughts about the people she is meant to love. She really is a brat.

Maya does have a few redeeming character traits thankfully or I would have stopped reading the book. She does put herself in danger to try to save her friends from harm. She does show great bravery and skill on the mission. She does sometimes feel remorse for the horrible things she says and does. And she wants to stop her friends messing up their lives, even if she isn't tactful about it. She just needs to grow up a bit and stop the childish behaviour.

Ria. Oh boy. She comes across as sneering and judgemental about Maya's opinions and beliefs yet is happy to run to her with all her problems. Her behaviour towards Maya on the subject of arranged marriage is disgusting. I'm not putting spoilers but you'll know the scene when you get to it. She doesn't act like a friend and she had no redeeming features for me. She's right and if you don't agree, you can get lost. Nice!

There were a lot of good characters though. Maya's parents had the patience of saints with their stroppy daughter. I liked the gods and goddesses and the Hellhounds. Ooh to have your own Hellhound...I liked Nik though I feel he could have been a bit more developed instead of being the subject of so much abuse from Maya all the time. I think he could have been a bit more of a man instead of a mouse in dealing with her! The demon king was very interesting as the bad guy. He had a lot of depth to him despite not appearing too much. I even liked the way Ria's parents were written as a contrast to Maya's. Joss starts off as a complete airhead but she at least is more likeable as the book goes on. I would have liked a bit more depth for Joss and her family issues instead of it being all about Ria, but that's a minor niggle.

Overall, I liked the plot and the way it was delivered, despite my issues with the lead character. I liked the style and storytelling ability of the author and would certainly read more of her work. Would I read the next one in the series? Probably. The mythology plot will no doubt suck me in but I hope Maya isn't such a pain in it! This book will greatly appeal to those who enjoy mythology, paranormal, fantasy and urban fantasy novels. There is romance but no sexual content and is suitable for YA, NA and adult readers.
star rating photo: 35 star rating 3-5-stars.jpg

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