Book Review: Kiss of Fire

Kiss of Fire is an excellent novel to begin a series.


The story is a fairly simple one – one we have all heard before. A child of a single parent is left trying to understand why her father left while her mother struggles to make ends meet. Luckily her Mother is employed by the local rich guy and his son happens to be near her age. Thus, they become best friends. This is well-tread territory, but Rebecca Ethington manages to make it all feel fun and exciting.

There is a bit of world-building to the novel as well. There’s a war going on. Said war is happening in the shadows and in secret and our heroine is caught in the middle of it. Ethington does a bang-up job of building the world and not losing the characters along the way. There isn’t a lot of extra text explaining things to a 16 year old girl – several of the characters just tell her “That’s the way it is” which makes sense given who they are speaking to. The consistency and interest of the characters carries the novel a lot of the way and separates it quite a bit from other similar novels.

The action is well paced and interposed with opportunities for rest and reflection. The beginning is a bit of a drag, but after about 20-30 pages it really picks up and is completely worth wading through to get to the meat of the story. There is a lot to track and not all of it is answered within the first volume of what is set up as a trilogy. EDIT: I am informed that the Kindle Store was inaccurate and that this is the first in a series of FIVE novels, not a Trilogy. My apologies for missing this.

The greatest strength of the novel, however, is the characters. Even the minor characters are given enough attention that they are not flat, but the main characters are expanded upon tremendously. Joclyn and Ryland are typical teens – despite their disparate upbringing – and they ACT like them. Not in the prejudiced, more common media way, but in the ‘hey I really am a Teen and I’m going to do stupid things and forget about it the next day’ kind of way that most of the teens that I work with behave in. The characters are the strongest part of the book and make it worth the read alone.

On the whole, I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking to start a new series and enjoy themselves with an excellent start that is complex enough to maintain interest but simple enough that you don’t get lost. A Kiss of Fire is an excellent beginning to a strong series.

Writing – 4/5
Characterization – 5/5
Setting – 4/5
Story – 4.5/5
Flow – 5/5
Value – 5/5

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