Firelight by Kristen Callihan

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Firelight by Kristen Callihan

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Category: Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: A strange hybrid of 'Beauty and the Beast', 'Phantom of the Opera', and 'X-Men', this is a novel that surprises, surpassing expectations and providing a well written and gripping romance in a fun romp through supernatural London.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: September 2014
Publisher: Piatkus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780349405995

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Lord Benjamin Archer is a man feared throughout London. Dark and brooding, he hides behind a mask, scared of revealing the disfigurement that has had him searching across the world for a cure. Seeking companionship, he weds Miranda Ellis, a young woman from a family reduced to poverty. As Miranda and Benjamin come to know and love each other, secrets are revealed that could destroy not just the relationship, but both of them.

Firelight is not the sort of book I would normally pick up. In fact, I don't think I would give it a second glance if I happened across it in a bookshop to be perfectly honest. However, a few chapters in, I was hooked. Whilst this book is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and so relatively predictable in terms of the main romance thread of the plot, the excitement is upped by a spate of rather horrific murders that occur throughout, and the investigation into the culprit. There is also a strong supernatural element, with Archer's curse suggested to be otherworldly, and Miranda gifted with a control over fire.

This is a book that excels due to the strength of the characters, in all honesty. Miranda and Archer are very well written indeed, and their chemistry is palpable. Miranda is headstrong, funny and clever - a marked and pleasant change from many of the heroines in other books of this genre, who tend to be rather passive. Archer also becomes more than the brooding, troubled hero as the scenes between these two characters really develop the personalities (and the romance), wonderfully.

Both main plots come to a head in an exciting conclusion, and I was invested enough in the characters to really care what happened, even if I felt that the book ended without quite a few things being explored properly (Miranda's powers, elaboration on the circumstances surrounding Archer's curse etc.), it's possible that they are detailed in the other books of this series.

Despite being a retelling of a fairy tale, this is assuredly not a book for children - both the violence and the sex are quite explicit. A fun, light read, I would recommend this as a quick read to race through on a holiday, or perhaps tucked up in bed on a chilly night. Having looked online, it appears that there are quite a few in this series that are due to be published, so it could be a series to look out for.

Many thanks to Piatkus for the copy.

For those who enjoy a supernatural romance, Charlaine Harris won many fans with her 'Sookie Stackhouse' series. Dead But Not Forgotten is a collection of short stories from that universe that elaborates on some of the many characters in her world.

For those who enjoyed the supernatural plot and the investigations that occurred in this, I'd recommend Jim Butcher's Dresden Case Files. Make sure to start with the first - Storm Front, but if you'd like more of an idea of what the books are about, a review of book 8, Proven Guilty is on the site.

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Buy Firelight by Kristen Callihan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Firelight by Kristen Callihan at


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