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Friday, April 5, 2013

{BLOG TOUR: Review + Giveaway} Fire by Heather James

Welcome to my stop for Fire Blog Tour! This tour is organized by the author herself, Heather James, and will run from April 1-21, 2013. A review of the book Fire and a giveaway for an e-copy will be featured on this stop. And don't forget to drop by the other blogs participating in this tour, too! Click here for the full tour schedule.


by Heather James
Series: Book 1, Elements of Power
Age group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Author
Published: January 5, 2013; self-published
Is control over the elements a gift, or a curse?

Roxy thinks that she is in control of everything: with flames flaring at her fingertips and an equally fiery attitude, what more could she need? But then she meets Brae, a prince from a rival Realm, who turns her assumptions of superiority upside down.

Jasmine has none of Roxy’s confidence or intensity. But she does have a secret - and Brae - and she’s not going to give either up willingly.

** I received a review e-copy for this tour. **

I am a big fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender anime so when I read the blurb of this book, I immediately contacted the author and expressed my interest to host a review post for her book tour. I really like this kind of fantasy story wherein the characters have the powers to control the elements.

Fire is set in a fantasy world divided into four realms based on what element they have an affinity for: Arcan (air), Helian (fire), Brizan (water) and Sephan (earth). Each realm has their Protectors, warriors that have control over the element of their realm. While the Arcan, Brizan and Sephan realms maintain a harmonious relationship, the Helian Realm is being outcasted because of their violent past. This attitude toward them leads the Helian king to request a summit with the leaders of the other realms under the pretense that they want to prove to everyone that they've changed. What everyone doesn't know is that the Helians are planning something else than 'being friends.'

The story has two narrators: Roxy (Roxanne) and Jazz (Jasmine). Roxy is a Helian princess while Jazz is an orphan who doesn't know her parentage and lives in the Arcan Realm. These two characters are on the opposite sides of a pole. Roxy is conceited, aggressive, and confident. Jazz, on the other hand, is gentle and caring.

What I liked the most about Fire is that the author wrote the story from two different perspectives. It did not only show the side of the 'good' but it also let me see the story from the view of someone living in the villain realm. I think it's very crucial to the story because a lot of things wouldn't have been explained if it's only Jazz telling the story. Like what the Helians are really plotting, their secret power, what it's like living in Helian Realm, etc. Those information that can only be supplied by an insider. And that's where Roxy comes in. It created balance and consistency in the story.

Now let's talk about the characters. Roxy has a very strong personality. She's a princess so she's used to getting what she wants. She's dominating, proud, frank and (somewhat) cruel. She doesn't care about other people and only thinks of what makes her happy or at least entertained. But despite all these traits, I found it hard to hate her. I even kinda sympathized with her, especially whenever her mother is mentioned. I also liked the fact that there was a major change on Roxy towards the end and all because of LOVE. Who would have thought that high and mighty Roxy would fall in love? And because of that, I liked her character more.

Jazz, for me, is a bit frustrating. Sometimes she is so slow in realizing things. When it's mentioned that her hair is turning into purple, I already have a good idea what she is. Purple is a combination of two colors, right? It doesn't take a genius to realize that Jazz is a child of this and that realms. And when her powers first showed, she had no idea that it was her doing. She even suspected Roxy of trying to harm her. It was funny reading that scene, though. I also think her having visions is cool, even though what it shows her aren't good. But Jazz's shining moment came when they needed her help the most. She was able to control one of her powers and saved her friend Brae. It was brave of her, considering she's not the fighter type. She's not even a Protector yet she found the courage to act like one. Sadly, I docked points again from her because of her cowardice to tell Brae the truth about Roxy. I understand why but it doesn't change the fact that it's wrong.

Prince Brae of the Arcan Realm is a little bit dull to me. Sure, he's kind. He's the only one who trusted Roxy when he has a lot of reasons not to. He is also a good friend to Jazz and trusted her dreams even though they sound crazy. But I am not smitten by him. It seems like he's too good to be true. I also didn't see much character on him. I wish Brae's character was explored more. I'd really like to know him better, though I wasn't really impressed by him in this book.

I wouldn't say Fire is exceptional, but it's really commendable. It's a very good and enjoyable read. I was a bit surprised to like it because I didn't have high expectations from this book when I dived into it. Heather James created a world that's unique and compelling. The plot is not overly complicated and it's smartly written. The bit about the Helian Realm having two suns? Very creative. I especially liked that the Protectors' hairs change colors when their powers first manifest. Each realm is also different - from the physical attributes of the lands to their political aspects, everything is really thought of. I admire Ms. James' imagination and world-building. The pace, though, is a little slow but the story itself keeps the reader's interest. The ending is also perfect. It's not a cliffhanger but it still makes you crave for the next book. I sure can't wait for Book 2. And more importantly, we have a new author to watch out for.

If you're looking for an interesting fantasy novel, I recommend Fire to you. With just the right amount of magic and a good deal of awesome powers, this book will totally heat you up. (Pun not intended! ^_^)

One e-copy of Fire is up for grabs!
Open internationally
Giveaway will end on April 12, 11:59PM EST
Entrants must be 13 years old and above (please have your parents' permission if under 18)
The winner will be notified by email and will have 48hrs to reply, otherwise a new winner will be drawn
Good luck!
(If the rafflecopter widget doesn't appear, just click the link below.)

author image

Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!


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