The Secret Fire - Book Review
C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld
YA Urban Fantasy
The Secret Fire book #1
UK Publisher: Atom
French teen Sacha Winters can’t die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.
Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on Earth who can save Sacha.
There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.
They have eight weeks to find each other.
Will they survive long enough to save the world?
This book has some incredible writing and I enjoyed each and every page of it. Rather than jumping us straight into the action, the authors took their time setting up the story, allowing the reader to get to know the characters and their histories bit by bit. While this may put off some readers, I found it really interesting and liked the pace in which everything flowed. I can’t wait for the next book, for I think that’s where the story will truly come alive.
Sacha Winters cannot die. No matter what gruesome assaults he puts his body through, he continues to walk away each and every time, yet his days to live are numbered. For generations, every first born son within his family dies upon their eighteenth birthday, and Sacha’s is only 7 weeks away. Determined to find away to prolong his life, Sacha begins to research into his family’s history, and what he discovers, is witches!
Taylor Montclair is an average English girl with an above average intellect. Yet when she starts exploding sound systems, wiping memories and tossing her boyfriend around like he’s confetti, she begins to understand there is more to her family than meets the eye. But as she begins to learn about her newfound powers, she also finds herself the target of dark magic.
For both Sacha and Taylor are part of a greater prophecy - one set to bring about death and destruction to the world around them. Only together can they hope to defeat the evil that plagues them, but evil is determined to keep the two from meeting. And what hope do Sacha and Taylor have when they are strangers who live hundreds of miles apart…
There were so many things I enjoyed about this book. First, as main characters, Sacha and Taylor both have very distinct voices and completely different lives. Watching them cope with their own troubles was interesting, and normally I’m skeptical of books when they try to bring two people together via email… however in this case I really think it worked. Everything read very naturally and plausibly.
The other characters were also interesting, particularly Louisa and Taylor’s grandfather. Louisa added just the perfect touch of humour and sarcasm while Taylor’s grandfather brought about the more serious elements. However the bad guys I totally loved. They strongly reminded me of “The gentleman” from Buffy, and they read especially eery and were described very well.
I also liked that the book has no romance in it, however it sets up for a potential romance in the next book. Why I like this is because, one, I don't think there was time for romance to spark given everything that was happening. And two, I really love that the authors are giving the characters time to get to know each other first, instead of having them fall instantly in love. Both huge respect and major points to the authors for doing that!
In terms of plot the story is quite intricate. Everything is connected in one way or another and while the pacing of the book is rather slow, I didn't have a problem with it. All the information is given out in trickles that I think, spike just enough interest to keep you turning the pages. But the action picks up a bit more towards the end of the book, and I was sad when I turned the last page. I felt like the story was only just starting to unfold so I’m looking forward to seeing how things will play out in book two, since a lot of loose ends were left hanging. Great ending!
I think readers who enjoy world building and getting to know the characters before being plunged into the story will really enjoy this book. I personally really liked it and can’t wait for more. 4 stars!