Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review: Fire in the Blood

Fire in the Blood
Fire in the Blood by Dale Ibitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please note: I originally read and reviewed this book in July 2011. I'm updating the formatting and adding the disclosure that I received a copy of this e-book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis: Haley is pretty much a typical 17-year-old girl – obsessed with boys, unsure of herself, more than a little selfish – and she’s upset. Today is her birthday, and she had wanted some nice, new clothes, and maybe a “hall god” for a boyfriend – she particularly has her eyes on Ian. However, her clothes are more the “good will” variety, and Ian seems to have hooked up with her best friend Elana instead. Then her adoptive mom calls to her and Haley joins her in the kitchen, where her mom gives her a large pearl on a chain, and an odd little box with strange carving on it. Haley learns that these items were left for her by her birth parents, but when Haley asks about them, her mom instead warns her that the person who killed her parents is now after her. An ominous knocking on the door is heard, and Haley’s mom tells her to stay in the kitchen – and throws the box onto the floor, uttering a strange word. A fog starts to fill the kitchen, and Haley hears her mom telling her to jump – but jump where? And was her mom in danger? When Haley gets up to go help her mom, she instead finds herself falling – and landing in a whole new world. She learns that she is part of a prophecy to try to save the globe system, of which Earth is a part, from the dire consequences of a man’s lust for power. If he manages to gather all four stones that are linked to the Eyids (Nature gods), he can unbalance all of nature, and that will destroy not only this world, but the entire globe system, including Earth – but Haley only wants to get home and make sure her mom is OK.

My Thoughts: The writing style is very good – the pace is smooth and the tension is high throughout the story. If I recall our discussions correctly, the editing was mostly done by the author herself, and she did quite a good job overall – there are a few issues, but anyone who writes will know that it is almost impossible to edit your own stuff, and for her to have done this well was impressive. She also stuck resolutely and very well to a first-person point of view – we only know things that Haley knows, so we really don’t know much – she doesn’t know whom she can trust or of whom to be afraid, and she spends so much time being stubbornly defiant that she comes off as a bit stupid – ignoring questions she should ask in favor of asking the same sorts of things over and over, for instance. The characters she meets are varied and interestingly described. And Haley herself is very realistically portrayed – no strangely mature young person here, Haley is the real deal. I was impressed with this angle of the story, honestly – not many writers would have the guts to create a character that had such a chance as coming off as almost unlikeable because of her tendency to be so self-involved. I will be honest, at first I personally didn’t like the story much, because I didn’t like Haley much, but she grew on me. But we also see Haley grow throughout the story, which is interesting. Fans of fantasy adventure, especially those including young adults, should find this story entertaining.

Series Information: This is book 1 in the Last Moon Rising series. Book 2 is [b:Strong Blood|16097299|Strong Blood (Last Moon Rising, #2)|Dale Ibitz||21905841], which I edited. I believe she hopes to have book 3 out later this year.

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