Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter

Title: A Hidden Fire
Series: Elemental Mysteries, Book 1
Author: Elizabeth Hunter
Publisher: E. Hunter
Length: 423 Pages
Publication Date: October 13, 2011
Available Formats: Paperback, Kindle Edition, eBook
Source: Bought for Free
My Rating: ★★★¾☆☆
Get it @: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Goodreads
Worth Noted: As off January 5, 2013 the book remains free in both Amazon and Smashwords.

Book Description:

"No secret stays hidden forever."

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery he'd abandoned years before. He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.

A Hidden Fire is a paranormal mystery/romance for adult readers. It is the first book in the Elemental Mysteries Series.

I read this novel as part of Katie's Kick'n It Free-Style at Gotta Have Paranormal with a Kick. The challenge consisted of four groups of readers, each one with a randomly assigned book (that had been previously suggested). The books had to be free eBook downloads from the major book selling sites (mostly Amazon and B&N). My team, Feisty Femme Fatales, was assigned A Hidden Fire. NOTE: The tallies are up and our book won the challenge, it was the book with the overall best rating!!

I enjoyed the story, the author managed to refresh a concept that has, lately, become a bit overdone; I tip my hat to her for achieving this. It has many memorable characters in its roaster. Beatrice (or B, as she prefers to be called) is a strong female character and a great lead to the story. Gio is, well, he is complicated... Gio begins as a strong character, but there is one particular moment after which my perspective on him changes 180°. Among the rest of the characters we have Carwyn, one of Gio's best vampire friend, -and in my honest opinion- one of the best characters of the series. Did I mention he is a priest? Yup, he is both a priest and a vampire with a particular taste for Hawaiian shirts. Other great characters include Isadora (Beatrice's grandmother) and Caspar (Gio's butler/son/human best friend/ehh... you get the picture).


It's a solid story, with great characters and a very interesting story line. I completely love the vivid description of the various places, especially Cochamó, Chile; it makes you want to go there and go off the grid for a while. However, I had two small (or maybe not so small) problems with the book. The first three chapters as well as a good part after 60% mark, were kind of slow; to the point that it felt like it was dragging. But the rest of the story picks up rather quickly and the story ended up hooking me.

There was one particular plot line that drove me insane, and still, after finishing both the first and second books, I find it that I wish it had gone down differently. There is one common theme that is exploited in every vampire novel and SPOILER ALERT (highlight to reveal the spoiler) There is just no way that a vampire will let anyone, regardless of who, take away the one they truly love and simply do nothing; especially when that love one is crying her heart out, begging for you to help her. No. Way. In. Hell! Vampire territorialism is an instinctive reaction. END OF SPOILER and RANT.

After the event that shall not be named occur, my trust to the character was shattered, chances are that on another moment I would have put the book down. But since this was for a challenge I kept reading; I'm glad I did. The bottom line is that this is a good story that has enough intrigue and mystery to keep you entertained. By the end of the book I was back to being hooked, although to a lesser degree. On recommendation from the amazing ladies at Gotta Have Paranormal with a Kick I'll continue the series; it looks like it only gets better.

A Few Quotes:
Gio to Beatrice:
“No, I don’t have to ‘drain’ a blood donor, Beatrice. I don’t have to kill to survive.” She paused, a small smile ghosting her lips. “Unlike us, who kill animals all the time.” (p. 103).

“Should I be concerned that one of your first questions is how to kill me?” (p. 103).

“So it is important to learn that which helps us to cope with the cruel vagaries of life and the persistent ebb and rise of the human situation.” (p. 180).
Beatrice to herself:
“Stupid vampires with their stupid preternatural senses,” she muttered, but she knew Carwyn could hear her because he his shoulders began shaking with silent laughter. (p. 167).
Carwyn to Beatrice:
“There’s such a delicious joke there, but I’m going to be good and hold back. With the amount of sexual tension permeating these grounds, even a bad ‘rock your world’ line is liable to ignite something.” (p. 223).
Beatrice to an unconscious Gio:
“It’s probably really evil that I want to draw something on your face right now, isn’t it?” (p. 400).
Gio quoting Aristotle:
“‘ Love,’” he whispered in Italian, “‘ is a single soul inhabiting two bodies.’” (p. 409).
Watch the Book Trailer;





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6 comments:

  1. Sounds like I should add this to my TBR list. :-)

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    Replies
    1. I'd give it a try, I'm currently on the final book and trust me, the series get way better as it moves along; it's kind of addictive...

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  2. Sounds very interesting Mel... despite a brutal TBR pile perhaps I should give this a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great story, I finished the series and I truly recommend it to anyone.

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    2. I will take your word for it. I picked it up.

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  3. Let me know if you like it or not ^.^

    ReplyDelete

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