Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Fireborn by Keri Arthur
Series: Souls of Fire #1
Published by Berkley on July 1, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Emberly has spent a good number of her many lives trying to save humans. So when her prophetic dreams reveal the death of Sam, a man she once loved, she does everything in her power to prevent that from happening. But in saving his life, she gets more than she bargained for.
Sam is working undercover for the Paranormal Investigations Team, and those who are trying to murder him are actually humans infected by a virus, the red plague —a by-product of a failed government experiment that attempted to identify the enzymes that make vampires immortal. Now, all those infected must be eliminated.
But when Emberly’s boss is murdered and his irreplaceable research stolen, she needs to find the guilty party before she goes down in flames…
Fireborn is the first book in the new Souls of Fire series by Keri Arthur. I loved her Riley Jensen series; it was one of the first urban fantasy series I ever read. The spinoff series about Risa Jones didn’t work as well for me and I gave up after a few books. Fireborn is a great start to this newest series. The world building is good; it is intermixed into the relationships and the mystery. There are vampires, werewolves, fae, and phoenix with unique features.
This is firmly in the urban fantasy category. The story is not finished in this book, not the mystery or the relationships. It ends at a resting point but very little is resolved. The characters are introduced. The world is set up. The initial conflict is ended but more will be coming.
Emberly is a phoenix. I haven’t read any stories about this type of supernatural before. She has lived many lives, for many centuries. She dies, only to rise from the ashes into a new life. All phoenix have a life partner with whom they are friends and lovers, who assist them to reach the next life. Phoenix have one romantic love per lifetime. Emberly has loved and lost that person already in this life. She is strong, smart, and cares about others and has some unique skills. I like her.
Rory is her life partner. I would say the relationship is more like a brother / sister thing, except for the sex which would be icky. It isn’t a romantic relationship; it involves the body not the heart. It’s not that they are horn dogs (which is ok if both parties understand the deal); it’s a necessity to their species to stay alive. They both seem to be monogamous with others except for the phoenix life partner sex.
Rory is mostly in the background in this book. They seem to care about and protect each other with affection. They have shared many lifetimes and are comfortable together.
Sam Turner is on a special police task force. Sam is Emberly’s ‘one romantic love’ but they broke up five years ago. Now her boss is murdered and she is pulled into the investigation with him. He is angry and yet they still have chemistry. He is human. Sam lost his brother, Luke, about a year ago which is why he got on this special force. I’m not sure I like him.
Jackson Miller is a fae. He is sexy and fun. Emberly meets him and they end up working together on the mystery. He is a private investigator. So far, I like him. He is honest and honorable.
Fireborn is really an excellent set up for the series. I enjoyed this story and will read on in the series. I hope some books will feel more finished than this one. I realize life will go on and things will change but it would be better for me if some things were settled for now at the end of the book. I couldn’t find anything about when the next book will be coming but I am sure there must be one.
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