Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Promise of Fire » Book Review

Ellen and I were both DYING to get our hands on an ARC copy of A Promise of Fire when we saw the slew of 4-5 star reviews from reputable bloggers. Unfortunately, we didn't feel the same kind of magic that they did. Ellen disliked it (to put it mildly) and she already wrote up a review (HERE) detailing her less-than-stellar opinion of the book.

Fortunately for me, I didn't despise it quite as much as she did. But I definitely agree with all the issues that Ellen brought up in her review.


Our main character, Cat (as she likes to be called), is 23 years old. I didn't figure that out until I started writing this review! She talks like a petulant 15 year old. During her inner monologue, she frequently uses words like 'gah' and 'gag'. If I was playing a drinking game, I would be drunk in 3 chapters flat. Okay, okay. I'm a lightweight. BUT STILL.

"Thanks the Gods. Gag!
Sort of.
Except not at all.
Gah! I'm going insane!"


The synopsis calls Cat smart-mouthed.

stop-i-am-going-to-peeI wouldn't say that the words coming out of her mouth are... 'smart'. It's mostly a constant stream of 'I hate you', 'get lost' and 'let me go'. Look, I love a witty character. I LIVE for banter and sexual tension. She talks for the sake of saying words and to antagonize others. I should pull out quotes, but gaaahhhhh I don't wanna! (See what I did there?)

One of my bookish pet peeves is when a character claims that she is secretive and guarded and yet can't seem to keep her mouth shut and spills her secrets anyway. This happened NUMEROUS times. For example, even when she clearly makes everyone around her promise to keep her secrets from Griffin's family, SHE IS THE FIRST ONE TO BLAB IT OUT. It took about 10 minutes into dinner for that to happen.

Uh huh. Guarded. Secretive. I see it. Of course the BIG secret needed to be kept because how else can we stretch it into a trilogy?

My other pet peeve is when self-sacrifice is taken to the extreme (*cough* Supernatural *cough*). Cat is supposed to be a strong, badass woman with amazing powers. And sure she makes use of some of them, BUT TO THE POINT OF DEATH. This happened not once, not twice, but a total of THREE times. She gets completely conked out and needs Griffin to take care of her. That seems to be the feminist response to the damsel in distress trope. We can't have the female be completely incompetent... so let's make her snarky and powerful, but still need a man to save her from the aftermath of it to keep the romance alive!

Why a 3 Star Rating?

For all my griping, I did enjoy the read. It was frustrating at times, and cringe-worthy at times, but I kept going and I was always interested to see what was going to happen next. Even though Kato & Flynn (the other members of Griffin's personal team) were practically identical characters, I ADORED the brother/sister relationship they had with Cat.

Even though I found the romance problematic and Griffin a little too high-handed, I was still invested. Until a certain plot detail cropped up. Then I totally lost it. [spoiler]Magical sexual healing??? WTF! Poseidon sent Cat a magical jizz man to heal her?![/spoiler] I managed to get through it though. Thank god for Ellen.

Even though I firmly believe that this book didn't have to be stretched into a trilogy, I am still willing to give the next 2 books a shot. Hopefully it gets better from here.

A Promise of Fire releases today. Happy reading everyone!


  1. I have this up for review as well, I really hope I like it.

  2. I'm glad you liked it a bit more...

    That always gets to me when the characters don't sound their age - and I don't just mean that they are youthful.

  3. Darn. Well, okay. I'm not a huge fantasy reader, so I might enjoy this one a bit more? i know you guys are fantasy buff and you know what you certainly know what makes a good fantasy read. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will enjoy this one. Because I've read a couple of blogs who swore this book is my kind of fantasy. Sorry it wasn't a hit for you and Ellen, though.

  4. I really hope you enjoy it! Honestly, it seems like most people do. Ellen and I are just freakishly alike with our book tastes, so we might be the only 2 people out there with this opinion.

  5. I hope you enjoy it Joy! At the very least so you can find a fantasy book to appreciate :P.

  6. I know! I found it way too jarring for that reason.