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Firelight by Kristen Callihan EARLY REVIEW

Firelight by Kristen Callihan (Darkest London #1)

Egalley thanks to Grand Central Publishing


Synopsis from Goodreads
London, 1881
Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . . Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

US release: 1st Feb 2012 
UK release: 1st March 2012


Amazon  US/UK | Amazon Kindle US |  The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
The words that come to mind after reading this book are... succulent, rich, vibrant. Yes, I loved it, but it could have been so much more.



London in the end of 19th century is a dark ugly place, where paranormals hide in plain sight. There are plenty of bad rumours and an atmosphere of fear surrounding a tortured hero - Benjamin Archer, an aristocrat and a self-made millionaire in best traditions of Gothic novels. He is rumoured to be involved in gruesome killings, but nothing has been proved. He wears a black masque, nobody knows what he looks like, and he is always alone...


Until he pays an impoverished baron/pirate a fortune to take his daughter as his young beautiful wife. 


Miranda is no innocent Society Miss. She was raised on the streets of London, can put up a vicious sword fight, changes her accents with an ease and supports her dad by stealing jewelry in various pawn shops. She's got her own dark secrets, enjoys danger and tired of being lonely, so mysterious Lord Archer pushes all the right buttons for her to agree to their marriage.


However, she is not satisfied with the life of luxury Archer provides. Someone tries to frame him for recent brutal killings of old members of a secret club, and Miranda is determined to help her husband to catch the killer and prove his innocence, she is also dying to know what he hides behind his masque...


The plot is full of action and beautifully descriptive. The mythology and a range of paranormals is very refreshing. You would never guess what Lord Archer is, and Miranda's power was something I haven't seen in many books. Their pairing works really well.


However, the book was lacking depth. I wanted to know more, I wanted the confrontation not to be left to the very end, the mythology should have been described better as well. The villain was very one dimensional and too simple while you wanted him to be more devious. The secondary characters haven't had the opportunity to develop...


Despite all this I've enjoyed the book immensely, and can't wait for the second instalment in the series which has an absolutely gorgeous cover as well!




* * *
Очень увлекательно и зрелищно написанная книга! 


Хмурый, мрачный Лондон конца 19 века, в котором различные паранормальные существа прячутся у всех на виду.


У лорда Бенжамина Арчера весьма тёмная и опасная репутация монстра, его, героя в лучших традициях Готики и миллионера в маске, обвиняют в различных убийствах, но ничего не доказано. Никто не знает как он выглядит, и он живёт как отшельник пока не покупает себе невесту...


Отец Миранды Эллис - обнищавший барон и пират, продаёт младшую дочь с потрохами Арчеру за огромное приданное. Однако Миранда совершенно не подходит под стереотип невинной благородной девицы, которая ждёт пока её не спасет рыцарь в сияющих доспехах. 


Своё детство она провела в ребячьей банде на улицах Лондона, она умеет грязно драться на мечах как последний разбойник и может менять акценты в зависимости от того, какую роль играет в очередной афёре или краже. Миранда любит щекотать себе нервы  и хранит тайну своих тёмных талантов, но она устала от одиночества и нищеты, поэтому предложение Арчера приходится как нельзя кстати.


Хоть Арчер и держит свою молодую и красивую жену на расстоянии и осыпает её роскошью, Миранда не сдаётся, пытаясь узнать, что таится за его маской. К тому же молодожёнам невольно приходится объединить усилия, чтобы поймать убийцу, который пытается повесить на Арчера свои преступления, оставляя за собой трупы членов секретного ордена, к которому когда-то принадлежал муж Миранды...


В книге полно действия и очень свежая мифология. Вы совершенно не угадаете кто такой Арчер, да и талант Миранды в паранормале я встречаю редко. Моя единственная проблема несмотря на богатую фантазию книги и вкуснейшие описания, мир недостаточно разработан, главный злодей и второстепенные персонажи картонны и шаблонны. 


Я надеюсь, что мисс Каллихан распишется во второй книге, которую я читать обязательно буду и у которой такая же потрясающая обложка, как и у первой. (см.выше)


8.5/10
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