October 15, 2014

Latest Read: The Fire Artist by Daisy Whitney

The Fire Artist by Daisy Whitney
Publication date: Oct. 14, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Source: Received ARC from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: Aria is an elemental artist—she creates fire from her hands. But her power is not natural. She steals it from lightning. It’s dangerous and illegal in her world. When she’s recruited to perform, she seizes the chance to get away from her family. But her power is fading too fast to keep stealing from the sky. She has no choice but to turn to a Granter—a modern day genie. She gets one wish at an extremely high price. Aria’s willing to take a chance, but then she falls in love with the Granter . . . and he wants his freedom. Aria must decide what she’s willing to bargain and how much her own heart, body, and soul are worth. (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
The Fire Artist reminded me of a cross between Firebug and Exquisite Captive. I think reading two similar books so close to this one definitely affected my reading of it but there were aspects of The Fire Artist that stood out to me. In this world, certain people are born with special abilities related to the elements - earth, wind, fire and water - that manifest themselves at 13 years old. When you have powers, you have two options: join the Lookouts (who sort of monitor nature and help when they can) or you can become a performer similar to joining the circus. A circus that pays extremely well and allows the performer to showcase amazing abilities. Aria wants the latter to both escape her father and help her mother and siblings. The problem is, she doesn't have natural abilities. She's been stealing her fire artist powers from lightning with the help of her best friend who is an air artist. This is not only dangerous but illegal. When she's recruited to be perform, she knows she can only fool the authorities who monitor the performers for so long. So she turns to yet another dangerous option - find a Granter aka a genie so she can wish for natural abilities. This is where it gets even more complicated and where I feel the story starts to break down a bit.

Aria is a tenacious (I really wanted to say fiery, hah!) character and I admired how she took matters into her own hands. Her father puts a lot of cruel pressure on his children to have abilities even though it's something that's supposed to be natural. Instead of waiting until things got worse, she found a solution that was supposed to be impossible and became the fire artist she needed to be. It helped that she had motivation - her brother, sister and mother. The author did a good job of establishing the family dynamic and how much she loved them, especially her little sister Jana who her father was now targeting for abilities. I understood Aria's drive to do just about anything to save her family. And she's not doing it alone, she has her best friend helping her too. Even though they spend a lot of time apart, between their letters and messages and the moments we do see them together, we get a strong sense of the lengths they'll go to for each other.

(Major) Reservations
With all the specifics of the elementals, the circus (better known as the Leagues) and the powers overseeing the purity of everyone's abilities, there is a lot going on in this book. Throwing in the Granters felt like a lot but it did eventually make sense and work well when a particular twist is revealed in the end. The problem is.. until that moment, I wasn't that invested in it. Especially when Aria falls in "love" with her Granter. I didn't doubt the boy's sincerity in wanting freedom and spending time with Aria but she just decided she loved him in a matter of days (it literally felt like she woke up and decided this instead of it happening organically). I like romances in my paranormal books but this one just didn't jive with me. I didn't get that epic feel that would make me believe the obstacles they were willing to overcome to be together.

Do I recommend?
It's a really quick read so if you just want a light paranormal standalone book you can breeze through, you may enjoy this one.

Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. I love Daisy Whitney and in the middle of moving it slipped my mind that this was about to release! (I haven't read Firebug or Exquisite Captive yet either!) It does sound like a lot going on but you mention that it is a light paranormal standalone, and I like having those in my back pocket sometimes for a rainy day. I also like elemental stories. Thanks for reviewing this one! This is the first I've read about it (:

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