Monday, October 16, 2017

All Things Halloween Review - Kiss of Fire

Kiss of Fire (Imdalind, # 1)

By: Rebecca Ethington

Published: October 30th 2012 by Imdalind Press

354 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn't know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn't want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won't let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to. The scar is the reason she is being hunted.

If only she knew that she was.

If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air.

Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.

Holly and my friend Lacy have both read this series and enjoyed it. They recommended it to me a couple of years ago, and I got Kiss of Fire for free. (It is still a kindle freebie.) But I put off reading it because both said that it had a slow start. With limited time to read, I dread anything that has the word slow associated with it, even though some of my favorite books and series have started slowly. However, I finally decided that now was the time to pick it up.

When Joclyn was 5 she had an experience that put her in a coma. She woke up with a mark on her neck and her eyes had changed colors. The scar freaks her out because it looks like a dragon. She lets the scar determine her life really. She hides from everyone, hating to draw any attention to herself for fear of them rejecting her because of the scar. While you might think that's ridiculous, she has her reasons. See her father left shortly after the scar appeared. She doesn't want others to leave her for the same reasons. Her mother works as the chef for one of the richest families, and Joclyn has become best friends with the son of this family. Edmund, the dad, doesn't want Ryland and Joclyn to have anything to do with one another, but why is never really explained. One could assume it is because Edmund knows about Joclyn's mark, but that doesn't seem right as Edmund springs into action as soon as Ryland learns of the mark.

Actually, that leads me to a few things that didn't make sense to me. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll come back to those things.

Joclyn knows that she has feelings for Ryland, but he plans to leave for college soon so there's no point in acting on them. Plus, she's scared of changing their relationship and losing the friendship they have. Plus also, there's the whole aspect of his father hating her and all. But Ryland starts trying to kiss her. Joclyn dodges the kiss a few times until she can figure out how she feels and what she wants. I loved Ryland in the beginning of Kiss of Fire. He is so obviously in love with Joclyn despite her not really being able to see it fully. And so it was easy to root for him.

But then Ryland finds her scar (not a spoiler since it's in the description) and he freaks out and send her running. It didn't make sense to me how quickly things happened. They're in the safety of Ryland's room which you would assume his father doesn't know about since they snuck in to hang out together. Yet despite being there, Ryland sends her away with instructions to find Ilyan (who she's briefly run into a couple of times). How his father knew she was there and what she was all of a sudden made no sense and wasn't explained. How Joclyn could use her magic to punch Cynthia and send her flying 10 feet yet can't seem to master any defensive or offensive use for it once she finds out that she even has magic didn't make any sense. Why Joclyn, who wanted to hide from everyone and never draw attention to herself, would even audition for the lead role in a play makes no sense. These were just a few of the things that either didn't make logical sense or weren't explained well enough for me. Inconsistencies really cause me to struggle.

I texted Holly at one point to tell her that I felt like Rebecca Ethington was trying to make me feel like I had no choice but to root for Ryland while setting the book up to be impossible for Ryland and Joclyn to end up together. And maybe Ilyan is who I should be rooting for. The events that should have been plot twists felt visible to me from a mile away. There was no guessing what might happen because it was like watching a train wreck that I couldn't stop from happening. The signs were all there, pointing to an inevitable crash, but there was nothing I could do but watch. Ryland's path and eventual outcome was never a question (even if it might change as the series progresses). And I don't know if it was the mood I was in while reading this book (irritable), or if this is just bad writing.

It's funny to me that both Holly and Lacy said the beginning was slow to them, but things picked up towards the later half of the book, but the beginning was my favorite part. Yes the action picks up as the book progresses, but I often found myself skimming the action or fight scenes because I was having trouble picturing what was taking place and everything read to me as overdramatic.

Kiss of Fire had quite a few issues for me. There were inconsistencies and things that didn't make logical sense to me or weren't explained fully. I felt like the writing was overdramatic which left me skimming scenes that should have been the most gripping. And the plot twists were visible from a mile away, yet not in a good way at all. I dreaded what was coming rather than being excited about the coming events or even wondering if our characters would overcome because the ending felt so predictable and inevitable to me. However, I can't say that Kiss of Fire was all bad. I did find parts of it enjoyable, and at this point, I do want to continue reading the series. Kiss of Fire gets 3 Stars. Have you read Kiss of Fire? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books.

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