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Review: The Secret Fire

by C J Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!
Published: 10th September 2015

Title: The Secret Fire
Author: C J Daugherty & Carina Rozenheld
Published By: ATOM, Little, Brown Book Group UK
Book: #1 of the Alchemist Chronicles
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Found: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5 Voodoos

A battle against fate. A race against time.

Taylor Montclair is a regular girl from the quiet backwater of Woodbury, England.

Sacha Winters is a darkly mysterious boy from the City of Lights – Paris, France.

While Taylor’s focused on her dream of attending Oxford University, school couldn’t be further from Sacha’s mind . . .

Sacha knows exactly when he’s going to die. Because he’s done it before.

On the appointed day, Sacha’s time will run out. And his death will fulfill an ancient destiny that could unleash chaos and catastrophe.

Taylor is the only person who can save him.

Neither of them knows that yet.

Because they haven’t even met.

Hundreds of miles and a body of water separate them.

Deadly forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

They have eight weeks to find each other and unravel an ancient web of mystery and danger.

The clock starts NOW.

- Netgalley

I have to admit I’m sitting here warring with myself over my rating of this book. On the one hand I’ve been thinking about how The Secret Fire didn’t seem to deliver anything different or unique to this genre, and how there were long periods where not a lot seemed to happen as the characters and history were set up, but on the other hand, even with those major issues, I still found myself thoroughly enjoyed it. Something in the writing style made this exciting to read, made it easy to connect with the characters and difficult to put down. I just don’t know what to do?!! Should I go 3 or 4 stars?

The Secret Fire is told in two alternating points of view, between Sacha, a French boy who has a strange ability that prevents him from dying, and Taylor, who seems like the average English, high achieving nerdy girl, but actually has a very special genetic trait. I instantly found Sacha intriguing, I wanted to understand more about his condition, how he’d discovered it, why he had it in the first place and what it meant! I was so happy that we actually got all these answers throughout the book. Unlike, Sacha, I didn’t find Taylor all that interesting at the beginning. She seems rather dull and like all the other Mary-Jane’s in the YA genre but she slowly started to break through this and I slowly started to like her.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story-line itself. It cleverly entwined the two characters in a mysterious family curse that goes back hundreds of years and 13 generations. With Sacha facing the knowledge that his death is fast approaching and Taylor finding out that she is the only one who may have the power to save him, anything was possible! I found the magical and historical aspects blended really well and I loved the twist that was applied to the witch trials to help explain everything.

I have literally NO idea how they are going to find a way to save Sacha, it seems impossible but still, it’s exciting to think of all the things they may encounter on their search for it, especially considering that the scary ‘Bringers’ in this book were just the beginning. (Basically imagine The Silence – From Doctor Who crossed with The Gentlemen from Buffy and that’s how I saw them… scary as hell!)

silence gentlemenWith no answers yet, I literally can’t wait to read book two. Now that the characters are established and finally in the same country and building! I’m hoping the next book, will be a fast paced, dangerous, race that will bring us closer to a solution to the curse.  A promising start to a new series.



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