Review: A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter
September 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Rating: 5 Stars and The Golden Bookshelf!!
Okay. I need to compose myself for this extended review. Ahem.
A Hidden Fire is the first in The Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter, a self-published indie author. I was pleasantly surprised and totally glad that I decided to give this book a go. Usually I’m wary of free books by unpublished authors, but A Hidden Fire completely blew me away. The best thing is that it’s free on the Amazon Kindle Store! Go get it!
The story revolves around a remarkable and intelligent librarian named Beatrice De Novo who (seemingly accidentally at first) is thrust headfirst into the world of vampires by her affiliation with mysterious, broody Dr. Giovanni Vecchio. Think HBO’s True Blood vs. Avatar: The Last Airbender. Hunter builds a grand world that is so believable, incredible in all ways and has epic proportions. And the dialogue between the two? Beautiful. Just beautiful.
“So, the wooden stake through the heart thing is apparently a myth, but you can be killed by fire. Anything else?”
“Should I be concerned that one of your first questions is how to kill me?”
Her jaw dropped. “What? No! I didn’t mean… I was just curious.”
He snorted. “Well you can remain so.”
“What about the sun?” she asked. “Extra toasty?”
“I’m not going to burst into flames, but I avoid tanning beds.”
“Some of my favorite cufflinks.”
“Please,” he sneered. “I’m Italian.”
Hunter’s writing style is sharp yet graceful and is an exquisite mix of tenderness and brutality. She had me wrapped around her fingers from the word ‘go’. I can’t explain my love for this series – it won’t pull at your heartstrings, hell no, it’ll rip them to shreds. An absolutely fantastic read. And check out that amazing front cover, too!
Spoilers beneath the Read More!
The other primary characters include Carwyn (lovable, adorable, insanely humorous Welshman) and Tensin (a petite, incredibly old vampire from ancient China with a heavy dose of bad-assery) and the things that this awesome foursome get up to make me wish I had a bunch of crazy friends just like them to call my own.
The best thing I loved about Gio? His dry, sarcastic and not-often-seen humour. But oh, yeah, it exists. That and he really came through as a totally hot Alpha male! I always hate when authors go overboard with the “chiseled jaw that looked like an imitation of Michelangelo’s David” and “his smouldering eyes, washboard abs and muscular thighs“. Sure, they’re nice, but do you really need to tell us how gorgeous he is every third page? We get it, but your readers aren’t so shallow that we’ll fall for a male protagonist simply because he burns Beatrice’s sheets up. No. I fell in love with Giovanni because he had bad-ass written all over him, but was totally discrete about it. HOT. Gio’s dialogue was fantastic, loved every minute of learning his history and personality.
Beatrice, on the other hand, was definitely not a Mary Sue. I’m so pleased she wasn’t the helpless wench she seemed to be at first. She’s sharply inquisitive, her mind makes leaps and bounds and throughout their relationship you can tell Gio and Beatrice are just made to be together. I hated the fact that she insisted her friends call her “B”, I thought it was something out of a highschool yearbook.
And the plot twists? Jeez Louise! I just about had a heartattack at every turn. The action was intense, the loneliness and helplessness that Beatrice felt when she was imprisoned by Lorenzo felt so real and the heartbreak that I, as a reader, felt when it seemed Gio had let her go during her capture. I almost believed Gio’s ruse! Ugh, it was so sad! And the scene where Carwyn, Tensin and Gio bust Beatrice out? God, something out of a James Bond movie, loved it!
And the ending? Good lord. I was in tears. I was a mess. What was worse was that book one has teaser chapters for This Same Earth, the second installment in the series, and just reading a couple of pages of that book made me want to destroy property. SO SAD! Your heart is in your throat, your eyes are wide with disbelief, you can’t freakin’ believe it’s happening because your hopes were so high for things to work out! Ahhhh. Okay. Deep breath.
How can I explain how much I enjoyed this book?
I can’t. It’s one of those books you want to tell every single human being to read like.. right.. now! because it’s that good. But it’s also one of those hidden gems that you feel territorial and jealous over, and you don’t want it to become mainstream and you don’t want Elizabeth Hunter to sell out and become the next Twilight. That’s how I feel about this book. What’s remarkable is that I feel so damn much where this is concerned! It’s ridiculous.
Absolutely adored the first installment.