******I love reading urban fantasy - I usually stick to books written by women. Not because I'm a separatist - I might have the term wrong, but I'm referring to a sect of lesbians who only deal with other women, for repairs, services, friendships, etc. I'm not even a lesbian, but for some reason - (sexist maybe?) I usually only enjoy reading books written by women. I think it's the style of narration - who knows, maybe I'm just a sexist snob. Anyway, usually the only way I end up reading books by men is because they have initials for the author name (DD Barant) or on a whim I've picked up a book. (Simon R. Green - love his books, Jim Butcher- kind of like them).
I'm glad I picked up this book in the store. I bought it because I read a few very good reviews of Child of Fire. BTW, Good reviews of a book usually plays a small part in my decision to read a book because sometimes professional reviewers will rave about a book that I think is so very, very boring - or I end up having completely different tastes than the reviewers.
This book interested me from the first page. I liked the main character, who seems to be "living on borrowed time" (from the book blurb). Any minute he could die and his boss wouldn't mind, in fact would kill him herself if she wasn't under orders not to. Ray Lilly is working under Annalise, driving her around and doing whatever she says with no respect from her, or explanations. In fact she doesn't even care if he's hungry.
Ray is an ex-con who used to steal cars. Throughout the story thoughts flit through his head about how easy it would be steal this car, or take that money. He's trying to stay away from crime, but things keep getting in his way, and sh- keeps happening. People end up dead around him. A lot of them deserve it, but still...he's always worrying about going back to prison.
We don't learn a whole lot about Annalise, other than that she's extremely strong, and Ray isn't even sure if she's human. Annalise hunts magic users to keep the world safe from predators from other dimensions. Ironically, she is a magic user and belongs to the Twenty Palaces - all magic users.
In Child of Fire the two of them are investigating a town where people are dying as sacrifices for magic use. Things go horribly wrong for them, and Ray keeps getting attacked and accosted by the sheriff, deputies and thugs that work for the local madam. The whole town is strange.
One of the things that I look for in a book is intelligent dialogue, or at least non-lame dialogue. The dialogue in this book was pretty good, there was some sarcasm (something I can appreciate) and some joking around (always a plus) along with dialogue that actually adds to the plot (rather than just to fill up space, or over-explain).
The sequel, Game of Cages will be released soon.
Excerpt of Child of Fire (I love when an author puts up excerpts!)
Harry's Live Journal blog
Harry Connolly website