Book Review: The Secret Fire (C. J. Daugherty and Carina Rozenfeld)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group UK

Pages: 424

Release Date: September 10th 2015

Summary (from Goodreads):

French teen Sacha Winters can’t die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.

Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.

There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

They have eight weeks to find each other.

Will they survive long enough to save the world?

Review:

This is probably one of the first co-written books I’ve read and I’m really impressed. It doesn’t feel like two separate people writing their own stories, which is something I was worried abut. The two narratives work well together, they feel different but not part of a different story.

I loved Sacha’s story and the way it was introduced. I can’t imagine the exhilarating rush that would come from not being able to die – like living in a video game and knowing you can do what you want because you always have another life. But then there’s the ticking clock against you, the knowledge that you’re going to die on a certain date and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I was a little less interested in Taylor: she was a bit bland to me at first and I didn’t connect with her until late on when she started rebelling a bit. It’s not that I don’t like ‘good girl’ characters – I was probably fairly similar to Taylor at that age, but I just found her a little too perfect to be true.

The introduction and explanation of alchemy was done well: I think it can be really hard to explain and make the characters understand in a reasonable amount of time: you need a certain amount of disbelief, but no one wants to hear a constant back and forth of denial. Luckily I think the pressure of Sacha’s situation makes acceptance a little easier and helps to hurry things along.

I got to a certain point in the book and realised that it was too late for them to solve everything, which meant a massive cliffhanger was coming. So now I can only hope that the sequel comes out damn fast! It’s an interesting read and I look forward to seeing where it goes next.

4

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