Monday, 30 December 2013

A Review for Blaze of Secrets (Asylums for Magical Threats #1) by Jessie Donovan

Posted by Melanie
Release Date: September 2nd 2013
Finished Date: November 8th, 2013
Publishers: LHK
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
To avoid persecution, the Feiru will do anything to keep their elemental magic a secret from humans—even lock away their children for life. Few know what goes on inside the prison system for magic users, but that is about to change…

Kiarra Melini overhears the dangerous secrets of her blood and decides that if Feiru elemental magic is to survive, she needs to die. But before she can finish the deed, a handsome black-clad man kidnaps her from prison and introduces her to an anti-prison activist group. As the prison retrieval squad hunts for her, Kiarra must overcome the demons of her past or risk losing not only her newfound freedom, but also the man who reawakens her desires and captures her heart.

Jaxton Ward finally rescues his older brother from prison, but instead of helping with his brother’s recovery, he’s ordered to train Kiarra—a stubborn elemental fire user who claims her magic is gone. But just as Kiarra starts trusting him with her secrets, the prison enforcers catch up with them. Now Jaxton must find a way to keep his family safe while also protecting the only woman able to ignite both his temper and his passion.

The Review: Blaze of Secrets was a brilliant start to the Asylums for Magical Threats series and I thoroughly enjoyed it! The series premise is that there are magical people born into the world who control the elements and because it affects the first born children, they are taken away from their parents at maturity and placed in a prison like system, never to see the outside world again. The parents think that they are protecting their first borns from persecution from the outside world and their burgeoning powers so have no qualms about handing then over to people with their best interest at heart…. Little do they know but they are handing over their children to torture, abuse & experimentation. Jaxton Ward’s brother is one of the first borns taken and he has spent the last decade trying to find him and when he eventually obtains the information about his whereabouts, it comes with a condition….. rescue Kiarra Melini, the woman in the cell next door too… and when he does… sparks will fly as the synopsis explains perfectly. I really liked the characters, it was so easy to gel with both of them and I connected with Kiarra in the first chapter because as the synopsis tells us, she is trying to commit suicide. Her life in the prison for the last 15 years has been horrid and she sees no light at the end of the tunnel, it’s amazing she has made it that far so we meet her in the worst possible place in time and it’s impossible not to empathise with her situation. I loved when Jaxton arrived, he had a Knight in black camo thing going on and is totally unprepared for what he finds in Kiarra, he is drawn to her straight away and that’s just the beginning. I loved how their relationship developed and how they worked through their problems, obviously Kiarra is going to be more damaged but she handled it really great and I liked how she worked through things in her head, I also liked Jaxton’s handling of her and their chemistry was sizzling as the trust grew. I actually liked all of the secondary characters as well and a good few of them are stand outs so I’m hoping for more from them too. I loved the idea behind the book, I don’t read a lot about elemental powers and with the first born prison system element it brings something new to the table, giving me a unique and interesting story plus the amount of people in those jails gives this series a lot of possibilities. With the seriousness of what is happening to these elementals we are obviously going to get corruption and abuse of power and that is where the enemy threat comes in, politics does have a role in this although it isn’t overwhelming and as always with tyrannical leaders comes the opposition, the rebellion and the catalyst for change which introduces us to the legend of four exceptional elementals who are destined for big things… if they survive. It had everything I love in a paranormal romance book, the relationship was a major factor & lovely, I liked that Jaxton thought out of the box when it came to winning her over, I said before that I liked how Kiarra handled herself for all she had been through, it was slightly psychological like coaxing an abuse victim to trust someone but that only made me empathise with both characters all the more. When the action got going it took on a run, chase, hide scenario and I like that because it amps up the danger, the bad guys definitely show that they will stop at nothing which also gave a dangerous edge to it and we get a good few point of views that let us into everyones head – good and bad- so we know what’s coming from all angles which I loved. I have to say that I was drawn into this book and hooked by the beginning, it really made an impact and kept me reading, the pacing was great, I was never bored and read it in one sitting and if I’m getting this from the first book, I can’t wait to see what I get from the sequel.

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