Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book Review: Firestorm by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Firestorm written by Lisa Tawn Bergren was an interesting read. All of the little book flap and internet synopses give an overview similar to this:
"As a smoke jumper, Reyne Oldre once led a team of courageous firefighters into a blaze that ended in unspeakable tragedy. Now crippled by fear, she conducts fire research from a safe distance, determined not to risk that kind of pain again. But when the flames of love begin to flicker between her and smoke jumper Logan McCabe, Reyne must face the fearsome storms from her past and battle the raging Firestorm that burns in her soul."
 I was more than intrigued to see how someone from the outside the world of fire intertwines it with the plot of a romance novel. Overall, this novel was a fun read but not the best written book I have ever. It was not amazing nor was it awful for me particularly. I did finish it and I was trapped in some of the plot lines.

As someone that is getting married to, and living the life that accompanies fire and Wildland Firefighters, there were elements and fire details of the story that were hard for me to put aside. First of all, the main female character, Reyne, WAS NOT a Smokejumper. I feel that someone that went through the work of researching other details of Wildfire should have been able to correctly describe the heroine's line of work. And while the story itself is set in the early to mid nineties, and that admittedly was a goofy time for many people, the overall feeling and scene set for the numerous fire camps was overly childish and rather silly.

Being listed as a Romance novel, I was expecting passion and steamy moments. Not necessarily sex or racy adult interactions, but something that showed some spark between Reyne, and the object of her affection, Logan who is the quintessential embodiment an actual Smokejumper. Instead, the best and most interesting aspects of the plot were details about the actual fires, and the relationships of Reyne's non-fire friends. The passionate writing should be about the romance not about the extremely sad side plots. Maybe that is why I did not connect with the main characters.

However, if you are looking for a quick and easy read, I would recommend this book. The fire stories were interesting and fun, but they made the book seem less like the traditional Romance. Although it was part of a series, the book did stand alone and could be read without the other books. In fact, this was the only one from the whole season that intrigued me.

**SPOILER* What really saved the book though is the Sandcastles vignette and its epilogue. The brief story continues 3 years after the end of Firestorm with one of the "lesser" characters from the main story Matt and his daughter, Hope, taking a vacation to California. Matt meets Ella and the sparks fly. This vignette more fits the romance category and shares the life after the death of Matt's first wife and Hope's mother, Beth that is so focused on in the main story of Firestorm. I think I preferred this short story because I connected with the Morgan family instead of with Reyne and Logan throughout the first story. I cried during the 40 or so pages that lead up to and focused almost exclusively on Beth's death. It was the only emotion I really felt for any of the characters.**

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This review is my open and honest opinion on the book. I was not paid nor given compensation for a positive opinion. 

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