Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 45/100
Into the Fire By Patrick Hester
Finished on 5/7/2017
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Kickass Female Protagonist, Vampires, Popcorn Fiction, Genuine Sarcastic Urban Fantasy Protagonist, Police Procedural, Hugo award winning author
Samantha killed her first werewolf, and is now enemy #1 of Denver’s Undead community. If she survives the undead, will she survive her growing magical abilities?
This is some good, old-fashioned urban fantasy in the vein of Dresden Files. Even though this book has a female protagonist it is not a Paranormal Romance. I had fun reading this. I won’t lie and say this was an awe-inspiring work of fiction like ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ or the works of William Shakespeare. This book does exactly what it set out to do: be a fun romp with some feels on the side. And the character’s voice is Genuine Sarcastic Urban Fantasy Protagonist™ at it’s finest.
Samantha Kane is a detective with the Denver PD, and she just screwed up. She and her partner went into a trap, and a werewolf mauled her partner. She barely survived by virtue of the fact that she was unknowingly a wizard, and she instinctively used magic to burn down the building. Confused, after all there’s no such thing as magic, she wonders if she’s going crazy. She’s re-assigned to the ‘weird’ (AKA Magic) department of DPD.
This book’s characterization is better than average for the Urban Fantasy genre. We get to know all of Sam’s thoroughly Catholic family, by virtue of an unending string of guilt-trips flung from one family member to another. You really feel that they love one another after reading this, by virtue of the fact that the unpleasant proceedings of this book strengthens the bonds between them. My one complaint in this area is that literally no one in this book has any chill whatsoever. It was super intense reading.
The book’s plot is a mixture of ‘main character’s secret history’ and ‘vampire assholes doing vampire asshole things.’ I have read books like this before, but what it does do it does well.
Here’s some constructive criticism: it was weirdly narration heavy for a first person book. The narrator would inject multiple pages of description or infodumps in the middle of a conversation between two characters. I loved the character’s voice (see: Genuine Sarcastic Urban Fantasy Protagonist™) in these interludes, but it really slowed things down.
One final note as I am a Colorado (and Denver!) resident. This book was AMAZING in terms of in jokes. HIGHLY recommended if you are a fantasy lover from Colorado. And for the record not all of us who sometimes run up and down the steps at Red Rocks are crazy. Only most of us.
Also, the Bears suck. Go Broncos.
PS: Could we get some stories about Ronan and Father Rosario? That would be great!