September 9, 2014

Into the Fire Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the INTO THE FIRE blog tour! Today I'm sharing my review of the book - and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.

Into the Fire
Author: Ashelyn Drake
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books


Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.

But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.

A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.
Into the Fire is a young adult fantasy novel that puts a new spin on the myth of the phoenix bird. In the book, there is a small group of people, including Cara and her family, who are descended from the phoenix. Among other things, this means that they must go through the rebirth - where they catch on fire and then are reborn from the ashes. Cara's rebirth is coming in about a month, which will mark her as a full Phoenix. Not only is the rebirth scary - but it also wipes the person's memories. After Cara is reborn, she'll forget all of her friends, her memories, and the majority of her life until the rebirth. Since meeting the hot new guy in town, Logan, things have been going perfectly for Cara. Their relationship is growing and she's finally excited to think about what the future might hold. The only bad thing is that she'll forget Logan and what he means to her after her rebirth. As if that isn't enough, there's a phoenix hunter in town who's mission is to kill the rest of the phoenix descendents - including Cara and her family.

I've been enjoying the recent surge of retellings and mythology popping up in YA fiction lately - and I haven't heard of one dealing with the phoenix yet. I was immediately fascinated by the subject and what the author would do with the mythology behind it. There were lots of details about their history and origin, how they live, and the rebirth they must go through. I loved learning everything I could about this myth and ate up everything the author gave me. The main character of the story is Cara - who is one of the descendents of the phoenix. Her rebirth is coming soon and she's scared - especially after falling for Logan, the new guy who moves to town. She's a good main character - smart, devoted to her family and friends, and brave. The rest of the characters - and even Cara herself at times - felt pretty flat to me. There weren't any real characteristics or traits that made them unique or stand out from the others. That held me back from fully getting into the book, along with the sometimes cliched dialogue and predictable plot line. The writing was well done with a quick and easy pace, so I read the entire book in a matter of hours. The story is told from alternating viewpoints - those of Cara and Logan. I think this was a great way to present the story because we get to see a closer side of each of the characters  - their inner thoughts and emotions - than we would with a different point of view. Aside from the issues I had with the story, I thought that the twist on the myth of the phoenix was fantastic and wholly original. I wish the author included more about it in the story though - more of the history, mythology, anything - because I found it really intriguing. Overall, this was a quick and interesting novel with mediocre characters and a kind of cookie-cutter plot with some variations thrown in. It was a fun read and something that fans of mythology and fantasy novels will enjoy.

Ashelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 

Giveaway: Five (5) digital copies of Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake (INT)


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