ARC Review: The Secret Fire-C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld


The-Secret-Fire-FinalGoodreads/Amazon/B&N

cooltext1889161239 copyFrench 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?

cooltext1889171582 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Bookouture

PROS:

  • Sacha is a bad boy daredevil. Completely and utterly irresistible. Reckless, dangerous, and fearless, Sacha is dark and deep. His war with his past is fueled by resentment and anger, he’s complex and layered, a wonderfully shocking character. 
  • Taylor is a good girl who always follows the rules. Teacher’s pet and fairly popular, Taylor has everything going for her…that is, until a twist of fate throws everything off balance. Taylor learns so much about herself, she grows and finds that the girl she thought she was is just the foundation for something even more amazing. Full of heart and hope, she’s the perfect counterbalance to Sacha.
  • The Bringers are CREEPY. Between the paranormal elements and real life threats from Mafia-esque goons, you’ll be on edge and wrapped in constant foreboding. 
  • Together, Sacha and Taylor bring out hidden depths in each other. Through Sacha, Taylor learns to let loose, to embrace her inner warrior, and to fight with everything in her. Taylor opens up Sacha to hope and affection, to dreams and comfort. All Sacha wanted was to know that he wasn’t alone, that someone would fight fiercely for him, Taylor is the answer to his fears. Scenes are magical, playful and always a surprise. Danger is at every corner. 
  • The Winters’ past, the witch trials, curses, and alchemy all come together in a startling and climatic reveal.

CONS:

  • For a book about alchemy, there’s a surprisingly little amount of alchemy practiced. 
  • The pacing is fairly slow for the majority of the book and it takes a while to get into. A large chunk of the story is shrouded in mystery and you can’t be sure where it’s going. On top of that, the typical high school drama detracted from the supernatural arch.
  • There’s promising hints at romance that grows but doesn’t blossom. Before any major development on that front happens, the story is cut abruptly.
  • Secondary characters, for the most part, are rarely interactive. There’s not a strong foundation for emotions to build or to establish a connection between the main characters and their families. Had there been playful or even antagonistic scenes between family members and friends, more than just a short little scene, the sense of danger would have intensified ten-fold because there was something to lose. Scenes that should have been emotionally devastating fell flat. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Keep reading, 

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