Thursday, 27 December 2012

Review: A Hidden Fire

A Hidden Fire
A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this up, not really knowing what it was, because I noticed that the sequels were doing well on Amazon's indie page. It turned out to be a paranormal romance, which isn't my usual genre. (I read urban fantasy, which is not quite the same thing.)

It was a distinctly better-than-average one, though, mainly because of the main characters. The female lead actually was a strong, intelligent, independent and likable young woman. We weren't just told that she was, we were shown that she was. The male lead, likewise, was believable as someone who would attract such a woman. And the relationship between them was one of mutual respect, enforced by her strong sense of boundaries:

"See this? It's soup. Soup is food. See me? I'm me, and I'm not food. Any questions?"

This is not your usual dysfunctional paranormal romance heroine.

Although it's indie published, you wouldn't know it from the editing, which is up to the standard of a Big Six New York publisher (other than HarperCollins, who sometimes publish very poorly edited books). I suspect, though, that the editor didn't have to work too hard to achieve this, because the author has an English literature degree and the writing itself is fluent and capable.

There were a few moments that were unclear. The author sometimes doesn't tag the dialog enough, so it's hard to work out who's speaking, and I never was quite sure whether the main characters got physical or not towards the end, though it seemed like not. One character is described as "the older man" even after we know that's not true. But these are minor flaws in an otherwise well-written book.

As I say, it's not really my favourite genre, and I'm therefore not rushing to get the next one, but if it's your favourite genre I strongly recommend it.

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