Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Review - Red Hot Fury (A Shades of Fury Novel, Book 1) by Kasey MacKenzie (2.5/5 stars)

I got this book through the Amazon vine program as an Advanced Reading Copy.  It is the first book in the Shades of Fury series, I was unable to find how many books are planned for this series.  The book was okay; there were some great things about it and a number of flaws in it too.

Riss is a Fury, sworn to protect mortals from non-mortals, she works for the Sisterhood and as the head of Magical Investigations in the local police department.  When the body of a sister Fury washes up, Riss is Mandated to find out what is going on.   Suddenly she is relieved from her position on the police force and people are out to kill her.  Now she has to uncover a plot that will influence mortals and non-mortals alike; that plot may have to less to do with magic and more to do with genetic engineering and betrayal.

I'll start with what I really liked about this book.  It is very fast-paced with lots of action and the action scenes are fairly well done.  It is a good brainless read; if you don't think too hard and just enjoy the ride you will probably enjoy the book.  I loved the idea of Furies and other mythological creatures alive and well in our society.  It was nice to read about a Mythology based alternate world as opposed to the tons of fairy books and vampire/werewolf books out there.  Riss is also a pretty likable character and her ex-boyfriend Scott was great to read about too.

There was a lot I didn't like about this book though.  The writing, especially in the beginning, is disjointed and juvenile to the point of painfulness.  The sentences were clipped and short and just sounded unnatural.  This improved as the book continued.  The world itself, how things worked, and how the races were related was confusing and unexplained.  As I said, if you don't think about the surrounding world too much and don't pay too much attention to inconsistencies...then things are okay...but when you start thinking and trying to make sense of the whole world and how everything interacts on a broader sense...well it just doesn't make sense.

The author glosses over a lot of things that she doesn't want to explain in detail, which is okay but makes things harder to understand and at times come across as laziness on the author's part.  Also the interaction between Riss and Scott is a bit odd at times.  Sometimes they have great chemistry and then it just disappears.  I know they were supposed to be an on-again, off-again type of thing but if was almost like reading about two different Riss/Scott sets because the characterization was just so inconsistent.

There are a couple other minor quibbles.  All the characters' names are shortened from their originals (Riss was Marissa, Ness for Vanessa, etc) which was just weird and unnecessary.  Lots of other terms are abbreviated too; like weapons are one point there was a sentence with at least three acronyms in it, it sounded awkward and not at all like the way someone would really describe something.

The story was pretty well wrapped up, leaving just a couple threads dangling for the next book.  Will I read the next book?  I am not sure, this book just could have "first book in a series syndrome" and with more experience the writing and world-building might improve.

I read a ton of urban fantasies and so I was eager to like this one.  Unfortunately the unfocused, fractured writing and the unrealized world just turned me off some.  It is a really a pity because I love the idea of a mythology based urban fantasy and I really loved some of the things the author did with the characters' powers.  This book gets just barely an okay from me.  There are much better series out there to read.  Try the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter, or Jaz Parks series by Jennifer Rardin...all of these series are better than this one.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- The 100+ Book Reading Challenge
Red Hot Fury 

No comments:

Post a Comment