by Danielle Annett
Series: Blood & Magic #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems. Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined. When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.
Cursed by Fire by Danielle Annett is the first book in the Blood & Magic series. It’s an adult urban fantasy that takes place in Spokane, Washington featuring a mercenary named Aria Naveed. She is also a Psyker (human born with psychokinetic powers) who has trouble controlling her abilities. This was a short novel and a solid start to the series.
Caffeinated Breakdown of Cursed by Fire
The world: In the Blood & Magic world vampires and shifters, along with other supernatural creatures revealed themselves to humans in what is referred to as the Awakening. The world itself is similar to ours and parties are vying for control. Aside from pharmaceutical companies, it looks like the world is still functioning normally much like the world of Mercy Thompson. The vampires have taken up residence in town and the shifters have a compound in the woods outside of town.
Key Characters: Aria works at Sanborn Place (mercenary/detective group with no political ties). She was orphaned after the Awakening and spent time on the streets before joining Sanborn Place. She is confident, opinionated and holds firm to her beliefs. She feels like a bit of a misfit due to her abilities and lack of control. James, is one of a handful of people Aria would consider friend/family. He is also the local shifters, hunter. Mike runs Sanborn Place and to Aria he is father figure. Mel is a harpie who lives next door and she is hilarious. Rebecka, an ice-cold vampire loves to hold court and remind everyone she is Queen. She leads the local Coven. The shifters are led by alpha Declan Valkenaar who runs the packs like a corporate business. Both are strong characters who would like Aria in their pocket. A stranger who befriends Aria unlocks secrets and reveals dangers for all parties.
The plot: Aria takes on a missing person case involving Daniel Blackmore, a seven year old who goes missing just a few doors from his home. When she finds him dead it looks like a vampire was involved, but the case takes a strange twist when it is discovered he was a shifter. James is brought in by the pack and he and Aria begin investigating. As bodies pile up, Aria learns more about Psykers and a new human movement. Things begin to get complicated and Aria soon finds herself in the middle of it all.
Caffeinated conclusion: Cursed by Fire kept me engaged and I had fun reading it. Fan of Kate Daniels and the Mercy Thompson series will find Curse of Fire to be a nice cross between the two. It reminded me of both worlds, but Annett put her own stamp on things. It is light and action packed without the darkness of KD and Aria is more levelheaded then Mercy. I am curious to see how the story develops.
* Disclosure: I was hired to assist in finding stops for a virtual tour through Caffeinated Virtual Assistant. I accepted book for review before beginning work and this in no way influenced this review.
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