Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Review: Awakening the Fire (Book #1) by Ally Shields

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: September 14, 2012
Publisher: Etopia Press
Pages: 290
Arianna Calin has sworn to keep the peace in Riverdale. Most of the Otherworlders prefer to haunt the Olde Town district--partying at vampire strip clubs, dining in elegant supper clubs, and inhabiting the cliffside caverns along the Mississippi. Being a cop is a tough job, but someone's gotta do it, and Ari's got her derringer, a sharp stiletto, and a few handy charms against things that hunt in the night. She's also a fire witch--a pedigree that comes in handy, since her partner's only human.

When a virtual reality drug hits the streets, people start to die, and an elusive pack of werewolves threatens the status quo. Ari and Ryan are drawn into a web of murder and evil that will lead sworn enemies to a confrontation. While the city simmers around them, Ari struggles to prevent an all-out supernatural war...

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About the Author:
Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, the setting for the Guardian Witch urban fantasy series. After  earlier careers as a teacher, lawyer and Juvenile Court Officer, she turned to full-time writing in 2009. She still lives near Des Moines with her Miniature Pinscher, Ranger. When not writing or reading, she loves traveling in the US and abroad. Way too often she can be found on Twitter.

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I received this book from Red Moon Book Tours for the book tour, all reviews and opinions are my own. If you would like to check out the rest of the blog tour click here for the official schedule.

I could not put this book down, which is nice because lately that's all I seem to be doing with some books. Ari is a witch and not just any old witch a witch that is supposed to protect her section of the city and keep things civil between otherworlders and humans or at least try to. Of course nothing is going to be easy when predators and prey come together so she keeps busy, and how she gets any sleep I will never know. If I was her in this first book I would have fallen over multiple times from being so tired, maybe witches have extra energy, or she is drinking lots more coffee then she mentions.

Ari I like so far she isn't stupid and she thinks things through. She doesn't let anyone tell her what to do if she doesn't want to do it and also doesn't let anyone push her around. The only thing I think this story was lacking was the strong side characters, I would like to know more about some of the side characters like her best friend Claris we see a little bit of her but not enough to really get me invested I hope there will be more about her friends and family in future books.

I also liked Andreas a lot! Which is saying something because in many of the vampire urban fantasies I read I am starting not to like vampires very much, they're all so political now. Andreas though is charming and he hooked me, of course I was like Ari at first and cautious of him but he grew on me very fast. Of course there is vampire politics in this one as well but he doesn't let it interfere to much where it bothered me. Andreas and Ari both have great character development now we just need to see that in some side characters as well.

The pace of the story was done really good the only things is that the ending felt a little fast paced after everything moving kind of at a normal pace. But it was exciting and thrilling, especially that ending, I couldn't wait to get to the second book. I will also be doing a review of book 2 and 3 so please stay tuned to what I think of the next ones. Overall I think it is a nice start to a great series.

The vampire’s coal-black eyes found her and silken threads of magic wrapped her in a soft web. The room faded away. She floated as in a dream, warm and safe. A place to linger forever. Her witch magic began to sing in concert with his, and Ari called it back to her. The effort brought her out of his web with a jolt.
Damn, how strong was he? She wrapped her magical aura around her. As long as she kept it in place, his magic was held at bay. Then, mercifully, the song was over. Andreas bowed to a wildly applauding audience and left the stage.
“Good evening.” Startled, she stared at him.
“Uh, hello.” How did he move so fast? He produced a polite smile.
“If you will come this way.” He waved a hand toward a hallway on the left.
Ari hesitated. A meeting in private? She hadn’t anticipated that.
His brows rose. “We have twenty minutes.”
Swallowing her doubts, Ari preceded him down the hall. It was better this way, she told herself. Fewer interruptions. At least she knew her time parameters. He ushered her past four closed doors, not stopping until they reached an exit door at the end. He touched a security panel, the door opened, and they stepped into a paved lane leading to the rear parking lot. Dense trees lined the opposite side of the lane. Total privacy.
The night was pleasantly cool. The crisp cleanness of fall filled the air. Ari hung back and watched her companion as he stopped in the middle of the lane. Andreas arched his shoulders and threw back his head, breathing deeply. For a moment all Ari could think about was how sexy he looked.
“I hope you don’t mind talking out here. It has been a long evening, and I needed the fresh air.”
“Not at all. It’s nice.” She looked up at the stars, pinpoints in an uncluttered sky, to keep from looking at him. “What was that last song you sang?”
“An Italian love song. Did you enjoy it?”
He turned to look at her. “It was, or I was?” His voice invited a broader interpretation.
She smiled. “Both,” she said, not bothering to hedge. “But who’s fishing for compliments now?”
“TouchĂ©.” His familiar laugh came then, rich and intimate, strangely companionable.


  1. Thanks for the great review! I hope you enjoy the others. Don't worry, you'll see a lot more of Ari's friends!

    1. Awesome! I am seeing a bit more of Claris in book two and am already enjoying it.