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Fireborn (Halley Ashwood, #1)

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Halley Ashwood is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor. Focused and independent, with a mother she never knew and a father who never loved her, the only constant Halley has ever had is her brother, Flynn. Whilst Halley is logical and grounded, and Flynn a reckless conspiracy theorist, they have always been able to trust each other above anything else Halley Ashwood is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor. Focused and independent, with a mother she never knew and a father who never loved her, the only constant Halley has ever had is her brother, Flynn. Whilst Halley is logical and grounded, and Flynn a reckless conspiracy theorist, they have always been able to trust each other above anything else. The Ashwood siblings don’t believe in making promises. So when Flynn leaves Halley a message the day before her scheduled trip to visit him in Amsterdam, asking her to promise him she won’t come, she knows something is wrong. Halley arrives in Amsterdam to find her brother missing, leaving only those ominous words in his wake. Halley sets out to investigate what happened to her brother and makes a terrifying discovery. Turns out Flynn’s conspiracy theories weren’t so farfetched after all: demons are real, they’re stalking the streets of Amsterdam, and they may hold the answer as to what happened to Flynn. Determined to find out the truth about her brother’s fate, Halley embarks on a dark journey that will force her to question everything she thinks she knows about the nature of the world, the forces within it, and even herself.


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Halley Ashwood is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor. Focused and independent, with a mother she never knew and a father who never loved her, the only constant Halley has ever had is her brother, Flynn. Whilst Halley is logical and grounded, and Flynn a reckless conspiracy theorist, they have always been able to trust each other above anything else Halley Ashwood is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor. Focused and independent, with a mother she never knew and a father who never loved her, the only constant Halley has ever had is her brother, Flynn. Whilst Halley is logical and grounded, and Flynn a reckless conspiracy theorist, they have always been able to trust each other above anything else. The Ashwood siblings don’t believe in making promises. So when Flynn leaves Halley a message the day before her scheduled trip to visit him in Amsterdam, asking her to promise him she won’t come, she knows something is wrong. Halley arrives in Amsterdam to find her brother missing, leaving only those ominous words in his wake. Halley sets out to investigate what happened to her brother and makes a terrifying discovery. Turns out Flynn’s conspiracy theories weren’t so farfetched after all: demons are real, they’re stalking the streets of Amsterdam, and they may hold the answer as to what happened to Flynn. Determined to find out the truth about her brother’s fate, Halley embarks on a dark journey that will force her to question everything she thinks she knows about the nature of the world, the forces within it, and even herself.

30 review for Fireborn (Halley Ashwood, #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessika Glover

    First of all I want to say that this is the first book in a while which had me ignoring the world around me to read. Graythorne wraps us in the peculiar beauty of Amsterdam’s red light district and tosses demons in the box along with us, welding a contemporary story with ancient roots. I loved and hated the characters, always rooting for Halley, the protagonist who is in a continuous state of self discovery. Fireborne would find a loving home in the hands of both contemporary and fantasy readers. First of all I want to say that this is the first book in a while which had me ignoring the world around me to read. Graythorne wraps us in the peculiar beauty of Amsterdam’s red light district and tosses demons in the box along with us, welding a contemporary story with ancient roots. I loved and hated the characters, always rooting for Halley, the protagonist who is in a continuous state of self discovery. Fireborne would find a loving home in the hands of both contemporary and fantasy readers. Lovers of Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series will definitely fall headfirst as I have. So….. when’s the next book??? Thank you for allowing me to read this ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    M.J. Kuhn

    This story is just as compelling as the cover art promises! Graythorne delivers a dark and gritty tale that weaves nightmares and demons and dark magic into real-world settings. The main character, Halley, is one of my favorite types of protagonists - some refer to them as "unlikeable" protagonists, so if you're looking for sunshine and rainbows from your heroines, Halley probably won't be your favorite. But if, like me, you like your characters to have a chip on their shoulder a mile wide, some This story is just as compelling as the cover art promises! Graythorne delivers a dark and gritty tale that weaves nightmares and demons and dark magic into real-world settings. The main character, Halley, is one of my favorite types of protagonists - some refer to them as "unlikeable" protagonists, so if you're looking for sunshine and rainbows from your heroines, Halley probably won't be your favorite. But if, like me, you like your characters to have a chip on their shoulder a mile wide, some problematic habits, and enough flaws to fill an archive, you'll find lots to love from the entire cast of FIREBORN. All in all, the plot kept me guessing, the characters were frustrating in all the best and most believable ways, and the magic system was deliciously dark. If any of those things sound good to you, then make sure you check this one out!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara Lavina

    Give me demons, give me gore, give me the tension between the two main characters, give me well written characters, too, and a hella surprising plot and you'll have made my day. Fireborn is a wild ride. And boy, what a ride. I loved how each secret was buried so well it challenged my love for theories, some of which found a conformation, but always with a twist! I can't say much without spoiling the plot, only that there are mysteries upon mysteries and you never know what you'll be facing next; it Give me demons, give me gore, give me the tension between the two main characters, give me well written characters, too, and a hella surprising plot and you'll have made my day. Fireborn is a wild ride. And boy, what a ride. I loved how each secret was buried so well it challenged my love for theories, some of which found a conformation, but always with a twist! I can't say much without spoiling the plot, only that there are mysteries upon mysteries and you never know what you'll be facing next; it might start quite tame, just a paranormal book you see on sale, but there's so much happening, so much I still have to wrap my head around. Halley. Hallow. Holly. Hal. Hal. Hal is a portent, a force of nature (but also incredibly dumb at times, gah), who takes no shit and is incredibly driven by love for the only person who never betrayed her. It's her determination that sets her upon Azrael Falkov's path, and even when she doesn't trust him one bit, she's forced to work alongside him (and oh, the tension, y'all). And Azrael, well, Azrael is as enigmatic as they come. He's the big question mark you can't decipher, and while I do have a theory, I've seen that nothing in this book is that simple. By the end of the book, you're left hanging, but not in a literal cliffhanger way, more in the "there are so many unanswered questions I don't even know where to begin" way, which might be a tad more cruel than an actual cliffhanger. Suffice to say, I will not so patiently wait for the sequel, because there is that bloody one million dollar question I need an answer for: what is Azrael Falkov?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julee Balko

    I love reading new authors because I have no idea where their stories will take me. This book had me on the edge of my seat!!! I kept wanting to figure things out and more than once read waaayyyyy past my bedtime. You will love the characters in this book and it's a perfect read for October because of the demons and supernatural aspects. Creative surprises galore await you. I love reading new authors because I have no idea where their stories will take me. This book had me on the edge of my seat!!! I kept wanting to figure things out and more than once read waaayyyyy past my bedtime. You will love the characters in this book and it's a perfect read for October because of the demons and supernatural aspects. Creative surprises galore await you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fedythereader

    Thank you to GenZ Publishing for giving ke the chance to read this amazing first series urban fantasy by Jesse Graythorne. "There are two reactions people have when they don't understand the world anymore. Half freak out.... That doesn't fly when you're a doctor." I'm not a fan of demons' stories but this book made me realise how wrong I could be. For everyone who liked "Kingdom of the Wicked" by Kerri Maniscalco , this book will give you the same adrenaline, mystery and revenge while also dealing Thank you to GenZ Publishing for giving ke the chance to read this amazing first series urban fantasy by Jesse Graythorne. "There are two reactions people have when they don't understand the world anymore. Half freak out.... That doesn't fly when you're a doctor." I'm not a fan of demons' stories but this book made me realise how wrong I could be. For everyone who liked "Kingdom of the Wicked" by Kerri Maniscalco , this book will give you the same adrenaline, mystery and revenge while also dealing with false relationships and secrets hidden in the depth of one's own family. Brotherhood may be complicated but when you find your brother, your best friend, missing ... nothing will stop you from finding answers just like Hal does. "... we shared a pet peeve: promises. The very word carried meaningless connotations. a vestige of a million other broken vows. We didn't make promises." I absolutely loved each and everyone of these characters , trying to protect their good side while dealing with their dark one, suddenly arising. For every fan of the mysterious and brooding dark male character... you will not be disappointed in this either! I loved how the author decided to explore the complexities of familiar relationships while also following the inner development of the main character. "The girl that opened her eyes in the corridor wasn't one I recognised. I could let this fire fuel me or I could let it consume me, and if I was going to be consumed, I'd be damned if I didn't go out in a supernova of my own." I appreciated the fact the the book was written in first person because , given the flashback in it, it made it easier for me to follow the storyline and the plot. In a magical picture of Amsterdam, betrayal and love unravel their secrets in front of the reader's eyes where everything is hidden and nothing is clear. "The thing that doesn't kill us isn't what makes us stronger. The way we fight to go on is."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erin Fulmer

    I very much enjoyed this debut urban fantasy from Jessa Graythorne. Graythorne has a knack for at setting a scene and ramping up emotional tension to a fever pitch. Much of the book takes place in Amsterdam, and the vivid descriptions made me feel like I was there with Halley. Halley is a determined, fiery, and strong-willed heroine who refuses to allow emotional connections--or her past trauma--to destract her from her life goals. However, when her brother Flynn's mysterious messages and radio s I very much enjoyed this debut urban fantasy from Jessa Graythorne. Graythorne has a knack for at setting a scene and ramping up emotional tension to a fever pitch. Much of the book takes place in Amsterdam, and the vivid descriptions made me feel like I was there with Halley. Halley is a determined, fiery, and strong-willed heroine who refuses to allow emotional connections--or her past trauma--to destract her from her life goals. However, when her brother Flynn's mysterious messages and radio silence draw her to Amsterdam for a visit, she's forced to confront her past with her cold, ambitious politician father and the rogueish ex who broke her heart--along with a family secret that Halley could never hope to prepare herself for. Searching for her missing brother in the unfamiliar streets, she encounters a strange, golden-eyed benefactor/thorn in her side who promises to help reunite her with the only person she cares about. But when tragedy strikes, Halley is left lost and alone, and must depend on a stranger who offers her more cruelty than kindness. Note that there's a little bit of a bully romance dynamic here, which could be a warning or an endorsement depending on your tastes. Personally, I greatly enjoyed the sexual tension between the MC and the mysterious, very sexy Azrael. He has good reasons for the tone of his interactions with Halley, which are revealed late in the book. I was extremely impressed with this debut and it's perfect for the spooky season. Check it out if you like: * genuinely scary supernatural villains * devilish yet sexy male characters * family secrets & lies * female characters wrestling inner demons * tense, fast-paced thrillers One of my favorite ARC reads this summer!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Merrit Townsend (always1morebook)

    I received an eArc of this book for free. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own. I found this book on Netgalley and the cover caught my attention right away. I am definitely a cover buyer and this one was beautiful so I requested an early copy. I am so glad that I did. This book was sooooooo good and very thought provoking. I love books about demons but this one also had great amount of suspense and mystery to it as well. The story centers around Halley who is finishing I received an eArc of this book for free. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own. I found this book on Netgalley and the cover caught my attention right away. I am definitely a cover buyer and this one was beautiful so I requested an early copy. I am so glad that I did. This book was sooooooo good and very thought provoking. I love books about demons but this one also had great amount of suspense and mystery to it as well. The story centers around Halley who is finishing up her studies as a doctor. She takes a trip to visit her brother in Amsterdam for a vacation away from her life in Detroit. Once there, she realizes her brother is in trouble and sets out to help and her adventure begins. Now this is a dark read but very well written. The author is extremely descriptive throughout the book. This allows the reader to actually feel like they are in the world that has been built. There is action, thrilling adventure, paranormal intrigue and a very slow burn romance. The writing of this book reminded me of Karen Marie Moning and her Shadowfever series. This was great read and if you love a great thriller with a pinch of fantasy, you will love this story I give this book 5 stars

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    Jessa Graythorne writing is easier to read and envolved me. I ate her book so fast... hehehe In this book, she tell us the story of Halley. She is in Amsterdan to meet her brother, but he is missing. So she decides discover what happened with her brother. In process, she meets a strange and discover a incredible true about her. Her actions brings some terrile consequences... I really want read the next book to see what she will do... Really interesting book, I'm sure you will like it too. So go read Jessa Graythorne writing is easier to read and envolved me. I ate her book so fast... hehehe In this book, she tell us the story of Halley. She is in Amsterdan to meet her brother, but he is missing. So she decides discover what happened with her brother. In process, she meets a strange and discover a incredible true about her. Her actions brings some terrile consequences... I really want read the next book to see what she will do... Really interesting book, I'm sure you will like it too. So go read. ;) I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Leighton

    This one was absolutely fantastic, the writing style was. Very compelling and each character was well written and described so it felt like I knew them. The overall storyline was very well done and I know this is an author i need to read more of. Fantastic work definitely worth reading.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather Button

    Woah. It was love at first sight. Fireborn caught my eye with the burning pentagram on the cover that screamed of something unique and interesting. It delivered. I just hope this wasn't the lone book in this storyline because it feels like it was just making sense and getting really good. Halley is headed to Amsterdam to visit her brother Flynn. Halley is a soon to be full blown doctor in Detroit, but originally from California, where her father still lives and is the governor. Halley can't stand Woah. It was love at first sight. Fireborn caught my eye with the burning pentagram on the cover that screamed of something unique and interesting. It delivered. I just hope this wasn't the lone book in this storyline because it feels like it was just making sense and getting really good. Halley is headed to Amsterdam to visit her brother Flynn. Halley is a soon to be full blown doctor in Detroit, but originally from California, where her father still lives and is the governor. Halley can't stand him and his controlling, yet nom existent parenting. Flynn and Halley are super close. They fended for themselves while dear dad was gone on the campaign trail. Their mom passed after giving birthday to Halley. Before Halley leaves, Flynn tells her to wait for him at the airport and under no circumstances is she to leave. When he doesn't show, guess what stubborn Halley does?! Of course she sets off to find him, but what she finds is that the world she knows is a farce. Something is happening in Amsterdam and Flynn was involved. Now she's forced to work with a stranger named Azrael to figure out what happened to Flynn and ensure she doesn't succumb to the same fate. Who doesn't love a book with demons and that which cannot be explained?! I was captivated from the start and couldn't put this one down. Thank you to #NetGalley for the #ARC. This one comes out October 5, 2021!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Saf SK

    Finally! If you loved KMM's Darkfever, then Fireborn is for you! Pros - I've waited a long time for a similar story, and here it is. I loved the premise and the pacing. The settings in this novel are so well done; I felt I traveled with Halley to Asmterdam. Great job. -The characters are also fleshed out. I know them and I love/hate them as I think I'm supposed to. :) -And look at that cover! Cons - My main problem was with the execution. Because I loved the story so much, there was no way I w Finally! If you loved KMM's Darkfever, then Fireborn is for you! Pros - I've waited a long time for a similar story, and here it is. I loved the premise and the pacing. The settings in this novel are so well done; I felt I traveled with Halley to Asmterdam. Great job. -The characters are also fleshed out. I know them and I love/hate them as I think I'm supposed to. :) -And look at that cover! Cons - My main problem was with the execution. Because I loved the story so much, there was no way I wasn't going to finish it. But there were some inconsistencies at the beginning that made me stop and think too much about them; some parts were extremely well written, but others seemed patched-up (I had no idea who talked or how they ended up doing something), and finally, -my bad- but I kept getting confused between Flynn and Fern... I wonder if there is a reason behind the author's choice for similar-sounding names. I couldn't see any in this book, and I hated the fact that I had to reread entire pages because I mistook Fern for Flynn or vice-versa, and nothing made sense. :( Final words It's still worth it! Read it! :) Thank you, GenZ Publishing, for allowing me to read this first ARC by Jessa Graythorne.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mihaela

    The plot had so much potential, but the execution needs a little more work. Too much tell with less show/feel. Unfortunately, I couldn't connect with the story. 3 stars ~ I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own ~ The plot had so much potential, but the execution needs a little more work. Too much tell with less show/feel. Unfortunately, I couldn't connect with the story. 3 stars ~ I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own ~

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Thornton

    We never get to choose the circumstances that finally end our childish innocence and heave us - ready or not - into adulthood. Halley Ashwood thinks she crossed that threshold years ago. She’s about to find out just how wrong she was. Alone in a foreign country, and increasingly worried for her missing brother, Halley’s strength and resourcefulness are repeatedly tested. As her circumstances grow more dire and new enemies appear from every direction, she faces the most important decision of her We never get to choose the circumstances that finally end our childish innocence and heave us - ready or not - into adulthood. Halley Ashwood thinks she crossed that threshold years ago. She’s about to find out just how wrong she was. Alone in a foreign country, and increasingly worried for her missing brother, Halley’s strength and resourcefulness are repeatedly tested. As her circumstances grow more dire and new enemies appear from every direction, she faces the most important decision of her life - find a reserve of strength she doesn’t truly believe she has, or be destroyed. Jessa Graythorne’s debut novel Fireborn sweeps you into a world most people aren’t willing to see - a world rife with supernatural creatures and the humans swept along in their wake. Her heroine is charming and self destructive with more than a few Daddy issues. Most readers will see a bit of themselves in Halley’s (often misguided) attempts to reconcile with her past, which swing wildly between a juvenile war of attrition with her famous father and deep altruism for the people around her. Most of the story unfolds through present day Halley’s eyes, but the occasional acerbic barb from future Halley is an endearing addition. The world Jessa Graythorne weaves for her readers is riveting, and I’m already excited for her next novel. The multidimensional characters she crafts elicit a full range of emotional responses and more than once I attempted to yell at them through the pages - utterly convinced of their realness and very present danger. If the characters are the highlight of the book, it’s only weakness is the setting. The book attempts to invoke a strong sense of the places the characters inhabit - from a Detroit penthouse apartment to the famous cobblestone streets of Amsterdam - but ultimately misses the mark. The images portrayed are visually appealing, but they fall well short of being a truly meaningful part of the book. Ultimately, the story is so well designed that it could have taken place anywhere, and attempts to bring the settings to life feel flat. While definitely appealing to readers of supernatural thrillers, Fireborn also belongs to fans of strong but flawed heroines, mysterious leading men, and old school detective work. It’s modern film noir flavor is jazzed up with a few terrifying specters and a big budget action flick ending.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joe L

    Halley Ashwood is about to become a doctor in Detroit. She grew up in California, where her controlling and distant father still lives and is the governor. She is heading to Amsterdam to visit her brother Flynn. They became super close to each other as they had to depend on each other when their mother passed away and their father was out campaigning instead of being the dad they needed. When she lands her brother informs her to stay at the airport and not to leave until he gets there, under no c Halley Ashwood is about to become a doctor in Detroit. She grew up in California, where her controlling and distant father still lives and is the governor. She is heading to Amsterdam to visit her brother Flynn. They became super close to each other as they had to depend on each other when their mother passed away and their father was out campaigning instead of being the dad they needed. When she lands her brother informs her to stay at the airport and not to leave until he gets there, under no circumstance. When he doesn't show, she sets off to find him on her own. Halley is a determined, fiery, and strong-willed woman who refuses to allow any distractions to keep her from the goals she sets out to achieve. Rather it is personal, emotional, or even her past traumas. I can see how this character could be a role model for young ladies in this light. However, when she is unable to find Flynn she realizes that this city is not just the normal tourist town everyone thinks it is. Something is happening in Amsterdam and Flynn was involved. Now she's forced to work with a stranger named Azrael, a golden-eyed benefactor or most of the time a thorn in her side, who promises to help reunite her with Flynn. Unfortunately, when it gets real, Halley is left lost and alone and must depend on a stranger who offers her more cruelty than kindness. Graythorne is extremely descriptive throughout the book. This allows the reader to actually feel like they are in the world that has been built. There is action, thrilling adventure, paranormal intrigue, and a very slow-burn romance. She portrays the scenery with a peculiar beauty of Amsterdam’s red-light district and the use of demons brings the whole story into a fantastic mold. I am truly looking forward to book 2 to get more of this world and see what Halley does next. This review was made possible by a copy provided to me by NetGalley.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    I read the blurb on this and thought it would definitely be up my alley. I want to start with saying that this is a dark urban fantasy with not a lot of action. The book is well-written, and it is extremely descriptive at times. The author doles out little bits of what happened in the past a tiny bit at a time I believe to build up suspense. Put all together, I wish there had been more action than there was. We learn a lot about Halley and almost nothing about Azrael, and while there were lots o I read the blurb on this and thought it would definitely be up my alley. I want to start with saying that this is a dark urban fantasy with not a lot of action. The book is well-written, and it is extremely descriptive at times. The author doles out little bits of what happened in the past a tiny bit at a time I believe to build up suspense. Put all together, I wish there had been more action than there was. We learn a lot about Halley and almost nothing about Azrael, and while there were lots of description, I still feel like not much happened. Add to that, I don’t understand exactly why the information about Halley’s past were doled out in drips; nothing revealed was really relevant (what Fern made her do, her being shot at, etc.). However, I still mostly enjoyed this book, and I’d definitely read the next one. Recommend. I was provided a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anca Antoci

    The story follows Halley, a young doctor who visits her brother in Amsterdam only to find out he's in trouble and goes missing. Her adventures begin when she decides to find out what happened and has to rely on Azrael, a mysterious stranger. Well-written, the prose is beautiful and dark. The story has an intriguing premise, generally good pacing, and immersive world-building. Fireborn begins slowly but after about 25% the pace picks up and it reads like a thriller. We get supernatural intrigue, a The story follows Halley, a young doctor who visits her brother in Amsterdam only to find out he's in trouble and goes missing. Her adventures begin when she decides to find out what happened and has to rely on Azrael, a mysterious stranger. Well-written, the prose is beautiful and dark. The story has an intriguing premise, generally good pacing, and immersive world-building. Fireborn begins slowly but after about 25% the pace picks up and it reads like a thriller. We get supernatural intrigue, adventure, revenge, and a hint of romance. I found the main character inconsistent throughout the story. She's often portrayed as a strong, smart female lead (which I love) but she acts out of character and gets dumb when it's convenient for the narrative. All in all, it was an enjoyable read that has a lot of potential.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louise H - ⭐ Life in the Book Lane Reviews ⭐

    DNF at 42% due to boredom This has the makings of a good book, but the execution fell somewhat flat. As others have said the pacing is off, with parts of the story dragging - particularly in the first 25% or so. The story telling was nicely done but when it doesn't move the plot forward, nor world build, after a while it becomes tedious. Know what else is tedious? Azrael keeping all those secrets from Halley. How on earth is she meant to "save the world", or at least be of any use, if she's const DNF at 42% due to boredom This has the makings of a good book, but the execution fell somewhat flat. As others have said the pacing is off, with parts of the story dragging - particularly in the first 25% or so. The story telling was nicely done but when it doesn't move the plot forward, nor world build, after a while it becomes tedious. Know what else is tedious? Azrael keeping all those secrets from Halley. How on earth is she meant to "save the world", or at least be of any use, if she's constantly kept in the dark. It's a very lazy writing technique that is probably meant to give an air of suspense but instead just gets annoying. I did like that the author wrote a flawed heroine, one with a past and clearly used to being indulged. However I wasn't convinced that at 25 and training as a doctor, one who worked in an emergency department, she would have felt quite so immature - particularly in relation to her ex-boyfriend. I'm at 42% and still have very, very little idea of what is happening or Halley's role in the book. I could tell you in two or three sentences what has happened so far and not miss anything important out. This was lacklustre and slow with a weak plot that left the story feeling disjointed and dissatisfying.

  18. 4 out of 5

    BusyM3

    This is the first book in this series Halley Ashwood. This is a new author for me and I am looking forward to read more. The story will hold your attention, interesting story line, the characters are engaging. The story will leave you wanting more. A great read. I am voluntarily leaving a review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bookgyrl

    I have been trying to get into this book for a while but I just didn't like the heroine and the way it is written. Halley is a doctor-in-training and at the start of the book she flies to Amsterdam to visit her brother, even when her father objects and her brother has some strange warnings. When she arrives, her brother is missing.. The heroine makes several dumb decisions for such a bright person. The best part of the story was the character of Falkov. Overall this story has a lot of potential I have been trying to get into this book for a while but I just didn't like the heroine and the way it is written. Halley is a doctor-in-training and at the start of the book she flies to Amsterdam to visit her brother, even when her father objects and her brother has some strange warnings. When she arrives, her brother is missing.. The heroine makes several dumb decisions for such a bright person. The best part of the story was the character of Falkov. Overall this story has a lot of potential but the way it is executed was not to my taste. But that is of course only my opinion so don't let me keep you from reading this book! I received an ARC via Netgalley and this is my honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tristan Burbridge

    This was a good read and kept me entertained from beginning to end thanks to the well written characters and a story line that kept my attention. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erica S. Bernier

    ARC receive on NetGalley from publisher, GenZ Publishing. So I was really intrigued by that book when I saw the synopsis. It felt like a good fantasy, the kind I really enjoy. Unfortunately it didn't deliver the way I thought it would. I had a lot of difficulty to get into the story at first. The first 15 to 20% of the book felt way too long with nothing happening and it took me forever to read that small bit. There was part of the story when it flew really well and I would read a few chapters w ARC receive on NetGalley from publisher, GenZ Publishing. So I was really intrigued by that book when I saw the synopsis. It felt like a good fantasy, the kind I really enjoy. Unfortunately it didn't deliver the way I thought it would. I had a lot of difficulty to get into the story at first. The first 15 to 20% of the book felt way too long with nothing happening and it took me forever to read that small bit. There was part of the story when it flew really well and I would read a few chapters without break. And then, at some other point, only reading a small chapter took me everything. I feel like there was a lack in the world building. Sometimes I couldn't follow the story, and the long gab were the main character "lost sens of time" was really bothering me. There was a lot of telling in the world building instead of showing. I didn't like the Q&A part, it felt like an easy way to write a complex world. The kind of notes you'll take while brainstorming a story, not the things you'll actually put in it. We could've wait for the second book to learn most of what was in those Q&A. The writing style wasn't really for me. It was almost like there was a like of editing or revision in it. Some part were amazingly written, and then we'll get to some lazy writing style and I didn't like it. One of the other things I had problem with was the way everything was solve so easily. Honestly, every single problem was solved before anything could actually happened. It felt like everything was given on a silver plate to the heroine. Especially the ending. I really hated that part of the story. The summoning of demons and all that... it felt like some easy way to add something to the story, and then, like all the rest, it ended up real fast and it felt like it was there for no reason at all. That's how I felt for most of the book. it feels like it could've been cut in half and it would still be the same story. The thing that annoyed me the most was actually the main character. Halley Ashwood felt at first like a strong female lead, intelligent and with a lot of character. Yet she was so dumb it was infuriating. Being in her head for all the book was draining a lot of my energy and I wished it would've been told in third person instead of first. Every time she did something, it was as if her brain had stop working and the supposed doctor didn't exist anymore. the only thing she was, was actually a doctor. There was nothing else about her. Fortunately we had Azrael Falkov to save the story! I loved him so much and yet it felt like we didn't have enough of him in the book. I wish we could have had is POV or at least more of him into the story. He's a dark and mysterious character, the kind I love. And he's the only reason why I would read the next book. To sum it up, the story idea was really great but the book could've been better. There was too much lacking in some area that made me not enjoy it as much as I wish I would've. The story felt long and incomplete for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nichole

    Thank you to NetGalley and GenZ Publishing for providing the arc of Fireborn by Jessa Graythorne in exchange for my honest review. Fireborn falls victim to telling and very little showing, which makes at least the first 25% or so moves very very slowly. Way too slowly. I had to force myself to read a chapter a night just to get to the parts that sped up, the problem is, by the time I reached that point, I didn’t care. I just never connected with the story or the characters. The world-building tak Thank you to NetGalley and GenZ Publishing for providing the arc of Fireborn by Jessa Graythorne in exchange for my honest review. Fireborn falls victim to telling and very little showing, which makes at least the first 25% or so moves very very slowly. Way too slowly. I had to force myself to read a chapter a night just to get to the parts that sped up, the problem is, by the time I reached that point, I didn’t care. I just never connected with the story or the characters. The world-building takes too long and it’s all spent telling instead of showing. So many aspects of the building could have moved along if we were shown rather than told. I mean there’s a full-on question and answer scene, what? My biggest problem with the story was the main character, Halley Ashwood. She was infuriatingly annoying – the only reason she was there was because she was a doctor…The story from Azrael Falkov’s POV would have been much more interesting - let’s tell that story and I’ll give this one another go. Overall, the plot was great and I’d love to see it done differently. The characters and slow pace just kept me from ever getting into it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Arcanine Patronus

    I haven't found any interesting new UF series for a while, so I'm happy I stumbled upon this one. The great cover drew me in, but Halley and the world she discovered kept me hooked. Initially, the book seemed almost a copy of Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning, with almost exactly the same premise and what looked like characters very similar to Mac and Barrons, but while you can clearly see the inspiration, it quickly set itself apart once I got to know the characters. Halley is intelligent (most of I haven't found any interesting new UF series for a while, so I'm happy I stumbled upon this one. The great cover drew me in, but Halley and the world she discovered kept me hooked. Initially, the book seemed almost a copy of Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning, with almost exactly the same premise and what looked like characters very similar to Mac and Barrons, but while you can clearly see the inspiration, it quickly set itself apart once I got to know the characters. Halley is intelligent (most of the time) and caring when it comes to her brother, but she also has a hard side that I love. She also has some significant flaws that had me annoyed with her for a bit - (view spoiler)[for instance, her 'I don't want to accept the reality I just learned' reaction lasted a bit too long for me, to the point that it dragged - (hide spoiler)] but I can see how she can grow out of those over the course of the series. There's a lot of potential there. More often than not, the main character in a book is my favourite character and I like the glimpse we see here of the woman I think Halley is going to become. Falkov is enigmatic and I feel like I could read 20 more books of him and Halley together and not get bored. And I know this isn't important to most people, but I loved that this book takes place in Amsterdam. I'm used to reading UF books taking place mostly in the UK or America, and this is the first time that one takes place in my own country. It's both weird and fun to see some Dutch sentences throughout the books. I don't mean it in the sense of me demanding representation or anything, but I don't think of the Netherlands or the Dutch as being super interesting, so it's pretty cool to see that someone finds Amsterdam interesting enough to write an UF book about and makes it something intriguing. I did roll my eyes a bit at it taking place near the Wallen, but that's only a minor annoyance. I know that when people think of the Netherlands they think of Amsterdam and when they think of Amsterdam they think of the Wallen and drugs. Ah well. My main criticism of the book is that is sometimes felt a bit jumbled and a lot of plot points weren't worked out fully. Both Halley's thoughts and what was happening was chaotic and jumbled, but at the same time there seemed to be very little progression in the story. The ending has the same problem as the main plot. It was resolved very quickly and strangely and seemed like it wasn't fully worked out. I feel like all the imagination and potential is there, but the writing skill still has to catch up. I think that in the end I'm more enthusiastic about finding out what happens next in the series, than I am at this book itself. It was interesting enough for me to finish it in one go. I definitely think there's a lot more to see of these characters, the world building and Graythorne's writing. I'll be on the lookout for book 2 and I'm pretty optimistic the series will get better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Ash

    Review to come!

  25. 4 out of 5

    TimetoFangirl

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This had a very interesting concept but the writing felt very weak and I just couldn't get into it. I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This had a very interesting concept but the writing felt very weak and I just couldn't get into it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn Carrillo

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

  28. 5 out of 5

    GenZ+Zenith Publishing

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jas

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

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