Sunday, August 30, 2009
Title: Burning Alive
Author: Shannon K. Butcher
Publishing Date: May 2009
Helen Day has lived her entire life in fear of fire. She repeatedly has this one vision where she sees herself burning to death while a man stands by idly watching her and to top it all off he has a smile on his face. As she is dining in a local diner she recognizes the man from her vision. He is sitting in a booth across from her with two other men. She is certain her time of death is near and that her vision will come true.
Drake is a Theronai warrior who is fighting a losing battle against the Synestryn, animalistic beasts in order to save the human race and his own people. When he sees Helen looking strangely at him he is compelled to figure out why. As he approaches her and they make physical contact Drakes power transfers to Helen and she eases his pain that he has carried for centuries. Somehow these two are linked and Drake is determined to find out why.
Where to begin? I had a lot of problems with this book. First, of all the whole story takes place in two or three days. Helen goes from being a normal woman who brings meals to the elderly, to fighting battles alongside of Drake. We are not even talking about a normal battle, but a fight to the death with inhuman demonic creatures. Ummm, no I don't think so. Helen is a huge scaredy-cat, not a kick-ass fighting machine. I just didn't see the connection. It all felt so out of place for her character. Granted she doesn't want to fight and Drake is forcing her too, but still that aspect didn't work for me.
This brings me to my second dislike, Drake. I did not like his character at all. He took to many liberties with Helen, first by practically kidnapping her and then by withholding pertinent information from her that would effect her for the rest of her life. He was basically a selfish bastard. I honestly didn't see what Helen saw in him. Top that off with repeated mental lusting and I felt annoyed with the story.
The reason why I am so worked up over it is because while reading the story, I really felt like Butcher had something here with this new series. I could see its potential to become a really great series. She has interesting world building with the variety of different inhuman races. She also incorporated interesting side plots with various secondary characters, many of which I found exciting. It's just that all of this was overshadowed by the negatives. I am not sure if I will read more in this series. I will play it by ear when the next book is released.
Here is what others had to say:
The Book Lush
Babbling About Books, and More
Michelle's Book Blog
This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.