From New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur comes a brand new series featuring heroine Emberly Pearson—a phoenix capable of taking on human form, and cursed with the ability to foresee death…
Emberly has spent a good number of her many lives trying to save humans. So when her prophetic dreams reveal the death of Sam, a man she once loved, she does everything in her power to prevent that from happening. But in saving his life, she gets more than she bargained for.
Sam is working undercover for the Paranormal Investigations Team, and those who are trying to murder him are actually humans infected by a plague-like virus, the Crimson Death—a by-product of a failed government experiment that attempted to identify the enzymes that make vampires immortal. Now, all those infected must be eliminated.
But when Emberly’s boss is murdered and his irreplaceable research stolen, she needs to find the guilty party before she goes down in flames…
Can I just start off by saying I absolutely love Keri Arthur's books. There's just something about them that really works for me. In fact, I've re-read her Riley series several times, they are that good. So, you can imagine just how excited I was to see a brand new series coming from her. And a phoenix to boot? Well, there just wasn't a chance I wouldn't be reading this book. So bear in mind that I'm more than a little biased. So that being said, I had very high hopes for FIREBORN, and I'm happy to say that it more than lived up to my expectations.
I absolutely adored Emberly. She's so strong yet incredibly vulnerable at the same time. Her life is incredible and extraordinary in her abilities, but they come at a very steep price. The curse phoenixes are under are harsh and frankly staggering. To be bonded to another with your very existence dependent upon them yet be unable to love them is just utterly heartbreaking. And the fact that they fall in love with someone outside of their fated partner each life cycle, yet cursed for that love to end badly, is just cruel in my opinion. And yet through it all Emberly stays strong and continues to push on. There were several times throughout where it would have been so easy to walk away from the circumstances she had been forced into, but she doesn't and I loved her for it. I also loved the dynamic she had going with her life mate, Rory, and despite the lack of romantic love, they loved each other all the same, and somehow that made all of the other romantic mess easier to bear.
Of course after all this gushing, you may be wondering why I didn't rate this a 5 if I loved it so much. That's mostly due to giving the series a bit of room to grow, but also the frustration that comes from starting a new series and having to learn that new world and all the frustration that goes with that. I will say that Keri handled things mostly well in this department, but I think I would have preferred just a bit more world building or explanation as even after finishing this first book, I feel a bit muddy about what's going on. I'm sure it will build over time and after several installments are out, and I have more knowledge, this will be a 5 star re-read, but for the first time through to be fair, I just can't quite give it the highest marks. Putting that slower world building aside, FIREBORN is an excellent star to a fresh new urban fantasy series that will please fans of the genre and Keri's writing alike. This one will definitely be staying on my keeper shelf!