Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bookish Thoughts: A Fistful of Fire by Rebecca Chastain

A puddle of inky atrum pooled in front of a storage closet beside the hotel elevators. ~ Opening of A Fistful of Fire


A Fistful of Fire (Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer #2) by Rebecca Chastain
Mind Your Muse Books, 2015
Fantasy; 394 pgs

From Goodreads: 
Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, defending her region against imps, vervet, hounds, and one lascivious demon. If her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.
But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region. 
As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames.
I enjoyed A Fistful of Evil, the first book in the Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer, series quite a bit. Madison makes for a great urban fantasy heroine. I enjoy spending time with her and Mr. Bond. A Fistful of Fire was just as good, if not better--keeping me turning pages as fast as I could, sneaking in reading moments whenever I was able (even when I wasn't supposed to). It almost felt like I was reading one of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden novel, the way events unfolded one after the other in the novel, barely giving Madison a chance to breathe. I always end those books out of breath and it was no different with this one.  Madison had her hands full, that's for sure.

In A Fistful of Fire, the reader gets to know a little more about Madison's boss, Brad Pitt (not to be confused with the actor). His shady past is about to make or break him in Madison's eyes, and she has to decide whether she can trust him or not.

Author Rebecca Chastain doesn't take herself too seriously in the series as you can tell by some of the names she gives the characters and by humorous moments throughout the book, and yet there is plenty of action and tension throughout the novel. Madison's life is at stake more than once, and while she may not seem like she always knows what she is doing, she always proves to be resourceful. Perhaps she does not call for help or ask for back up when she should, but given her situation and the politics in play of her region and those nearby, the more she is able to do on her own, the better. Besides, Madison is no damsel in distress, even if she might feel like it sometimes.

I continue to be in awe of Chastain's world building and her cast of characters, both magical and otherwise. I would love to spend more time with the prajurits, to see how Jamie progresses and evolves,  and dive further into the pages of Valentine (who doesn't love a story with a magical book?). I liked getting to know the additional characters as well as some old familiar ones.

I was happy to hear the author is working on a third book in the series. I cannot get enough of Madison and her friends. If you enjoy urban fantasy with a sense of humor, I highly recommend this series.

To learn more about author Rebecca Chastain and her work, please visit the author's website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterGoodreads

Source: I received an e-copy of this book from the author for an honest review.


© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

17 comments:

  1. Oh, I do like the sound of this series! Perfect escape for the Halloween season.

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    1. Jenclair - I've really enjoyed this author's work, especially this series. They are fun and entertaining.

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  2. I like the sound of the world building and love that the author doesn't take herself to seriously. This isn't in my normal genres but it does look like an interesting read. I'll have to look for the first in the series.

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    1. Katherine - This is such a fun series! I don't often take a chance on indie authors, but Rebecca Chastain's books have made me more open to doing so. I would have hated to miss out on these books.

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  3. This sounds like a fun series, Wendy! I'm glad you enjoyed reading this series. I'll have to check them out.

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    1. Melody - I think so! I hope you get a chance to try the series. :-)

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  4. Reading a lot about this book.

    I love that the author doesn't take herself too seriously and that they manage to maintain a magical cast of characters.

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    1. Tracy - It's quite entertaining. I am glad to hear it is drawing attention!

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  5. These sound like fun, particularly given the comparison to Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, which my daughter has been urging me to read. (I should probably read the Dresden Files first, though.)

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    1. Lark - The pacing is similar in the books, but they are quite different. I love the Dresden Files. My husband was never able to get into them though. I've enjoyed everything so far I've read by Rebecca Chastain.

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  6. Now this just sounds like fun! Sometimes all I want is to lose myself in a fast-paced fantasy world. I'll have to keep this tucked away in my mind for when that urge strikes.

    Unfortunately, I put down the first of the Dresden Files books after someone told me they were horrible. :/ I kind of wonder if I was just dealing with snobbishness, because I'd been enjoying it up until then. I should pick it up again to find out for myself!

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    1. Shaina - I seem to want to do that a lot--lose myself in a fast-paced fantasy world. LOL I do enjoy books like this quite a bit.

      I've enjoyed all of the Dresden Files books. I haven't read them all, but I've read enough to know it's one of my favorite urban fantasy series.I imagine it wouldn't appeal to everyone. It really depends on what you are looking for in terms of urban fantasy, I suppose. I think Harry Dresden is wonderful though-- I have a bit of a crush on the character. ;-)

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  7. I haven't read much urban fantasy, but this sounds like a lot of fun (I really enjoy books with the type of humor it seem Chastain has). Thanks for the review!

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    1. A.M.B. - I really like the series. The humor provides a good balance to the more serious tension filled moments of tthe book, I think.

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  8. There are so many Urban Fantasy books but I feel like I don't really know where to start. This sounds like a really good series though so will have to keep in mind for when I want to try something a bit different!

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    1. Iliana - There are such a variety of urban fantasy novels out there too! Since you like mysteries too, you might try something with a mystery in it as well.

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