Monday, September 5, 2011

Fire and Shadow by Imogene Howson

Fire and Shadow was a fantasy that I wasn't expecting.  I originally thought going in that this was about a fire starter in real life but it turned out to be a fantasy world.  Shadows are evil creeping phantoms that are killing and taking villagers away.  No one is sure if they die or are absorbed.  Just a single touch from a shadow will freeze and seemingly kill whatever part of the body it touches.  All of the land is being affected and anywhere light cannot permeate isn't safe.  The swamps and dense forest are all enought to bring the shadows out in day light.  Light must be kept on at all times to keep people safe from them.  Children are growing up in fear of the dark. 
Some develop special abilities during adolesence which can be uncontrollable at first. 
Fern is a late bloomer and develops firestarter capabilities on her 18th birthday and makes the journey to a special house where the gifted can work on controlling their powers.  As the sun sets and the shadows chase Fern and her brother up the hill to the house, she meets Nik who rescues them and escorts them into the house.  Nik is older than most of the kids and works on inventions and solving patterns to fight against the shadows.  He instinctively realizes that Fern's power is the one thing that can kill the shadows and heal those who have been touched by the shadows.  Nik begins to work daily with Fern on her ability.  At first, Nik and Fern can't stand each other as Nik knows her powers are provoked through anger, but soon Fern's feelings change. 
This was a great story but the romance felt a little rushed.  It was only about 102 pages on ebook and I felt that the author could have expanded on the interactions between Fern and Nik.  A couple of more scenes would have done a world of good for the story.  I did enjoy this read and most who enjoy fantasy blended with paranormal romance will like the story.  The story is creative and fresh and worth the read for the price.

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