I was drawn into this story almost immediately. The author created a setting and atmosphere that breathed tension and suspense. The danger was unknown and unseen, but palpable. The characters were well-formed for the most part and the romantic elements managed to be almost erotic without conflicting with Christian values. It stands out from other Christian fiction that I've read in that it has flawed characters and never gets preachy. The plot itself unfolds rather slowly, but the relationships, especially the one between Matthew and Emma with their intense attraction to one another, keep the reader's interest. Also, the author does an amazing job of sustaining the suspense and tension before anything particularly sinister occurs. I'm looking forward to the sequel as I can't wait to see what happens next!
In compliance with FTC regulations, please note that I received a free review copy from Kregel Blog Tours.
A Page-Turning, Heart-Racing, Action Suspense Thri
September 20, 2012
C. F. Dunn in her new book, "Mortal Fire" Book One in The Secret Of The Journal series published by Monarch Books takes us into the life of Emma D'Eresby in a contemporary thriller.
From the back cover: Emma, a young and self-contained professor of history, leaves Cambridge for a post in an exclusive university in the USA, intent on finding a long-overlooked seventeenth century journal. Bound within its pages are secrets that threaten to bring Emma into conflict with the present; but can she discover the truth-and will she believe it?
You would not think that a long-lost 17th century journal could cause so much trouble today. Yet that is exactly what happens to Emma, trouble, as she searches for this scroll. I am not a conspiracy theorist however I do enjoy a good conspiracy theory and "Mortal Fire" is a conspiracy theorist's dream. Emma has left her home and position in England for a new home and position in the States to study this journal. She has left all her friends and what she knew behind for new people and a new place. Now others are trying to stop her from doing what she came over here to do.
This is a thriller as Emma is great danger and is actually attacked. This is an adventure suspense story as Emma is off on her search and as she begins to dig up her answers she is forced to question the motives of those around her. The only person she feels she can trust, Matthew, is keeping secrets even from her. "Mortal Fire" is also a mystery filled with twists and turns that will make a roller coaster kneel in surrender. The only bad thing is that it is part one of a trilogy. Well, maybe not so bad, we will be able to get more story in two more books! We will just have to wait for them that's all. I think C. F. Dunn is an extremely talented writer who really knows how to tell a story that will grab you and keep you flipping pages until you find out what is going on. "Mortal Fire" is a very exciting book that will keep you engrossed in the characters. This is a wonderful series and I am glad I discovered C. F. Dunn. I look forward to a long and pleasant relationship. I recommend this book highly.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Monarch Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I am so excited about this new series! Mortal Fire is kind of the intellectuals' turn at Twilight. I say that with all respect for Stephanie Meyers' series, I love Twilight. It's not that Twilight isn't intelligent, but the setting and characters for this series are older and more academic.
Emma is quiet, private and obsessed with a a very unusual part of history - torture, all kinds throughout history and how it's affects have touched humanity. Although a gruesome subject, Emma sees it differently and her unique research has led her to the states to teach and study a diary. Emma's sheltered academic walls of safety begin to crumble when the evil she studies intellectually becomes real on the campus.
Then there is the handsome doctor Matthew Lyons. She's drawn to him despite her efforts to avoid romantic entanglements. He's unexplainable and always there to protect her. In fact he begins to seem more than human.
I love the mix of academia, mystery, faith and dare I say, possibly a little of the supernatural? I was hooked from the start and couldn't put it down. I read half the night and couldn't wait to pick it up the next morning. C.F. Dunn has you speeding through the pages all the way to the ending that makes you say, "WHAT?!"
Don't worry, there's a second book coming and there is a preview in the back of the book, which may have just saved my sanity. Fantastic start for a very promising author.
My thoughts: I found the book interesting and perplexing. I found very little connectivity between "The Journal" and the plot except for the fact that the heroine's main reason for accepting the position in the USA was because it housed the original "journal" a transcribed portion of which held her interest since childhood.
The introduction of each character is slow but thorough and lends to the surface flow of the story. However, the slow progression of the story almost lost this reader before I could engage in the seemingly main idea. This main idea is truly not one that you can really grasp as it is most elusive in nature. In fact, where the title "Mortal Fire" gets its genesis is lost to this reader.
I did finish the book and ultimately I found it quite interesting. It seems as though the "hero" of the story is somewhat supernatural, not human, or most rare and unusual at the least. There is not a clue as to why he is different, he just is. He is certainly a gentlemanly and kind individual of many talents and strengths.
I found this read in the land of academic interesting because they being highly educated individuals are ultimately pretty normal folks after all. But some really interesting personalities were revealed in the characters Ms. Dunn created for Mortal Fire.
I am sensing connection between the "hero," The Journal, and the dying grandmother (wife of the grandfather who introduced our heroin to "The Journal." Only future books will reveal if this is indeed so.
I am not overly fond of books in a series unless they can still be read as "stand alone" books. This one literally begs to be finished and the promise of completion only seems to be in the upcoming sequel, "Death Be Not Proud."
The genre is Christian fiction thriller or mystery. There is an element of Christian emphasis in the book, through not strong. The heroin is a Christian and endeavors to let her faith in Christ be her guide and her strength. There is an element of evil and danger, of love and romance, of friendship and avoidance, and of family love. There is also the element of things seemingly being non-Earthly or other-Worldly.
Would I recommend it? Let's just say I could recommend it. The author, C.F. Dunn, certainly has a gift with words and the telling of a story. Mortal Fire is just a bit different from that which I normally read - even when I'm ready for a heavier read instead of the lilting light reads that you settle down with when you need to simply relax. I do think I would like to read the followup book/s. The cliff hanging ending has just simply whetted my appetite.
I received a complimentary copy of Mortal Fire from Kregel Publisher in order to render my honest review and all opinions expressed are solely my own.
I am always excited to receive a package in the mail. Invariably it contains a new book for reviewing. I usually have a few books going at the same time in the review process, so I will let a new one wait until I get the others finished. Can't get too many books going at once.
However, today when I received the review copy of Mortal Fire, I knew it was a book that couldn't wait to be read. The cover alone was intriguing. Dark and mysterious, old books in the foreground and an eye surrounded by wisps of smoke. Very intriguing, indeed. But the best part lay in-between the pages.
Once I began reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I only stopped because my dogs wouldn't stop pestering me to take them outside. I had to know what was going to happen next.
Extremely well-written, strong, bold characters and a plot so tight with suspense I found myself holding my breath more often than not.
Emma D'Eresby, a visiting History professor from England, is on a journey, a quest, searching for a lost journal. The people she meets at Howard's Lake College in Maine, USA, are a cast of characters in and of themselves. Sam Wiesner, the "lady's man;" Elena Smalova, intelligent and excitable, and Matthew Lynes, mysterious, strong, and maybe even something more.... just who is he?
Mortal Fire is a book you want to read with the lights on and during the day. But if you are like me.... you won't be able to put it down.
This review was made possible by Kregel Publications providing me with a free review copy. I am under no obligation to write a positive review.