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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Fire in the Sea by Myke Bartlett

I downloaded this little gem from Edelweiss forever ago, but I never heard any chatter about it, and kind of forgot, then picked up last weekend.  WOW!  So good!  My library doesn't own a copy, but I plan to suggest it.

Fire in the Sea jumps right into the action.  I read this on my Kindle, I believe I was at 2% when the first mysterious creature from the sea makes an appearance.  From that moment on, stranger and stranger things keep happening to Sadie.  I admired how the author allowed Sadie to recognize that all of the events occurring in Perth are absolutely ridiculous and hard to believe, while still having Sadie roll with the punches, so to say, and take an active part in deciding her fate.  For example, the synopsis mentions that there's a horned beast running rampant in Perth:  unbelievable, right?  Just an escaped bull or something, right?  NOPE.  Not only does Sadie quickly come to terms with the fact there's a beast on the loose, she quickly makes decisions to fight to protect her friends and family.  She's never afraid to stand up for herself and her family.  Even though Jake is really cute and she's feeling him, she doesn't hesitate to tell him off when she perceives that he's committed a wrong.  As the action builds and builds toward an epic finale, Sadie continues to be true to herself, her values, and her family.

I'm sitting here in America reading and reviewing this book, so the Australian author and setting were also bonuses for me.  When you read books by international authors, do you hear that country's accent in your head as you read?  I do, and I really enjoyed listening to the Australian teens!  There were, of course, just a few slang terms that I wasn't familiar with, but nothing that context clues didn't help me decipher.

While Sadie was an incredibly dynamic character, and the plot was super exciting, I had a bit of trouble connecting to the secondary characters.  Sadie's cousins are just barely better than stereotypes, and her grandparents are walking talking cut-outs.  (Her grandfather's a conspiracy theory war vet and grandma is constantly cheerfully offering everyone tea after coming in from the garden.)  At the end of the book a few final pieces fall into place and a few people gain a little more dimensionality, but not enough to be truly thoroughly 3D.

I suppose that's ok, because the reader is really consumed with all the action packed into this book!  I don't think I went more than 3 pages ever without some big fight happening or decision being made.  The mystery of the creatures from the sea, the horned beast, and Jake all unfold at a good pace:  it's never too slow/bogged down, or too fast to keep up with, and it's spread evenly through the book.  The finale really fits in nicely; there was a good build-up to it, so it didn't happen out of thin air, and the ending wasn't obvious, so it was definitely a page-turner!

Overall, I'd give Fire in the Sea 3.5-4 stars.  Can't quite make up my mind.  Loved the action and the main character; struggled with the secondary characters.  Maybe there'll be a sequel someday that fleshes them out more!


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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3 People left their mark' :

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  2. Sounds like almost too much action, some of which could have been used to flesh out the secondary characters a bit better. Just my thoughts. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

  3. This sounds so much fun! Action that starts right away and sea creatures. COunt me in. Going on my to read list.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading