Series: Fallen Fire: Book One
Author: Richard Amos
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 356 Pages
Category: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3.5 Stars
At a Glance: Reborn is some fun, if not groundbreaking, Urban Fantasy. I’m still warming up to these characters and their story, which is why I can’t go as far as to say I fell head-over-heels for this book, but I did like it well enough to delve into book two to see where the author goes from here in his characters’ dangerous dealings with the devil.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Solitude and shiny things.
That’s all I care about.
I’m a fixer of magical objects, and collector of golden bears. I like my own company, finding solace in my own little world.
But a life-changing encounter with a male stripper and a swimming pool puts an end to all that.
I find myself with an ability I shouldn’t have—the ability to transform into a creature of wings and scales. This isn’t me. I’m a Humanblood, not this thing that shouldn’t exist.
No clues, no answers—I’m left completely in the dark.
Enter Charlie, a Felineblood and wannabe detective with a sharp tongue and an addiction to catnip cigarettes. As annoying as he is, he may have the skills to help figure out the insane puzzle that has been dumped in my lap.
Goodbye to peace.
Review: Once I find an author and/or series that represents what I feel is the pinnacle of a genre, it’s almost impossible not to compare every other book/series in the genre to that fave. Fair or not, so much of reading is grabbing on to the emotions and awe inspired by a fantastic story, and when I’m not transported to that same level of feeling with every book, it means setting aside expectations and judging each one on its own merits. All that being said, Richard Amos’s Reborn is some fun, if not groundbreaking, Urban Fantasy, influenced by biblical mythology and a healthy dose of imagination, as well as breaking away from the hardboiled detective trope in ways that made me like Charlie for his gentle simplicity in an otherwise gritty and complicated world.
The setting is Angelica City, located on the island of Angelica, off the coast of Ireland, where Angels mete out justice, sometimes swiftly. The parts of the city we’re shown offers a picture of a hardscrabble place populated by various “-bloods”—Caninebloods, Magibloods, Aquabloods, to name a few; Wolfbloods went extinct and Demonbloods were banished; and we get to know a bit more intimately a Humanblood and a Felineblood, Zayn and Charlie. Zayn is not only a Humanblood but a Handler, meaning he’s adept at repairing magical objects that are essential to life in Angelica City, what with all the weirdness inherent there, and those objects become even more imperative to both him and Charlie as the story progresses.
Zayn is an antisocial loner with an interesting and rather intense backstory and, as much as he is loath to admit it, he also has a soft, concerned spot for his agoraphobic neighbor, which I thought was a great way of showing the black, white, and gray areas of his character. He’s not all good, but he does do some unquestionably good things. Zayn isn’t all bad either, but he has done what many would deem inarguably bad things. This all fleshes out as the author reveals there’s more to this character than meets the eye. The way Zayn and Charlie meet sets off the tone of their relationship, which is adversarial at best, at least on Zayn’s part. Zayn doesn’t do friendships let alone anything more personal and intimate, and Charlie stomps on Zayn’s last nerve from the moment they first run into each other on Scarlet Street while Charlie’s undercover.
Charlie may be a capable hacker, but he’s far from a successful private investigator, and the cops—one officer in particular—enjoy reminding him of it. He is, in fact, one small step from being homeless and starving and is desperate for his luck to change. When I mentioned he’s not the typical hardboiled detective character, I meant it, all the way down to the fact that “fudge” and “sugar” are his preferred swears. If he makes it to “shit”, you know it’s hit the fan. Charlie is Zayn’s foil in nearly every single way, bright where Zayn is dark and brooding, and I couldn’t help but think Charlie would’ve made a better Canineblood than a Felineblood because he reminded me of an adorable, tenacious puppy getting into some big mischief. I liked that Charlie brought out a certain humanity in Zayn, albeit Zayn wouldn’t dare give Charlie credit for it, if he even acknowledged it in the first place.
Do be aware, and I cannot stress this enough, Reborn is not a Romance on any level. At least not yet. There’s no “I can fix him with the power of love” aspect to this story, though there is no doubt some heat and attraction and a little lusting between these characters. The author himself says this is a slow-burn, and I get the feeling it’s slow all the way through to book four, the final book, in the series. As of now, Zayn and Charlie would barely be deemed friends, but events during and after the climax of the story bring them one step closer to something like.
The long arc of this series centers on Lucifer’s return to the physical world, and the cult of worshipers who are bent upon making it happen as well as the ones bent upon stopping it. Zayn and Charlie take on the job of trying to stop this from happening, somewhat because that job was thrust on them in ways I didn’t anticipate, with some great twists and surprising outcomes. I’m still warming up to these characters and their story, which is why I can’t go as far as to say I fell head-over-heels for this book, but I did like it well enough to delve into book two to see where the author goes from here in his characters’ dangerous dealings with the devil.
You can buy Reborn here:
[zilla_button url=”https://books2read.com/Reborn-Richard-Amos” style=”black” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]