{Excerpt and Review} FIRE by T.G. Ayer

Today is the last day of the FIRE review tour!
Check out all the other reviews on tour!

Keep reading after the review for 
a tour-exclusive excerpt from FIRE!

FIRE is  $3.99 
on nook, Kindle, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. 
What a great deal!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:
MAYA FLINCHED. A thousand tiny knives of white-hot pain splintered through her skin. Her teacher's knuckles crunched against her cheekbone and she spared a fleeting thought for the beautiful bruise sure to flower across the side of her face by the next morning. It was her own fault. Her attention had strayed. Again. Not that she was very good at any form of martial arts anyway. But she did try. 
She should have tried harder.
(pg. 3, US e-book edition)

Ever since Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo put together a Diversity in YA Tour (and now a website) across the country that I was once lucky enough to attend, I've become more attuned to the lack of diversity in fantasy. One of the earliest things to appeal to me about FIRE as I began reading was the fact that Maya is Indian, and that her family immigrated to the USA. FIRE also introduces readers to Indian mythology and beliefs, which I don't know much about. These elements certainly kept my interest!

Maya has always grown up believing she was ordinary. She takes martial arts lessons from her father, and her parents have never forced her to believe in their gods. She thinks their faith is nothing more than pretty stories, simply mythological lore. When she's trapped in a bad situation at a party, she discovers there's more to her--and her parents--than she ever thought possible. Somehow, she's able to generate and control fire. Somehow, the new guy at school, Nik, who has been showing up wherever she goes, knows more than he's saying. Somehow, her parents have kept important facts from her. The Indian gods are real, and Maya is the Hand of Kali. A great destiny lies ahead of her...if only she embraces it before the Rakshasa demons hunting her succeed in their quest to lure her to their side.

On top of learning about Indian gods, readers are also treated to new lifestyles. Maya's family is more lax than other Indian families. Maya's friend Ria, however, is from a very traditional family. Her father rules with an iron fist, believes in arranged marriages, and feels that girls are worthless. Maya can't understand why Ria goes along with his mandates, but is glad her family isn't as strict. She still gets in trouble for going out to an unchaperoned party with alcohol present, and her parents would have a cow if Ria dated a boy who didn't share her heritage, but they genuinely care about her. They've never even forced their religious beliefs on her, though after finding out she's the Hand of Kali, Maya believes in a way she never did before. Maya's friendships with both Ria and her friend Joss are strong; she'll go to great lengths to keep them safe. At the same time, her love of them makes her blind. She wavers when Ria is possessed by a Rakshasa demon, and allows Joss to come along on a journey untrained and unprepared. Maya also grows close to the mysterious Nik over the course of the story despite initial misunderstandings between the two, and he plays an important part in her mission.  While there were a few jarring grammatical inconsistencies that, at times, pulled me from the story, I was reading an advance copy, so I can only assume they've been edited and cleaned up for the official book launch. This was my only major issue with the novel, though I also don't feel that Joss' presence at the end added anything essential to the story except a show of Maya's character.

FIRE is another series where the author has created a clean, full ending without cliffhangers. There are enough new elements introduced that can feed into a new story, which will be its own, full adventure because the one in FIRE ended. I always enjoy when an author pays attention to everyone moaning over the inherent evil of (sometimes unnecessary) cliffhangers and brings readers full-circle. It makes me moan less about how few stand-alones are out there. This method works for me and makes waiting so much easier!

If you're looking for a well-rounded, clean-ending novel full of girls who kick butt and can take care of themselves when faced with a strong opponent, or if you want more diversity in your fantasy or stronger ties with family and friends, FIRE should definitely be on your TBR radar.

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

That cover is on fire...literally! 
I love the way the light is highlighting the model's hair and giving it an ethereal glow.

I do like the font used for the title, FIRE, though the curl of the letters are very similar to the UK edition of FIRE by Kristin Cashore, which I immediately had to bring up for comparison:

That's completely accidental due to the nature of the font, and there are enough differences between the two, but it's very close when you look at the sloping. I like the extra flair to the "F" in Ayer's version, however. I'm also a fan of the curling script beneath the title.

Overall, the cover is very eye-catching! 

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title: FIRE
Author: T.G. Ayer
Release Date: Out July 25, 2013
Publisher: T.G. Ayer
Received: For Review


Normal people sneak out to a party and have fun. Maya Rao ends the evening by incinerating the guy who attacks her. 

Nik Lucas, sexy, new in town and totally forbidden, happens to walk in on her. Normal guys would run for the hills. Nik knows a whole lot more than he's telling. 

Maya doesn't believe the gods are real, doesn't waste her time with mere mythology. But when gods, demons and hellhound's become the new normal and wielding fire becomes her new skill, she must decide what it is she really believes. 

Can Maya accept that normal is something she will never be because it isn't normal to be

...the Hand of Kali.

The FIRE Review Tour Presents:
An Excerpt from FIRE
by T.G. Ayer


     Fear spun Maya around on stricken feet. To defend her back perhaps. She just felt less vulnerable facing her attacker, where she could see his next move. He barreled straight at her. And for all her training in martial arts, she did the one thing her dad always said never to do. She ducked her head and hid her face with her hands. Hands out, as if she could fend off this vicious attacker merely with the soft skin of her palms. 
     Maya felt the heat before she saw it. 
     Byron was on fire. A living column of shimmering orange flames. She couldn't breathe. Was afraid to breathe. How did that happen? She glanced around the bathroom as panic filled her veins, her fear taking on a whole new level of hysteria. She had to put the fire out. 
     She turned to the faucet to fill her hands with water. And froze. In the mirror she saw the burning reflection of Byron disappear. Byron was there one moment and gone the next. Only a few burnt shards of fabric left to say he was ever there. But she remembered the last thing she'd seen before Byron became nothing: brilliant blue eyes turning a frighteningly blood-red. 
     And Nik, holding the doorknob, staring at the empty space on the floor behind her.

I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other's loves – it works wonderfully… 

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.

Find T.G. Ayer on her blog and website, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook. 


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