Title: Circle of Fire (Damask Circle #1)
Author: Keri Arthur
Genre: Fantasy; Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Random House/Bantam Dell
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Acquired: ARC from Netgalley.com
Date Finished: 1/17/14
Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible. Jon Barnett knows that what’s happening is far worse. Sent by a group of paranormal investigators known as the Damask Circle, Jon quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice.
Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the abilities she cannot control—abilities that have killed. But when a “ghost” brings a warning of danger and her nephew goes missing, Maddie not only has to leave her haven, she has to place her trust in a man who is neither ghost nor human. As the noose of sorcery tightens, the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time. But the greatest danger to Maddie and Jon could be the intense feelings they refuse to acknowledge but cannot ignore.
Circle of Fire is the first book in the new Damask Circle trilogy. It was a fast read, but it was your typical paranormal/romance book. There was really nothing about it that set it apart from all the other paranormal/romance books out there.
The beginning was a little confusing because you come onto the scene with Maddie talking to an astral image of Jon, but it’s not the first time he’s appeared to her. So, right from the start I felt like I had missed a chapter. I even backed up to make sure I had not accidentally skipped ahead somehow. Luckily, I didn’t have that lost feeling through the whole book. It only took about two chapters to get on the same page (pardon the pun) with the author.
The plot was ok. It was nothing earth-shattering.
The characters were ok. I was not too excited about any of them. Jon didn’t really do anything for me. Maddie played the damsel in distress too much for my liking. The bad guys were somewhat underwhelming. Even the romance parts weren’t very romancey. (Yes, I’m making words up.)
Overall, I just didn’t love this book. It was alright. I really think the series has potential, so I’ll definitely check the next one out. I want more information about the Damask Circle (Jon’s employer). I also think Maddie will be growing into her powers in the next book. So, the series has a lot of room to grow.
I’d like to give a shout out to Netgalley.com, Random House and Keri Arthur for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC.