ARC review: Blaze of Secrets by Jessie Donovan

Blaze of Secrets (Asylums for Magical Threats, #1)Blaze of Secrets by Jessie Donovan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

What did I think? I’m still not quite sure…

I didn’t love this one, nor did I hate it either. It had all the makings to a great book for me, the writing was good, the characters intriguing, steamy, with fantastic world building. Yet somewhere along the way, it just fell flat. Not enough for me to put it down, but enough that it did take me longer than usual to finish it. I tend to rate books based on how unputdownable it is for me. While I was curious enough to finish it, I had no problems putting it down for a while to go back to it later.

My first love is PNR, considering the series that first sucked me into the wonderful world of books was Black Dagger Brotherhood. So I have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to PNR and discovering new authors.

Jessie Donovan is off to a good start with Blaze of Secrets. The unique take on elemental magic and the intricate world building is what initially drew me to this book.

Considering that most of the PNR books I’ve read lately have been about vampires, demons, or shifters, this was a very refreshing chance of scenery.

The Feiru are struggling to keep their elemental magic a secret from the humans. In order to achieve this, they go to great lengths; locking up their first-born children in compounds known as Asylums for Magical Threats (AMT) when they reach magical maturity.

Unbeknownst to the general public, these Asylums are nothing short of prisons where many Feiru are experimented on, punished, and dying. This is also the place that Keirra has been in for the past 15 years.

Jaxton is ordered by the higher ups to also rescue Keirra for reasons unknown to him, during his rescue mission of his older brother. This is where the story begins.

So why only 3.5 stars?

Well, to be honest, I had a hard time getting into the book. There was a lot of world building that takes place in the first half, and a part of me had a tough time following it at parts. I found myself going back and re-reading certain paragraphs to better understand things. This is at times an issue with the first books in the series, so I overlooked this.

Around the 60% mark the book really took off, and I found myself enjoying it a whole lot more.

Overall, for a debut novel in a series, this was quite good. I feel like as the author grows into her craft the books will just keep getting better and better. The book, although not being a favorite of mine, definitely intrigued me enough to pick up the second book in the series once it comes out.

Keirra’s brother, Gio, was the most intriguing part of this book for me. I love characters like him, conflicted, on the wrong side of the war but yet ignorant of it. I really hope that he gets a book soon because I would definitely want to read that.

If you enjoy PNR reminiscent of Nalini Singhs Psy/changeling series but with elemental magic, you’d definitely want to give this one a try. I think what I enjoyed the most about this book was the unique new take on PNR. I see great things coming from this author in the future.

**Many thanks to the author for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review**

Blaze of Secrets is set to be released for September 3rd

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  1. I'm glad you ended up enjoying this one despite its slow start. Thanks for a great review!

    • Most of the time when I read the first book in a PNR series, it tends to have a slow start. But then the next books more than make up for it. Hopefully that will be the same here 🙂

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