Fire Storm

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Title: Fire Storm
Author: Mackenzie Dare
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: February 16, 2013
Pages: 288

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When an incident occurs that threatens the life of young, happily married, mother Jess, it’s chocked up as an accident. That is until another incident happens right after with no logical explanation why. Jess is now a target in a murderer’s sights and no one knows why. She’s innocent and untouched by evil but she is marked for murder despite not having any enemies.

Jess’s husband, Jim, is a firefighter and loves excitement and danger, that is until that danger creeps closer to the one thing he loves most – his wife. Jim is trying to protect his family, but protecting them from someone unseen is harder than it sounds and Jim begins to feel helpless as more attempts begin to occur and he can’t stop them. He’s determined to keep his family safe but with an unknown enemy the only thing he can do is pray.

With Jim and Jess struggling to stay alive, their relationships to each other and God begin to grow but their determination to find the killer is just as strong. When one attempt goes too far, both Jim and Jess are pushed to the limit and their faith is tested as they find out just how much they trust God to take care of the ones they love and just how much they’re willing to let God have.

Why would a killer come after this family? Who is a secret enemy of the family or do they even know them at all? Will Jim and Jess be able to live through attempt after attempt or will one or both of them succumb to killer’s weapons? How will they find a killer that leaves almost no trace that he was there? Will everything work out for this farm grown Illinois family or will their lives be destroyed by the attempts of a killer?
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I tend to avoid self published books or books published by upstart or little known publishers because the quality of story usually isn’t as high as a well known publisher’s offerings, not to mention the covers and editing usually isn’t up to par. However, I’m very glad to have broken habit here because this book genuinely surprised me with how well it was written. There are some typos and flow issues but in general this book’s story was a very well written one and one I’m glad I got to read.

Being a first book by Mackenzie Dare, this book was actually really good. The suspense was actually pretty unpredictable with an unknown enemy, that I didn’t guess and was shocked to find out who he actually was, and a surprisingly taut pace. I was pleasantly surprised at the ability of the author to successfully keep me hooked until the very end, particularly after a somewhat slow start to the action. There was some pacing issues and at the end it felt a little forced and had a bit too much action but was still enjoyable and actually was one of the better suspenses that I’ve read.

The characters in this story were a bit too perfect with absolutely no real doubts about God or anything, but one part of this book stuck with me and I think it deserves a little nod. Without saying too much it’s basically a scene where Jess, instead of disregarding same instruction and being a hero, listens to her husband and goes and gets help without second thought. That’s usually not something a heroine does in a story and it showed extreme trust for her husband’s leadership to me. I felt it was worth noting. I think that detail was a nice addition on the author’s part.

There was a touch too little dialogue, a bit too much repetition of thoughts and ideas, and not enough portrayal of the character’s feelings so I could connect to them, but as I type this I remember my own failed attempts at a novel and how I struggled with these very same things so I give every new author a little leeway in this area. Another thing worth noting is that this book delves into some deep issues about Christianity and people sensitive to that could possibly did this book a bit preachy but for me I liked all the bible verses and answers to tough questions, I don’t get that very often in books so it was refreshing.

I don’t know anything about this author but I think I know that she lives around horses, possibly in the Mid-West, maybe even in Illinois herself because her knowledge and love of the area came out through these pages and made me fall for the land and horses too (and I’m a city girl). I also know that this author has amazing talent and with some work, she could easily become a household name in Christian fiction. If she isn’t published with a big publishing company in five to ten years I think I’ll have take up a petition to get her published. I actually really look forward to Mackenzie Dare’s next book and to seeing how she grows as an author.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad book particularly for a self-published debut. Fans of complex suspenses will enjoy this one and people who like a book that answers the tough questions will enjoy parts of this book. This book is actually a pretty family friendly read despite the genre it falls in. I’d say be careful of the age range but anyone thirteen and over should enjoy this one. I give this book a three out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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