My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy Academy
Age Category: Young Adult
Type of romance: MF
Fire and Water don’t mix.
I’m Sophia Henley, your typical college freshman. I never expected a lion to be stalking me, nor for fire to come shooting out of my hands to protect my sister. Next thing I know, a drop-dead gorgeous guy shows up on my doorstep to sweep me away to a magical school, where I’ll learn to control my element and bond with a powerful creature called a Familiar.
I don’t believe I’m the savior of an ancient tribe, or the missing piece of a prophecy that’s more myth than reality. Worst of all, I’m forced to enter the Elemental Cup, where I’ll either earn my place in this society… or die trying.
The night I met Sophia, I didn’t think we’d form an undeniable connection. But I’m from the Water tribe, and she’s fire. I’m forced to push her away even as I’m falling for her.
I lost everything, yet Sophia makes me whole again. Our world is fixed on keeping us apart, but we’re in this tournament together. We have to keep each other alive at any cost— or I’ll give my life for hers. It’s pretty clear.
If I continue to play with fire, I’m going to get burned.
I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time. When the authors took this series wide again I figured this was my chance to read it now that I could buy the rest of the series as well. Then I decided to listen to the audiobook version instead as I’ve been having more time to listen lately and with how long this book was I figured I might get faster through it by listening. This was one of those cases where I picked up a book that perfectly fit my reading mood and it was awesome. I really enjoyed this book and it was quite the long read as well, which was nice, so I could read this book for a long time.
This book is told from dual point of views, we get Sophia and Liam’s point of view. Sophia thinks she’s a normal human until one day when she’s out on a walk with a sister a big cat creature attacks them and she uses fire to scare it away. Liam is send to take Sophia to Orenda Academy where she will learn about her powers. The book has a bit of a Harry Potter feel at first with how Sophia finds out she has powers and is taken away to a magical academy. Sophia is totally lost at first and it’s great seeing her discover this new world, find her familiar and make friends. She’s slowly finding her place there and growing into her powers.
This kept my attention and I really enjoyed it. I don’t read a lot of YA or academy books, but that was exactly what I was in the mood for and it’s just great when you find a book that fits your reading mood like that. I liked the magical feel of this book and the world building. There are some parts about the history of these elementai we find out that was quite interesting and the way they have their own culture. I liked reading about the elemental powers and how this world is so full of animals as everyone has a familiar. Sophia’s familiar is pretty awesome and cute. I liked seeing how the familiars are part of everything as well.
There is quite a lot going on with this book, there’s Sophia discovering her powers and this new world, then there’s the fire prophecy and her figuring out what it is, there’s some romance too as Liam and Sophia grow closer and then later on in the book there’s this whole thing with the elemental cup. I found all of the story pieces interesting, although I did feel some plot lines kinda took the lead in some places and then faded to the background in other parts. I couldn’t wrap my head around how the tribe thought the elemental cup was a good idea, but it did make for some interesting scenes as Sophia and her teammates have to work together to try and make it through it alive.
I liked Sophia as a main character. She is new to this world, but tries her best to figure things out, but she’s also not afraid to speak her mind or let it know when some of the customs don’t make sense to her. I liked that about her. As she’s not born into this life she has a outsider perspective on things, which was interesting. It also was so fun to see through her eyes and discover this new world she got thrown into and then seeing how she finds her way and grows into her powers. I really liked her friendship with Imogen and Jonah. I also liked her bond and connection with Liam.
I liked being able to not only get Sophia’s point of view, but also Liam’s. Liam has grown up in this world all his life and is more familiar with everything. It was nice to be able to see two so completely different point of views. He suffers from a chronic illness that no one can diagnose and it leaves him struggling. I thought it was well done how the authors made this part of the book. He also struggles mentally after something he went through. You really feel how much he’s hurting, but also the light Sophia brings to his life. I totally got how tough it was for him, but I did wish at times he was a bit nicer to the others. He could be a bit rude at times and snap at others. It was great to have him find friends who support him and are there for him. He’s kinda grumpy, but it’s clear he does care a lot.
I liked Liam’s connection with Sophia. I liked seeing how their romance develops and they slowly grow closer. Their romance has it’s own struggles as in this world people with different elements can’t be together, as Liam is water and Sophia is fire it’s forbidden for them to be together. Liam feels this more strongly than Sophia as he grew up here and I did feel at times that because of this he can’t fully commit to her yet as he still struggles with those beliefs. At the same time it’s becomes clear how much he cares about Sophia. I am looking forward to see how their romance develops in future books. There are some great scenes with them together and I am really curious how they will make this work. I liked the romance and it was great to see things from both their point of views.
I enjoyed spending time in this magical world and figuring out more about the world and how it works. The world building is great and I liked reading about the magical powers and discovering new things that where possible with their magic. The familiars really add something to the world and I liked reading about all the unique creatures and seeing animals everywhere.
I liked the narrators for this book. I think this is the first time I listened to a dual narrated audiobook and while it took some time getting used to it, I enjoyed it. It’s kinda weird how everyone’s voice sounds different depending on whose point of view you’re in as Liam’s chapters are narrated by the male narrator and Sophia’s chapters by the female narrator. I think it helped that the chapters were quite long, so you don’t switch back and forth too often. I liked their voices, although I thought the male narrator did most of the guy voices better, while the female narrator did the girl voices better. They both were good in doing different voices for different characters and I liked that. It was pleasant to listen to this one and I plan on listening to the rest of the series as well.
To summarize: I had a fun time listening to this book. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while and I am glad I picked it up now. This book fit exactly the type of read I was in the book for. It was a enjoyable read and I enjoyed spending time with Sophia and Liam and getting to know this magical world. I liked both Liam and Sophia. Sophia is very new to this world and I enjoyed seeing her discover it. I also like how she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. Liam could be grumpy and a bit rude at times, but when you get his point of view it does make sense and he’s struggling with a lot. I liked the connection between Liam and Sophia and seeing them grow closer, there are some great scenes between them. Their romance is forbidden and that’s a constant struggle for them, I am curious to see what will happen in book 2. There are some great side characters too like Jonah and Imogen and the familiars. The world building was awesome, I liked reading about all the elemental magic and the familiars. The world is full of magic and filled with magical creatures, it was great! This book has a lot going on and multiple plot lines weaving in and out. I kept wanting to read more and see what happens next. The narrators did a great job with this one and I enjoyed the dual narration once I got used to it. Both narrators were pleasant to listen do and did different voices well. I really enjoyed this book and the tidbit of info that gets revealed at the end has me eager to start book 2 soon!