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Into the Fire by Kim Vandel | Book Review by Loraine Nunley

Synopsis from back of book:

When Kate meets Nathan, he reveals the existence of the Guardians — men and women with God-given “superpowers.” But not all Guardians honor their calling to protect innocent lives. Some choose to prey on the innocent instead.

Nathan’s touch leaves Kate with a flame-shaped mark on her wrist, the sign she’s been chosen as a Guardian. Suddenly she finds herself in the middle of a conflict that’s been burning between the Guardians and their Fallen brethren for over a thousand years.

While Kate waits for her dormant ability to emerge, she has to endure combat training with Hassan, an ex-terrorist who enjoys taking shots at her already slow self-esteem. He also draws out the side of her that wants to fight back, and if Kate can find the courage to believe God is offering the life she’s always wanted, Hassan might just be the one to help her start living it.

My review:

First, I have to say that I am not the intended audience for this book. I have not read many Young Adult (YA) novels since I was one myself. Also, this novel is written in first person point-of-view, which is typical of many YA novels, but is not my first choice in reading. I prefer third person POV. So this book took a little bit of time for me to adjust to. Having said that, here is what I thought about it:

I really enjoyed this book. While it did take me some time to get invested in Kate’s story, when I did I was motivated to push forward by all of my questions. The same questions that Kate herself is asking. Who are these “Guardians” and how does she fit into their world? What powers is she going to receive? Will she accept this gift that she didn’t want? If she does, what is she willing to do in order to embrace this life that she is being offered? Every chapter gave me more insight, but still left me with questions that I needed to keep reading to get the answers to.

The idea of regular people being chosen to have super powers was intriguing to me. I found myself empathizing with Kate as she dealt with 1) receiving this gift that she didn’t ask for, 2) dealing with true evil that she didn’t know existed and 3) people who have already accepted their gifts.

There is true suspense as she learns more about those who have received their gifts but chose to use them for evil instead of good. I liked how she struggled with how far she would go to stop it. Nathan and Hassan, who both mentor her, are really good at pushing her past her comfort zone. Like Kate, I didn’t like Hassan when I met him, but she becomes friends with him as she gets to know him and his abilities. By the end of the book, I felt as if Hassan was a friend to me as well.

One warning. This book has a little bit of a cliff hanger (or maybe it would be considered more of a teaser?) at the end. It is definitely open to being a series. After reading this book, I would definitely be interested in reading more. Unfortunately, I will have to wait until the author finishes that book, which I hope she does.

What I enjoyed most about this book:

The interaction between Hassan and Kate. I liked the way their relationship grew.

What I didn’t like about this book:

The teaser ending and the fact the second book in the series has not been finished yet. I’m a little impatient that way.

My rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Would I recommend this book to others?  Yes. Especially if you like YA novels. If I liked it and I am not the usual reader, then I really think that those who normally read them will really like it. One note though: If this book were a movie, I would probably rate it a PG-13 for some violence, slang, and swear word references (not actually used, but you know which one is being said).

Where can i learn more about this author and their books?

Kim Vandel, author website

Note:  I received this book in a giveaway.  I was not required to give a positive review.  All of the opinions I express here are my own.

-Loraine Nunley

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