Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter

September 18, 2007

Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire

by Gena Showalter

Pros: Funny and cute
Cons: Somewhat flip

How would you like to go to sleep tonight as your same old self, but wake up tomorrow with super powers?

That’s what happens to Belle Jamison. A girl with a snippy tongue and a hard time keeping a job, but with a heart of gold, gets unknowingly dosed with a “secret formula” that turns her into a weather wizard, able to affect all four elements, depending on how she feels at the moment.

This book starts off a little rough, seeming to aim more for clever quips than developing characters, but smooths out as it gets going. Belle, the heroine, remains smart-mouthed throughout, but begins to seem less like a cardboard cutout and more like a real person as things progress.

The hero – Rome Masters – is quite drool worthy and apparently somewhat of a saint, as he puts up with Belle’s childish behavior and gives her the benefit of the doubt until she starts to shape up.

The whole thing improves quite a bit once you get into the meat of the story – Belle learning to control her powers, chasing down the bad guy, saving the world – you know, the usual – and ultimately turns into a pretty fun romp through super power land.

I wouldn’t call this an award winner by any stretch of the imagination, nor is the premise especially creative. But overall, it was a fun and lighthearted story that kept me pretty well entertained with moments of outright laughter. An interesting enough book to encourage me to give this author another go next time I’m at the book store.

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Pros: New Characters added to the Guardian Series

Cons: The characters aren’t as likeable and the story falls a little flat

Overall ‘Playing with Fire’ was good if I’m comparing it to the worst novels I’ve ever read… Compared to the Aisling Grey series (this book continues with some of the same characters) it just wasn’t that good.

The fantastic thing about MacAlister’s previous work as a whole is that her characters are funny and relatable and the men are sexy and strong. The main character in this book (and the book that follows ‘Up in Smoke’) May and her “twin sister” Cyrene were just annoying to me. May is actually a doppleganger to Cyrene, who is continually in trouble b/c she gave up her common sense to make May.

The premise is that May then gets in all this trouble trying to help Cy out of the messes she gets herself into, meeting new characters and getting into new trouble along the way.

The premise worked with Aisling Grey’s character but not with these. I liked Gabriel (the silver wyvern) in previous books but it seems she has made him more of a lover than a fighter in this series, which just doesn’t work for me.

Sorry, I tried to reserve judgment until I read ‘Up in Smoke’, however, after reading both books I think I’m done with the Silver Dragon series. I will continue reading her other books, as long as they don’t slow down like these did.

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