May 18, 2015

Review of Firebug by Lish McBride

 Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Page Count: 368
Format: ARC
Genre: YA
Ava can start fires with her mind . . . but is it a blessing or a curse?
Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren't caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She's one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn't like it one bit. Not least because her mother's death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.
When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can't say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.

Awesome cover? Check. Super interesting description? Check. Hype from a lot of bloggers? Check. Did that make me read it? CHECK. I've always been one to seek out books with good covers and fantasy elements, making Firebug a pretty good contender.  Sure there were a few bad-ish reviews here and there but that's never been something to stop me and so I went ahead with reading it. Firebug most definitely met my expectations and was all in all a very well written book that I tremendously enjoyed and look forward to the sequel.

Despite not having TOG levels of world building I still found Firebug's settings to be really enjoyable and worth reading. What with the cabin, woods, bookstore, and small town it had all the makings of a really cozy book. And it also went along really well with the whole magic and magical creatures aspect of the book (generally I find city type settings with these kinds of books to not be as good but there are multiple exceptions). Also, who doesn't love a bookstore in a book? The coziness factor and the quality of the descriptions make Firebug's settings almost on par with juggernauts like Throne of Glass and Snow Like Ashes.

Firebug continued to shine bright in the characters and plot area as it had with the world-building and settings. Ava has led a fairly horrible life and I wanted every single person hurting her gone (thankfully that happened for most of them). She's lost her mother, hasn't been able to lead a normal life, and has been basically enslaved by the Coterie. Throughout all of these she has somehow continued to fight back and not lose hope. Of course, a big part of that has to do with her team (Ezra and Lock) as well as her guardian Cade and people like Duncan. Ezra and Lock were not only Ava's first friends in a sense but were also her protectors. Even after her boyfriend (really thought the book was leaning towards a love triangle but it stopped just short) betrayed her and she was on the run they followed her and helped her. Amazingly well written characters, intriguing plot that kept me reading, and general awesomeness can all be credited to Firebug.

While Firebug won't be a trilogy we are at least getting a sequel and I will be grabbing that as soon as possible. Until then I'll be scouring the interwebs and trying to get it somehow. Firebug would be a good read for people who like magic, YA, and good characters.

4.5/5 - Really good book

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