I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Flameout by Keri Arthur
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Signet on July 5, 2016
Source: the library
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Also by this author: Fireborn, Wicked Embers, Blood Kissed, Demon's Dance, Hell's Bell, Hunter Hunted
Third in the Souls of Fire urban fantasy series revolving around a phoenix couple and her lover in Melbourne, Australia.
Kidnappings, ambush, lies, betrayals, blackmail by the cops, murders, and a heart-rending ending will keep you racing through the pages, for Arthur has concocted a nasty collection of bad guys with a horrible fate lying in wait in the form of that plague. As if that’s not enough, she’s holding a prophecy of even worse to come over us, er, I mean, over Em and her friends.
And still, there is a sense of fun in the Souls of Fire series. Arthur keeps jolting us back and forth between the joy and the horror using first-person protagonist point-of-view from Em’s perspective.
The major antagonist has some major power (for ill) and being Sam’s brother makes it all more poignant. It’s funny, but all things considered, Em and Rory are probably the least complicated of the major characters, at least when you compare them to Jackson and his life and network as well as Sam and the issues he’s facing.
Arthur certainly weaves a lot in. I have to laugh at how Radcliffe’s ex-wife takes advantage…and it serves him right. Not at all funny are the various sindicati (and others) who are after Em and those virus research notes. And we thought human politics were bad.
Arthur has introduced an interesting twist with one den of vampires and then another even nastier one from the supposed Prof. Heaton.
Beset on all sides, Emberly and her fire-enhanced fae lover, Jackson, are on the run from PIT, the vampires, the Red Cloaks, witches, and more as they struggle to find the leader of the Red Cloaks, find the research notes, and keep those witches from giving up their notes on anti-phoenix spells!
It’s been Em’s powers that have kept the bad guys at bay. Without them…
Emberly Pearson and Rory Pearson are a phoenix pair. Fated to be together as long as there is a chance. As long as there is heat and flame, there is life — or the possibility of life in rebirth for a phoenix.
Hellfire Investigations is…
…a private detective agency run by Jackson Miller, a dark fire fae who is also Em’s lover. (Emberly has become a partner in Hellfire.) Some of Jackson’s past lovers and/or friends include Shona who works for a security company and Adán, a fire fae, and Dmitri, an earth fae, who have helped out before.
…the Paranormal Investigations Team, a specialist squad of humans and supernaturals who investigate paranormal crimes. And they aren’t required to follow the law. Chief Inspector Henrietta Richmond is the head.
Detective Sam Turner had been Emberly’s lover until he learned the truth. He has his own truth, for he is also infected. Rochelle, also infected, is Sam’s partner, lover, and a fae. Agents include Brad Harvey.
Babaylan “Lan” is a blind Filipino shaman who provided a warning as well as information on how to kill an Aswang. Mike is a street kid who became friends with Rory and is a highly successful black marketeer. The Journeyman is the hostel where Emberly, Jackson, and Rory are hiding out. Frank is a guard at Rosen’s apartment building.
Grace Harkwell is a powerful one. Her coven sisters include Angie, Meredith, Rennie, and Neriana. And some are missing
The shifters in Melbourne include…
…werewolves led by Scott Baker and wererats led by Marcus Radcliffe. Mary Johnson is Radcliffe’s pissed-off ex. Theodore Hunt is a bully-for-hire and a werewolf with a major grudge against Em.
Rosen Pharmaceuticals is…
…led by the overextended Denny Rosen, who had hired Jackson.
…a collective term for vampire mobster factions while a den is a group of vampires. The Australian Vampire Council is the ruling body. Anthony De Luca was the leader of the modern-view vampires. He’s had sole control over Mark Baltimore and Professor Wilson. Amanda Wilson was Professor Wilson’s wife and a telepath for hire. Frank Parella leads another group. Professor Reginald Heaton knows entirely too much. I don’t know if Joseph Rinaldi is an alias or someone who works for Heaton.
The Red Cloaks are…
…vampires infected by the Crimson Death, the plague-like virus spawned from a failed government experiment. Luke, Sam’s brother, is their leader. Frederick is the witch in Luke’s employ.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a blend of oranges and greens. It’s Emberly, her body in profile on the left with her eyes looking back over her shoulder, her red curly hair waving in the breeze of its flames. She’s wearing a brown tank top and her forearm and torso are also roiling in orange flames. A green-cast wrought iron fence is immediately behind her, protecting her from the drop off to the night-lit city of Melbourne below her.
The title is true, for there is a Flameout, one that will leave you in tears.