Smokeless Fire by Samantha Young

Synopsis:
12926109FEAR THE HEAT…

When eighteen year old Ari Johnson is transported from her bedroom into the chilling realm of Mount Qaf – home to the terrifying and mercurial Jinn – she learns a truth that rocks her very world. Suddenly her anxiety over college and her broken friendship with Charlie seem like small change compared to the war she now finds herself stuck in the middle of. Her unease isn’t lessened any by the hot guardian, Jai, who won’t stop following her around everywhere – a Jinn whose loyalty Ari hates to question but must. She has no idea who she can trust.

When the truth burns through her life in its determination to turn it to ashes, Ari will have to battle with ancient deadly creatures, epic family drama and heart-wrenching romantic entanglements.

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My Review:
3 stars — Generally meh.  It had a slow beginning, and there was a lot of info dumping (which I guess kind of had to happen given the whole world that Ms. Young was creating, but it was still a little dry and there was a LOT to keep track of).  The writing was ok, and I’m somewhat curious about what’s going on with the Sultan and the 7 Kings, b/c there’s a lot of mystery and machinations going on there, but quite honestly it just wasn’t enough to make me want to finish the series — I just want to find someone to give me a basic rundown on what happens, but I don’t want to invest my time.  :S

So even though this is a 3 star review, it’s probably going to come across negative b/c there just happened to be a lot that bugged me or just wasn’t intriguing enough and I wished for more from, kwim?  It’s not that it made for a bad book, but I guess I was just disappointed in the end.  I wasn’t that enthralled with any of the main characters.  Jai could have some potential, and was basically the only saving grace for me…but I just didn’t get enough of him in the end.  Ari had some good moments, but in general she didn’t really inspire me.  Her hangups where Charlie is concerned could have taken this down to a 2.5 stars…there was really not much of ANYTHING redeemable about Charlie to me, and so her obsession with him just made for boring reading.  She wasn’t that nice of a character to her other friends at all.  And she came across fairly flat a lot of the time.  I was actually really intrigued by Ms. Maggie, and then she just disappeared in the background and that was that.

I really wanted a bit more from the romance aspect, and it just wasn’t there.  I’m not a huge love triangle fan, and honestly I didn’t feel much from either side of the triangle.  I don’t know what drew Jai to Ari actually…it felt a little forced.  And Charlie was such a douche, I just became annoyed with him hanging on and her feeling conflicted over him.

And I thought the development of her powers was kind of too easy and boring….  I can’t really say more about that without spoiling.

So while it was cool to see a book series about a new and different paranormal aspect, it ended up sucking up a lot of time explaining and there wasn’t as much action as I was expecting.  So I won’t end up reading the next in this series, but I do have a few other first books in the series by Samantha Young, and I’ll definitely give them a try and see if I enjoy them more.

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