Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: A Fire in the Heart
SERIES: Archangel Chronicles #8
AUTHOR: L.J. LaBarthe
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 216 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 3, 2015
Sequel to A Shot in the Dark Archangel Chronicles: Book Eight
Emotions run high as Archangels Gabriel and Michael join forces with their Brotherhood and their old allies, the Archdemon Guild of Glass Knives, to fight the new forces of terror that threaten the world. Loyalties are tested and loves are strained, some to breaking point.
This time, the threat is from a new direction, and no demons or rogue angels are involved. As their quest for victory continues, Gabriel and Michael and their allies find themselves drawn into the murky world of crime and speculations where who lives and who dies is determined by cash.
As all seems hopeless, their every measure failing, Gabriel and Michael must comfort one another and their loved ones. But even as they do all they can to save the world, can they save their love?
While I consider the previous book in this series to be the best I’ve read so far, I find I have mixed feelings about its sequel. Following the author’s modus operandi, this second book in the latest story arc is more laid back and features a lot of slower paced information gathering (which was totally fine and expected at this point). Unlike the previous two story arcs, however, I found A Fire in the Heart to be less plot driven than expected as it instead focused more on the characters themselves and the various relationships, both intimate and groups.
The story started out nicely, with everyone regrouping and dealing with the aftermath of the previous story. The stress that everyone is dealing with was evident in various ways but I liked seeing how they all turned to and relied on one another in order to get through things together. One of my favorite characters, Samael, (whom I think needs all the love) seems to be making a connection with someone so I’m thrilled on that front and I hope that a romance will come out of it eventually. That was, naturally, when things started to go pear shaped for other members of the group. A few things happened that I certainly wasn’t expecting (and I’m still not sure how I feel about it) but I think it will certainly make for an interesting change in the next book.
There wasn’t a great deal of plot progress in this book, in my opinion, and while I have no problem with taking time out for character development, I do confess myself a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to get more information regarding the TCC and their plans. That’s not to say that there wasn’t any progress made, but it was a lot less than I had been hoping for and after the previous book I was really looking forward to seeing the Venatores in action some more. I liked the story for what it was but, honestly, it wasn’t my favorite of the series and after how good the last book was…well. *shrugs* I look forward to the next book but it feels like I could take or leave this one and I hate saying that (I did enjoy it but I just didn’t feel this added a ton to the series as a whole); hopefully I’ll get to see the Venatores in action next time and I’m looking forward to getting more focus on the TCC.