As I mentioned in our interview, I’d worked with Jenny in an online critique group. I was so pleased to hear that she moved ahead with her novel and was eager to read the results.
The Amazon blurb:
“Destiny my ass.” Jade Glaster refuses to believe the Fates rule her life. Orphaned after an attack by Scourge soldiers, a young Jade vows never to be powerless again. Once grown and strong, wielding the affinities of fire and healing, Jade protects innocents as an enforcer for her world’s elite policing agency—The Talon.
When an emissary mission to reinstate a race of exiled Elves brings Galan into her life, Jade finds herself overwhelmed by new passions, some welcome, some not. Although Galan’s antiquated views on women offend her to her heated core, when the Scourge attack his family, she helps him navigate the outside worlds he knows nothing about—the magical Realm of the Fair and, stranger still…the modern streets of Toronto.
Through their sensually charged pursuit of justice, Jade discovers that when dealing with the Fates—destiny is never random.
Jade Glaster doesn’t think much of fate. Her life has been a literal shit storm to this point (in fact, the series was originally called the Shit Storm Survivors, which I now note has been tactfully changed to Scourge Survivors) and if this was fate’s doing, Jade wants none of it.
Her Talon code name is Blaze because of her red hair and fiery temper, which often results in the unleashing of a literal blaze of power.
One of Jade’s laments at the outset of the novel (aside from the Scourge murdering her parents), is her apparent frigidity. When her duties for Castain, chief of the Fae gods, bring her face to face (and crotch to crotch—had to be said) with Galen, however, Jade’s problem ceases to be one of not reacting to men, but of her overwhelming reaction to Galen.
This is not what she needs right now. She has a mission to complete.
The writing is taut and gives the reader Jade’s attitude with both barrels. I like the ‘tude and the sexy bits, which are well-done. I only have a few issues with Blaze Ignites, and most of those are matters of personal taste (word choice, creative decisions) which other readers will likely not cavil at.
Events begin with a bar fight involving an Otterkie that is never mentioned again. Readers often expect details like this to have a pay off somewhere later in the novel. It’s a loose thread that should be woven in.
Though conflict, physical and otherwise, abounds, the novel takes a while to pick up the pace. When things swing into high gear, the author keeps them at a high pitch with few exceptions.
I have to point out, for a supposedly “kick-ass” heroine, Jade gets her ass kicked more often than not. This I did have a bit of a problem with, especially given the denouement of the novel (which I will not give away).
It just seemed to me that Jade shouldn’t have had her ass handed her or to be in need of rescue as often as she did. Yes, Galen needs a maiden in distress, but there might have been another way around this.
Blaze Ignites is a solid contender in the paranormal romance and urban fantasy sub-genres and suitable for fans of Laurel K. Hamilton and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Readers of Charles de Lint will find Madore’s work enjoyable as well.
A good first novel in a new series that I’m sure we’ll see more of in the future.
My rating: four out of five stars.
About the author: