Willow’s Review of First to Burn by Anna Richland
I’m thrilled to be a part of the First to Burn book blast event and I offer my purrs of thanks to both Tasty Book Tours and the author, Anna Richland, for allowing me to read this book for an honest review. If you’d like to see all of the blogs who are participating in this event, please click on the banner above. =^.^=
Enjoyable characters and an intriguing plot line combine to create an action packed book! Richland definitely knows how to keep a reader on the edge of her seat.
Theresa is a fun character. She’s tough as nails, driven to succeed on her own, sarcastic at times, and expects everything to be orderly, but she’s also got a romantic, dreamer like side to her. She wants to live a normal life, or at least as close to normal as she can get, and I can’t begrudge her that. I can see a lot of myself in her character, which is why I think I liked her as much as I did while reading. Wulf is a mystery. He’s not exactly a wounded soul, but he’s been through enough over the years of his life to be guarded and a bit surly at times. When I first was introduced to him, I couldn’t help but think he was a bit reckless too, and as the story progressed, that thought grew. I’m not saying that he goes out of his way to put people, or even himself, in danger, but he doesn’t hold back when he gets into fights. And I don’t care that he’s immortal…taking bullets while attacking your shooter is reckless regardless of whether you heal right afterwards or not. Still, he was an interesting character and my whiskers did curl in enjoyment during many of his scenes.
As romantic couples go, I had difficulty accepting their relationship at first. Not because they didn’t make a steamy pair, they did, but because outside of instant attraction and their military careers, there didn’t seem to be much that really connected them. Maybe I’m over analyzing things (or I missed it completely), and yes, relationships have been built on less, but I couldn’t figure out what motivation either of them had for falling for each other. I enjoyed the romance scenes, loved the banter between both characters, and cheered at the end when they got their “happily ever after,” but I couldn’t keep from questioning why they initially got together in the first place.
The plot itself was amazing. I’ve always enjoyed the myth that surrounds Beowulf, so to read Richland’s spin on it was a treat. I’m rather looking forward to seeing where she takes things in the next book. And as much as I want to talk about what happens and how Beowulf ties in to the story, I don’t want to give away spoilers, so I’m sure my statement sounds rather ambiguous and for that I apologize. Let me simply say that the way in which Wulf discovered he was immortal and his connection to Beowulf is fascinating.
So what did I have a problem with, outside of the initial difficulty of believing the romantic interest between the lead characters? What kept me from giving this book higher than 3 paws? Call me an odd feline, but the book felt long to me. Several times I felt like the story could have ended, but it just kept going, one event after the other. And some of the events I felt could have either been left out or the resolution to them was to simple/too abrupt. I couldn’t help but feel like Richland was trying to pad her story by creating extra hurdles for her characters to jump through before reaching the end of the book. Not sure how much of this was done to set up for the rest of the series, or if it was just for effect, but just when I thought the story would end, I’d realize that I still had 30% of the book or more left to read. An example of a resolution that was just too simple: how Wulf handles the bad guy at the end. It’s just…sigh, I don’t know how to even begin to explain why it didn’t work for me.
Regardless, for a debut author, and the first of a series, I really liked this book and will definitely be reading the next one when it comes out. If you enjoy books that deal with myths, have a lot of action, mystery, and romance, you’ll want to check this one out and give it a try. =^.^=
About the Author:
Anna Richland lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. Like the heroine of FIRST TO BURN, she joined the army to pay tuition, a decision that led to an adventurous career on four continents (if standing on the bridge in Panama that divides North and South America counts as two).
She donates a portion of her book proceeds to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.
To find out about her October novella, HIS ROAD HOME, and the next Immortal Vikings romance, THE SECOND LIE, visit her website at annarichland.com and sign up for her newsletter.
Anna is offering one lucky winner a $10 Starbucks Gift Card! To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below: