I’m not going to sugarcoat this, I just wasn’t here for Harmony of Fire by Brian Feehan. An angels versus demons good versus evil paranormal romance is typically going to be more of a miss than a hit for me. Regardless I gave this book a chance, but it didn’t break from my pattern. Continue reading to see the disconnect between me and this new paranormal romance.
The We walk among us–beings who existed long before humans ever did, filled with powerful magic. Owen and Alice are both Etherealist, rare humans born with magic and a target for those We that wish to take it from them. At nine years old and against her will, Alice’s soul was tied to one such powerful and evil We. She escaped and was trained as a weapon so she might one day break the bond and safely return home. Owen is a musician who is trying to outrun his past while keeping those around him safe in an increasingly dangerous world. Only through finding each other do either Alice or Owen have a chance of survival.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Harmony of Fire has two points of view, Alice and Owen. This was a strong point of this book. Since this is the start of a series by Feehan, they are setting up a lot of world-building here. Feehan was able to give a lot of starter world-building information by using the two points of view that are fairly different. I also think it was a positive in that the two main characters took a while to meet and when they did Feehan made it interesting by seeing it through both of their POVs.
Unfortunately, there were aspects of world-building that I was not into. I am not a huge fan of specifically the angels and demons good versus evil trope. So that was difficult to get past since it is a driving force of the world. I personally do not think it goes well with an urban fantasy plot, I prefer to keep that type of story in Medieval Europe where religion was such a huge part of everyone’s lives. (However, that is not to say that this was a hugely religious novel even with clergy members as minor characters).
Themes and Romance
The fact that Owen was a musician was overdone, in my opinion. I understood the idea of music as an outlet for the Etherealists powers, but it felt like a power ballad taking itself too seriously. Again, that is a very personal thing as this may be something that other readers would like!
The romance between Owen and Alice that emerges in the second half of the book was not for me. It was one of the “I can’t help but be supernaturally drawn to you” romances. I think this allows for jumping into a relationship without having characters truly know each other and develop. Although they aren’t enemies, in one of the first romantic encounters between them the two definitely thought they were each other’s enemies due to misunderstandings. It was not a particularly compelling enemy-turned-lovers scene.
I suppose objectively one could say it was a fine book, but Harmony of Fire was just not for me. Most of the items I’ve briefly nitpicked above feel like “that might be just me” territory. I still found it difficult to objectively review this book since it hit the wrong buttons on me hard. At this point, I’m unsure if I would read a sequel to this book. Someone else, however, may find this book interesting and I would not stand in their way!