Books,  Five Stars,  Review,  YA

Fire City by Bali Rai

Author: Bali Rai
Publisher: Corgi – Random House Imprint
Published: August 30th 2012
Pages: 496
Format: Paperback
Source: ARC from publishers
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon, TBD


Twenty-five years ago the world changed forever. A great war, which had raged for three years ended, and the reign of the Demons began…
Within the crumbling walls of Fire City, fifteen-year-old Martha is a member of the resistance, a small band of humans fighting for freedom in a lawless and horrifying new world. Amidst the chaos of battle arrives Jonah, a handsome stranger with a thirst for revenge and a power to destroy the Demon rulers.
As Martha and Jonah’s lives collide, the future of the resistance is altered forever. The battle for humankind will now begin. An epic story of catastrophe, survival and the power of humanity.
THE HUNGER GAMES meets TERMINATOR with Demons, by multi-award winning author Bali Rai.

The Demons Arrive
As soon as I heard about Fire City, I was instantly intrigued and simply had to get my hands on a copy. I am so glad that this intrigued ended up with me reading a great book that I would easily recommend to others. It was the first Bali Rai book that I have ever read so that fact that it is his first dystopian did not phase me. It was so easy to read and the style made me know why so many others have loved his other books. He is now an author whose books I will be going out to look for and read because I want to read more of his style. It was a great book, and this is the reasons why I felt this way.

The World Changes
Whenever a writer sets about to start a novel in the dystopian genre, they have to acknowledge that a large proportion of their book has to be dedicated to world building. It would be impossible to simply send the reader off into this unknown place without any true bearings. This can often be the part of writing that many authors struggle with because finding the balance to create the perfect description is often incredibly difficult but somehow Bali Rai has managed it. I loved his way of describing the world, the place they were staying in and everything else that was going on around it. It was never too much but it wasn’t given all at once either. The reader was always given just enough information to get them through a particular chapter.

But really it was the very first chapter that caught my attention. Written in the first person, you were pulled straight into the action and you could just imagine the entire chaos around you. At each point the necessary details were given for the reader to imagine what was happening without being given the full picture. And then he turned up and suddenly our narrator isn’t omnipotent. It was such a lovely moment and really made me want to read on. It is the perfect example of everything this book has to offer.

The People Stand
Really, all I want to do here is tell you about every single character that was mentioned in this novel but I know that if I did that we’d be here for an incredibly long time. While the ‘cast’ is long, and it can take a while to get a head around who is who to begin with, I found myself liking – or disliking as the case came to be – almost everyone who was mentioned. Bali has managed to make the characters feel more like real people then just plot points. The actions of the characters, which in turn made ripple effects in the plot, didn’t feel forced but felt like actions of what someone in that situation would do. It was great to read and made it really enjoyable and emotional throughout the book.

My favourite character was Jonah. With his mysteriousness at the beginning of the book, to his reveal and his past and just everything else, I found myself really enjoying his presence. He had ulterior motive but he was also passionate and protective and he just cared about this people. He tried not to let his emotions get the better of him but sometimes he couldn’t help it. I also really liked the Mace. A giant, called so due to his overbearing size but you really shouldn’t let that fool you because underneath it all he’s an absolute sweetheart of a character with a heart of gold and I just want to give him a great big bear hug a lot of the time! Oscar and Tyrell were also golden characters who I was really interested in reading and I really hope to see more of them in the next book!

Chaos Overcomes Them
Twisting and turning at so many different points, there was barely a moment in this book that was slow. There was always something going on and with so many characters to deal with, you can understand why. The plot really kept me entertained and intrigued with a lot of curious holes that needed to be uncovered. Unfortunately the book did leave a lot of questions when it finished but this has just left me wanting to read the second one straight away! I really enjoyed the pace of the book and while there wasn’t a lot of focus on it, you could see that this book has a lot to see about friendships in the face of adversary and it looks like a rather interesting romantic plot could come into play very soon.

It would be impossible to finish this review without noting the style of the book. In fact, the style of it is so difficult to actually describe in a review. It starts out as a first person book, jumping from one POV to another but then it switches to third person for a bulk of the book, going back to first person every now and again. At first this style was difficult to get on board with but once I got a handle on it, it was one that I actually really enjoyed. Naturally I’m a bit of an attention jumper, easily distracted and easily bored but with this writing style, I was able to appreciate the book that much more. However, I can definitely tell that this would not be everyone’s cup of tea. This is a style of writing that I am really interested in seeing more of and so really, I cannot wait to read more of Bali’s books to see if he does the same across his works.

Will It End?
All in all, this book kept me entertained. I fell in love with the characters and the plot and the writing style and I just need to know what happens next. There were some great emotions spread throughout the book that had me gasping, laughing and crying and I was just fully invested in it. Fire City tells the tale of a city under corrupt ruling and how people try to find their voice and their strength to fight back. It is also the tale of a community of people all fighting towards the same goal, having each others’ backs and doing everything they can. It is a brilliant novel that I would easily read again and again. I know there is probably so much more to say but I don’t want to go on for too long. All I can say is that I hope you go out and get a hold of this book to try it for yourself.

** I received this copy in return for an honest review **

five stars 
five out of five hearts



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