Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Kregel Blog Tour Service book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Title: The Secret of the Journal series, Book #1: Mortal Fire
Author: C. F. Dunn
Format: trade paperback
Genre: Christian, Suspense, Thriller, Touch of Romance
Source: Kregel Book Blog Tour Service
Published: USA: Kregel Publications / August 2012/ ISBN: 978-0-5-85721-202-3
U.S.: Kregel Publications / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Overstock / Christianbook /
UK: Amazon / Book Depository / Overstock / Sainsburys / WH Smith / Waterstones
Find the Author Online: Twitter / Facebook / Blog
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Why I Read this Book: Many people are unaware of my fascination with history. After all, I chose to major in literature instead of delving in to the world of the past. (That's a story for another day.) In any case, when I first saw Kregel advertising the book tour for Mortal Fire, I knew I was going to be in love, just from reading the brief synopsis. A book combining history, a good mystery, and literature ...put the phone on silence and bring on the tea!
What I Liked: Knowing that C.F. Dunn is "across the pond," I figured British spelling and vocabulary would be used throughout the book. I was not disappointed. For those of you wondering if it detracts from the story, please know that it does not. In fact, as Emma is from the UK, it lends an air of authenticity to the story.
When we come across a traffic accident with a fatality within the first few pages, I wasn't sure what to expect. After all, I was just being introduced to the characters and I didn't really know their motives yet. Reading on, I found myself being sucked into the story as Emma, being a stranger in a strange land, found her way amongst the academia and was introduced to new friends and some unsavory characters on staff.
I enjoyed getting to know her colleagues and students (from Emma's perspective) and enjoyed the conversations about Emma concentration of history and how it has shaped her beliefs. I even enjoyed the anticipation of a blossoming relationship that held immense mystery. But as a librarian, I doubly enjoyed Emma's trips into the land of literature to find the journal she so intensely wanted to understand. I even understood her actions with the journal, but was disappointed that she was stopped so violently from learning its secrets.
The characters are complex and multi-faceted. Just as I thought I understood what they were thinking, something would crop up and completely change the direction of my own thinking. (Isn't this true of us as living humans as well?) I'm completely engrossed in the story and want to know what happens next. No, I need to know what happens. Does Emma discover the mysteries surrounding her recent relationship? How will she react to the truth that she so desperately wants to uncover? And what will the secrets in the journal reveal about her own and others' pasts?
What I Didn't Like: The ending. No, seriously. I don't want to say too much to give away the story, but I was aggravated at the ending, only because I don't have book #2 : Death Be Not Proud in hand to continue reading. We're left at a cliff hanger and I'm dying to know whether my theories are correct in what's happening in the plot. I'm attached to the characters and I want to make sure they're okay. That, and I think I'm in love with Matthew too. Hurry up with releasing Book #2 PLEASE....
Overall Impression: Fabulous work! You will not be disappointed if you pick up this book (series). Make sure o carve out some time to read it because you will not want to put it down. Yes--it's that enthralling!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Let me know what you think! Happy Reading!