I was glad to have the opportunity to review The Burning Bush (Habitat #2) by Kenya Wright after enjoying its predecessor a great deal.
When you’re a mixie, sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands to survive. In Lanore and Zulu’s case, that includes taking down a real mover and shaker, vampire businessman Dante Bottelli. After bombing his production plant, everything goes downhill and Lanore gets roped into a bizarre murder case, the Burning Bush Murders to be exact, involving the bodies of young women being tied to burning bushes. There is undoubtedly magic involved, making this not so cut and dry. Solving a murder and managing a turf war…it’s safe to say our heroine’s got her hands full.
There are some of the usual urban fantasy tropes that aren’t my favorite when it comes to this series, particularly the love triangle, but the actual story is engaging enough for me to deal with it. Their vigilante antics raise the stakes immensely, producing rather unpredictable outcomes. The characters themselves have quite a bit of flaws, but it makes them more relatable because of it. While the series is heavy on the drama and grit, there are quite a few laugh out loud moments as well. I can honestly say that I wasn’t bored for even one page.
Though longer than the first book, the Burning Bush is even better. The world building is as solid as ever and you really feel for the mixies being treated as second class citizens. Lanore, Zulu, and MeShack’s hardships take you on an emotional roller coaster that you feel even until the very last page. My jaw dropped to the floor. I wanted to make sure my file wasn’t corrupted and I somehow didn’t get the rest of the book. Think of the series finale of The Sopranos when it cut off suddenly and you stared at who had the remote. The “ending” if you can call it that was just unbelievable and it left me immediately wanting the next novel.
This series is as good as it gets when it comes to this genre, so I highly recommend it.
*ARC provided by Author.
Review: Kenya Wright’s Fire Baptized pleasantly surprised me! Just when I start to wonder if I’m just reading too much Urban Fantasy, I run into a fantastic story like this one.
There are no secret supernaturals here. Since the ’70s humans have isolated these species to live in restricted areas. Think District 9 with a little less slum…in some parts of town. They identify all of the different species with brands on their foreheads. Of course there is a class system within their kind, with mixbreeds being on the bottom. Our main character, Lanore, is one of these mixbreeds. Armed with the power of fire, she is far from helpless, but she doesn’t really look for trouble either; it merely finds her.
She ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time when she witnesses a grisly murder, eventually making herself a target for this satanic killer. The biggest fear is of the unknown. And to stop this killer she has to team up with a couple of hunky–but helpful–friends as she investigates the murder herself and tries to stay alive.
The world building is fantastic, intriguing, and easy to follow. Some of the characters and the monsters are awesome too, if not a bit sympathetic at times. The story is a shorter read than most, but it still qualifies as a novel and I felt that it was the perfect length. Because of this, I can honestly say that I wasn’t bored for a second. I would say that it’s a lighter Urban Fantasy with some dark elements to it because I did find myself laughing a good deal of the time.
Lanore is an African American character so I thought it was awesome to change it up from what we usually see (not that I don’t love that too). It’s just great to see diversity in this genre. I also really liked the descriptions of how she uses her fire power.
I don’t like love triangles and this one didn’t change my mind. That is pretty much the only harp I have with this book, so I grinned and beared it. Though there is interracial romance, the racism and discrimination is a species-based issue and it gets pretty ugly, making you really question “humanity” or the lack thereof.
Overall I am truly impressed, especially considering that this is Wright’s debut novel. It kicks off strong and never lets up. It was a very imaginative world and I am eager to read the next book. While this book solves the mystery, there is definitely a larger overarching plot that is developing, so we have a lot more to look forward to.
And on one last note, I must say that I love love love the subtlety of the cover. I think it looks great!
*ARC provided by the author