Book Review: Fractured Flame by Erin Embly

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Fractured Flame by Erin Embly for review, just check out how beautiful this cover is!

Here's the blurb:

I’m not an assassin witch, I swear…

But one bad day at work as a Guardian was all it took to make everyone think I am.

Darcy Pierce—infamous, soulless, lethal. Betrayer.

It’s all good, though. I fit right in at my new job as the magical bartender in a supernatural strip club, where no one cares about a girl’s deadly reputation as long as she has a nice rack.

Only now I’m being stalked by a schoolgirl bully who breathes fire, and her hot dad keeps trying to get me to touch his dusty old book. I’m used to men trying to trick me into touching things, but this is a whole new level of creepy.

I’m almost grateful when the assassin who framed me comes back for round two…

Except I’m not the only one in danger. My new friends at the club are the ones under fire now, and I can’t fail them like I failed before.

Once a Guardian, always a Guardian, right? That’s what they always told me, even when I ran, and I still don’t know if they were right.

Whatever I am, it’s personal now, and I have a hot-blooded killer to hunt.

Fractured Flame is the first book of Firebird Uncaged, an urban fantasy series containing action, snarky humor, mythical creatures, rogue witches, Aztec gods, swearing, and some slow-burn romance.

With a blurb like that, how can you not snatch it off the shelf? Or virtual shelf, if you're Kindling it. *sneakily taking notes to write own blurb*

I feel like Urban Fantasy is one of those genres that has the potential to be over-saturated and to make a book stand out, it has to have that extra something. Fractured Flame definitely has this and has it in spades. I can see this getting optioned by Netflix somewhere down the line as it reminds me of Supernatural. Not so much the story content as this is definitely a female centric book but the sucks-you-in-what-is-sleep-anyway content. This was definitely a book that I binge read and actually emailed Erin asking when she was going to write another 500 pages. The supernatural worldbuilding is done so well that you can easily see Dean & Sam working away here, though I think they'd meet their match in Darcy Pierce.

One major win for me is the strong female protagonist Darcy. She's not your run of the mill heroine, not the kind who needs saving and not the sometimes overfilled trope of "I have a lot of trauma and I'm a battler." Don't get me wrong, I love that trope, my own protagonist Maeve is a chick with a ton of trauma battling away but again I think you have to have that little pop extra to make sure that your protagonist doesn't get lost. Darcy is this kind of extra. Her trauma is cleverly revealed in chunks, making you thirst to know more of her backstory. Its cagey and close to her chest, which is exactly the way Darcy plays her cards.

Darcy has found a new job and a new life that she's happy with until of course life comes to kick her in the teeth. Her friends are in danger, there's hot alphas everywhere - not all of them are good guys - and she has to come to terms with her own past and the world around her. She's finding out about new areas of  magic she had no clue about and having to do it fast. There's no time to catch her breath and it makes for a rollercoaster of a read, probably explaining why I tore through it!

Every single time she seems to have it worked out the rug is whipped from under her and Darcy's desire to win against all odds is tested. She has this nightmare of failing again as she thinks she failed as a Guardian hanging over her head and it adds a beautiful touch of pathos to all of her interactions. Her internal monologue is beautifully developed and gives you just enough each time to think, "Dammit Darcy!"

Oh the slow burn romance though! Think the best fanfiction you've ever read, you know you have one. The one you save on your phone and read late at night. The kind of slow burn where you're like "Is this evvvvvvver going to happen or what?" This is the same kind of slow burn romance and I have no doubt will have the same kind of followers that those fanfictions have! You are so invested in this romance that at times it can be so frustrating when it just doesn't happen already, but frustrating in the way that you just have to keep on reading to find out.

Fractured Flame is a book that you'll love, race through and then come back to again. If you're like me, you'll sneak read it when you're not supposed to and go to bed thinking about it.

If like me, you're already a fan then you can read the first two chapters of Fractured Flame here

It's also available for pre-order over on Amazon here

Let me know what you think!