Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review - Burning Alive

Title: Burning Alive
Author: Shannon K. Butcher
Publishing Date: May 2009
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: C-
Sensuality: Hot

Helen Day has lived her entire life in fear of fire. She repeatedly has this one vision where she sees herself burning to death while a man stands by idly watching her and to top it all off he has a smile on his face. As she is dining in a local diner she recognizes the man from her vision. He is sitting in a booth across from her with two other men. She is certain her time of death is near and that her vision will come true.

Drake is a Theronai warrior who is fighting a losing battle against the Synestryn, animalistic beasts in order to save the human race and his own people. When he sees Helen looking strangely at him he is compelled to figure out why. As he approaches her and they make physical contact Drakes power transfers to Helen and she eases his pain that he has carried for centuries. Somehow these two are linked and Drake is determined to find out why.

Where to begin? I had a lot of problems with this book. First, of all the whole story takes place in two or three days. Helen goes from being a normal woman who brings meals to the elderly, to fighting battles alongside of Drake. We are not even talking about a normal battle, but a fight to the death with inhuman demonic creatures. Ummm, no I don't think so. Helen is a huge scaredy-cat, not a kick-ass fighting machine. I just didn't see the connection. It all felt so out of place for her character. Granted she doesn't want to fight and Drake is forcing her too, but still that aspect didn't work for me.

This brings me to my second dislike, Drake. I did not like his character at all. He took to many liberties with Helen, first by practically kidnapping her and then by withholding pertinent information from her that would effect her for the rest of her life. He was basically a selfish bastard. I honestly didn't see what Helen saw in him. Top that off with repeated mental lusting and I felt annoyed with the story.

The reason why I am so worked up over it is because while reading the story, I really felt like Butcher had something here with this new series. I could see its potential to become a really great series. She has interesting world building with the variety of different inhuman races. She also incorporated interesting side plots with various secondary characters, many of which I found exciting. It's just that all of this was overshadowed by the negatives. I am not sure if I will read more in this series. I will play it by ear when the next book is released.

Here is what others had to say:

The Book Lush
Darque Reviews
Babbling About Books, and More
Book Binge
Michelle's Book Blog

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.


Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

I enjoyed the relationship between Lexi, the spunky waitress and Zach more than Helen and Drake. Burning Alive was pretty meh.

Patti said...

I agree with your review...her "turnaround" was a bit too quick and unfounded. But the premise of the series is good and I'll buy book 2 to see how she works it. I assume it's going to be Lexi and Zach and I, too, liked those characters. Good review.

nath said...

Ugh... I can't remember if I bought this or not, but I think I did... and now, I know I shouldn't have ^_^;

Ah well, hopefully, the series will pick up with the next book.

Jill D. said...

Katie - Hah, yes I found myself more interested in the secondary characters than the main ones. Drake was not a favorite of mine.

Patti - I am on the fence on whether or not I will continue this series. I will stay on the lookout for reviews of the second book when it releases and make my decision then. I really believed that this series had some promise. Hopefully, the second book will have characters I like a little more.

Nath - Oh boy, sorry... I like your positive attitude. I usually like to give a new series a couple of tries before I give up, but with my TBR pile getting sky high, I may have to become a little more picky about which books I read.

Tracy said...

I remember thinking there was just too much going on and it happening all really fast. There were some good parts in it but like KB was liking Lexi and Zach more than the other characters.