If you like paranormal romance and mooned over the movie “300” about King Leonidas and his Spartans, then you should really enjoy “Red Fire”. Deidre Knight introduces readers to a world where King Leonidas and six of his fiercest warriors were given a choice by the god Ares to continue to Elysium or be transformed in various ways into warriors for humanity. A big DUH as to which one they chose. For over 2500 years, they have fought the demons to keep mankind safe while slowly realizing that their transformation has also made them toys of Ares. The oracle of Delphi also gave each warrior a foreseeing with a rhyme and the name of the woman who will be his love and complete his soul…if he can wait and win her. This first book is the story of a world-weary Ajax.
Ajax is tired. Tired of struggling against demons; tired of answering to King Leonidas, the Oracle, and Ares; tired of waiting for his promised woman; and even tired of the endless women he plays with. But his ennui soon disappears when he heads to Savannah, Georgia on his latest mission and runs into the woman he’s been waiting for…and his most bitter ancient enemy.
Shay returned to Savannah for her mother’s funeral and to find out the truth of a recent letter raising questions about her parentage. Her family’s history is one of fighting off the demons that plague mankind…but always in secret and always only the men of the family are gifted with the ability to see and feel those demons. So why is it that Shay has recently acquired those same abilities? And who in the heck is the ‘angel’ with the black wings who keeps coming on to her? If he’s not an angel, then just what is he and what does he want with her…other than the obvious?
As with any ‘first book’ in a series, there’s a ton of world-building going on. History, reality, character introductions, etc take a lot of ink and I sometimes found myself wanting to skip a few pages to get on with the ‘action’. So I’d have to say I noticed a lack of ‘smoothiness’ (my own vocabulary) regarding pacing. The plot is an interesting one and I like the idea of the brave few being rewarded for their sure and certain sacrifice to save others. However, just as in real life, sometimes rewards can turn a bit sour and that’s certainly true for Ajax. I didn’t quite buy Shay’s brothers’ reasoning for refusing to allow her access to their family history; especially in the face of the ongoing events. So although I did enjoy ‘parts’ of the plot, I thought there were more than a few weak spots and/or holes that needed to be filled.
The sex scenes were hot and certainly more than NC17; some of them also happen when he is partially or fully ‘transformed’ so if that icks you out, beware. What woman doesn’t love the idea that a man will wait forever (or close enough) for the one woman meant for him? If 2500 years doesn’t count, well…how long is an eon anyway? The relationship stays rocky for most of the book and I did get irritated by a few TSTL (too stupid to live) actions on the part of the heroine. Sure, why not go to the graveyard where you’ve already been attacked once by demons…ALONE!?
Did I enjoy reading this book? Yes. Will I read the next one, “Red Kiss” (which is already out, Jun09)? Most likely. Will I continue the rest of the series? I’ll have to reserve judgement and see how Deidre Night’s next one goes before I answer that one.