Monday, December 16, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "Touched By Fire" by Catherine Spangler



Touched By Fire is the second book in Catherine Spangler's Sentinel series, published by Berkeley Sensation.

In the first book, Touched By Darkness, we were introduced to the residents of Atlantis, who now inhabit human bodies to defeat the Belians, who are evil Atlantian spirits that possess humans.

In Touched By Fire, we learn more about that secretive world and meet new Sentinels: the sexy Luke Paxton and his "boss", Aaron Masters, as well as get reacquainted with Damien and Kara, the main characters in Touched By Darkness.

We also meet sisters Marla and Julia Reynolds, conductors who are empaths and precognitives, respectively...and also "matches" for Luke and Adam. But it isn't easy for them to trust the men, as both sisters were brutally attacked and Julia was raped eleven years prior.

Marla, a curvy 30-year-old, must fight her fear, post traumatic stress disorder and repressed desire in order to help Luke track down a Belian who bombed a full school bus, and now plans to hit churches in Dallas.

Can they all work together and stop him before it's too late?

This book was a joy to read. I loved that Luke is attracted to Marla not in spite of her weight but because of it, reconfirming to us ladies who don't look like "Barbies" that we don't have to: people will love us for being simply who we are.

The story was a total mystery and you really don't know what's coming next, from beginning to end. It was great that Damien and Kara were not forgotten about entirely and that there was a large cast of distinctive characters to learn about.

PTSD, as I've mentioned, is a very debilitating disease and I'm glad it was used in an educational and informed way in this book. The characters don't come off as victims to be pitied, but as strong women to be cheered on.

There was one thing, however, I must mention. I do not know if it was meant as an anti-LGBT statement or just a poorly put way of saying Sentinels and conductors are always "balanced" sexually, but it is repeated an uncertain amount of times that sex is only between man and woman.

While I respect everyone's individual opinions, as a bisexual, I found its decisively stated way a bit unseemly. It made me feel as if I and others were abnormal.

As I said, I'm not in Ms. Spangler's mind, so I don't know how it was actually meant. It's my job as a review to give an honest review, and I'm letting readers of the LGBT community know that they may also feel as if they were slighted. I don't think that "successful sex" only occurs in heterosexual relationships. If, however, it was meant as "only males & females can have conductions", I understand completely.

That aside, I find Ms. Spangler to be a superb author and the Sentinel series is one of the best I've come across in a while.


Purchase Touched By Fire via:


Amazon (ebook & print)

Barnes and Noble (ebook & print)

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