Friday, February 3, 2017

Deborah Cooke - Firestorm Forever

Three key firestorms mark the culmination of the Dragon’s Tail Wars, pitting the dragon shifters
known as the Pyr against the evil Slayers. The Slayers have struck a blow against mankind, in bringing a pestilence from the ancient world, which is spreading like wildfire through the human world. Sloane Forbes, the Apothecary of the Pyr, knows it is his duty to find the cure, but the solution is elusive, his beautiful neighbor is distracting, and time is running out.
In moving to a remote farm in the California hills, Samantha Wilcox has left her demanding career behind by choice and on principle. It’s too painful to remember her own failures as both mother and physician, and not a point of pride that she fell short of the measure, so she’s determined to start fresh. She’s going to live differently, following her instincts and savoring life’s pleasures—like the hot sex with no commitment offered by her mysterious, sexy neighbor. He’s no more of an herb farmer than she is a tarot card reader, but Samantha is determined to keep their illusions intact—at least until she discovers not that Sloane’s one of the Pyr, the dragon shifters are responsible for the epidemic that stole her son’s life. When the firestorm sparks between these estranged lovers, can Samantha resist its dangerous attraction on principle alone? As Slayers and Pyr gather for the final battle, can Samantha and Sloane work together to save the world and build themselves—and their respective kinds—a future?

Comment: This is the last installment in the Dragon fire series by author Deborah Cooke. This series has been on since 2008 and I've accompanied the releases more or less since 2010, when I discovered this world. Now, almost ten years after, it has come to an end. In one hand I do feel sad but it's also amazing a series has a good, fulfilled ending and gives closure to all the readers who have enjoyed it until now.

In this final book, we finally have Sloane's HEA. He is a character we've know since book #1 and his story was a long time coming. We also have two other romances inserted in this book, as well as the final resolution to the plot we've been following since we've met the Pyr and wanted to see them succeed in their battle against the Slayers.
This book also deals with the continuation of the things that happened in the previous book, especially when it comes to the public reaction to the existence of dragons and how humans are affected by them. The romances seem to take center stage but the plot is interesting to follow.

So here it is the final book in this PNR series. It does feel good to be finishing a solid series and having interesting romances for most of the books. 
It's positive to see the author took time to expand this final installment a bit more to not only provide HEAs to key characters but also to conclude the arc, if we can say so, in a satisfying manner. 

The main focus in this book is Sloane's HEA, something readers have certainly wanted for a long time. I liked his romance with Sam, how we had time to see their love and relationship develop. Sure, it would have been nice to see them together more often at some point but considering all the  related scenes, not directly about them, but to them, it was enough to give a healthy dose of understanding about what it meant for them to be a couple and how the future could be a good one for them. Sam was a bit more explored as a character than Sloane, but then, we got all the other books to learn things about him here and there. This romance was the third firestorm mentioned in the blurb and, like a note from the author in the beginning of the book says, Sloane's firestorm would always be the last one to happen.

The other two firestorms were interesting, not because of the characters alone, although that was great, to see Drake and Marcus, mysterious characters find happiness would always be great, but because their stories took time to properly develop, their connections with their mates, Veronica and Jacelyn, seemed to tale longer thanks to all the page time they had. 
In this regard, the author took a chance of writing a longer book, mixing three different romances with their own special page time and still dealing with the fight scenes and plot closure, as well as slowly introducing new possibilities. I do think it paid off, because this feels like a well thought book, with structure and a good ending.

It was also great to see practically all the characters we've came to love and care about, showing on the page, having air time to do something rather than just be much effort it took to keep everything tidy and orderly so she wouldn't make a mistake or downplay things taken for granted... for this alone, i think the book is a good one.
Of course a bigger show of the final battles after everything these characters went through would have been interesting or if more twists happened but that's ok. I think things weren't as spectacular as one could imagine because the ground is set for what can happen in the next series and for that, some not as obvious details had to be included.

Apparently, the dragon stories will go on, but simply not focusing on this plot anymore. We meet a new villain in this book and any possible future stories featuring a different group of dragon shifters will certainly follow a completely different path from this one, that has been familiar to us since the beginning of the series. What left to wonder is, will we have appearances from our beloved characters there? 

As for this one, I'm happy for Sloane, for how his belief in positive things mixed well with his values and his respect for the traditions and the honor of his Pyr father and ancestors... he isn't the only character here but I got the feeling, despite the several POVs he was the true hero of this book, just as he has always deserved. At least to me.
Here's an applause for a series not going to drag eternally to forgetfulness. It's good when things end when they are in a good place/position. Cheers!
Grade: 8/10

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