Finding Fire – Sheila Powell & Liz McMullen
White and dark magic fight a family feud.
This is book two of the ‘Finding Home’ series, a paranormal tale set in our real world but with demons and magic walking among us. Now, I will say right off that I haven’t read book one, but from the storyline I figured I could still read book two as a stand-alone story. This was mostly true but with hindsight reading the first book would definitely help allay a little confusion in the first few chapters of book two as to who is who and how they are related.
The main characters are two sisters, Tia Keating and Scarlett Weiss, both possessing magic and sharing a father but different birth mothers. Tia is on the white, ‘good’ side of magic, whereas Scarlett is on the dark, ‘bad’ side of magic. However, it becomes abundantly clear from the off that the boundaries between white and dark, good and bad, are very blurred. Some people with magic have both white and dark, and even if they are all dark, they are not necessarily evil. It’s an interesting premise and played out beautifully in Scarlett’s character—she’s dark magic, but not evil. Yes, she’s an assassin, but she has morals.
Scarlett appears at Tia’s house just after Tia’s daughter Magnolia is kidnapped straight from her arms. Tia runs a foster home for magic-bearing kids who have been kicked out of regular homes, and the kidnapping causes uproar in the house. Tia is distraught, and desperate to locate her daughter. As her behavior becomes ever more erratic, two of her most recent foster children run away, scared to stay in the house.
Now Scarlett, and all the other magical family allies she can muster, need to track down both Magnolia and the runaways before their mysterious foe, The Darkness, gets to them first…
Once I settled into the family dynamics, and picked up the threads of what must have happened in book one, this story ran on at a good pace. The descriptions of the different types of magic, and how it’s not only possessing the magic, but choosing what to do with it that determines which side of the good vs evil battle a person falls on, were explored well. The rivalries between siblings, and the angst of teenage lesbian love were good side stories, and Tia’s fall from grace was painful to observe. Seeing that through the eyes of the foster children was good writing.
The story is mostly told from Scarlett’s point of view but others do have their say throughout. There are a few jumps in the story that had me backtracking a little to understand the shifts in location and time, and some occasional violence that was a little gruesome for my tastes. However, the overall style is good, I liked the intricacies of the morals explored, and the ending was a good fit for what had come before. Read the first in the series and I reckon you’d love this one.
Buy the book here: