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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 05/2019
  • 1796469068 B07NWZB6Q8
  • 302 pages
  • $4.99
Feeding the Fire
Amy Waeschle, author

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Publish)

A broken family. A deadly hobby. Can a firestarter and firefighter rise from the cinders of a painful past? Thirteen-year-old Jessie hopes a stepfather will fix her fractured home. But with her older brother missing and her mother riddled with guilt, Jessie feels more helpless with each passing day. Desperate to control something in her life, she sets her first fire and ignites a dangerous obsession. Firefighter and medic Zach would do anything for the young girl who idolizes him. But with Jessie’s mother so distant and depressed, he fears his love won’t be enough to give her the help she needs. Focusing on a rash of local arson cases instead, Zach notices a pattern that’s eerily similar to the brother he couldn’t save… When Jessie’s pain causes her to strike match after match, she captures the attention of a firesetter willing to teach the girl his secrets. And unless Zach can put two and two together, his best intentions could go up in flames. As the blazes spread, will a young girl’s cry for help raze her family to the ground?

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: This novel's plot tells the story in a well-paced, suspenseful manner. The strategy of switching between Zach's and Jessie's POV is very effective both for revealing bits and pieces of the story/backstory and for building tension as the novel reaches its climax.

Prose/Style: The author's prose style is very readable, almost transparent in the way it falls away in service to the story. At the same time, the text is beautifully written, with precise language and startling imagery. Third-person narration helps readers remain oriented despite chapter-by-chapter POV switches that create convincing and distinctively individual character perspectives. 

Originality: This book gives fresh treatment to routine story elements like abused/neglected teens, arson, and missing persons. The story is compelling, even though the "crimes" at its heart don't develop or resolve in a way that completely satisfies the mystery genre's expectations for "justice."

Character Development: The characters are well-drawn and original, with exceptional attention to small details that bring them convincingly to life. For example, although the tomboy aspects of Jessie's character sometimes slide close to skateboard-culture cliché, as much of her behavior is influenced by ongoing distress over outgrowing her one, ratty sports bra and the complete lack of support, understanding, or even awareness she gets from her grief-distracted mother.

Date Submitted: May 25, 2019

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 05/2019
  • 1796469068 B07NWZB6Q8
  • 302 pages
  • $4.99

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