Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Firebug by Lish McBride

Title: Firebug
Series: Firebug #1
Author: Lish McBride
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 23rd 2014
Source: Netgalley & Henry Holt and Co

Description via Goodreads:

Ava can start fires with her mind . . . but is it a blessing or a curse?

Ava is a firebug—she can start fires with her mind. Which would all be well and good if she weren't caught in a deadly contract with the Coterie, a magical mafia. She's one of their main hit men . . . and she doesn't like it one bit. Not least because her mother's death was ordered by Venus—who is now her boss.

When Venus asks Ava to kill a family friend, Ava rebels. She knows very well that you can't say no to the Coterie and expect to get away with it, though, so she and her friends hit the road, trying desperately to think of a way out of the mess they find themselves in. Preferably keeping the murder to a minimum.


Firebug is a really solid series debut. I really enjoyed what this book had to offer, and though I had a few faults with it, I would definitely pick up the next book in the series to see what happens next.

Perhaps what I loved most about this book is the characters. There were some that I loved and some that I hated, and some that I'm still torn about, but they were each a distinct voice. Every character was in place for a reason, and despite the fact that there gets to be a fairly large cast of characters, it was easy to keep them straight because they were defined so differently. I know this is Ava's book, but for me her best friends/co-workers Ezra and Lock stole the show for me. Ezra is sexy and he knows it and has a great sense of humor, and Lock has cool powers and a sense of protectiveness that I find endearing. I look forward to seeing what happens with them in the future. And as much as I'm supposed to hate the "villain" of this story, Venus, I actually kind of love her. If I were a villain, she's who I'd look to for inspiration. Just sayin'.

Speaking of Venus, I also really liked the settings of this book, particularly Venus's nightclub. It's a front for her "organization" that sounds like the place I'd want to party if, you know, there wasn't the whole threat of imminent death thing going on. It kind of reminded me of the bar scenes in the Sookie Stackhouse series, which was a welcome comparison to me.

The "organization" that meets is the Coterie... Kind of like a mafia system for paranormals. I thought this was all very well explained and I liked the way it was laid out. I also liked the wide variety of gifts/breeds/whatever you wish to call them that were present. There are vampires, shifters, elementals, blood witches, nymphs, you name it, this book has it. It was well pulled off, diverse without being too much.

This book has a nice blend of humor (I laughed out loud more than once, admittedly), action, and fighting. The pacing is good and there's always something happening. And when there's not... Well, there's the tone that some stuff is going to start going down soon enough. I also totally didn't see the ending coming, so props for that.

The fighting, while overall well-written and rather plentiful in this book, is one of the drawbacks for me, at no fault to the author. I have a hard time visualizing fight scenes a lot of the times, so in books were fighting is heavy it sometimes gets hard for me to follow. That's just a personal quirk, and I'm sure you won't have a problem with it unless you feel the same about fight scenes as I do.

Firebug is a great start to a young adult fantasy/urban fantasy series that I think fans of magic and paranormal will enjoy. I look forward to book two in the series and recommend it to anyone who wants to read about a paranormal mafia and the bring down of a vampiric goddess tyrant.

Thanks to Netgalley & Henry Holt and Co. for my copy in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Ugh I'm so jealous! I wanted to win this so bad! I'm so glad you enjoyed it though, it definitely tells me it's worth the investment of buying the book (orrrrr asking Santa for it), either way I can't wait to get my hands on it! This is an excellent review, as your reviews always are <3

    1. It's really good. I know that you like paranormal creatures, so it's right up your alley.