Since the 1970s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.
Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.
Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend MeShack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.
While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?
Fire Baptized is a rock solid debut from author Kenya Wright that far exceeded my expectations. A book filled with suspense, mystery and oozes with sexiness. At times it reads more like a crime fiction with supernatural elements than a paranormal romance, and I'm sure everyone can find something they would enjoy in the book.
The book revolves around Lanore Vesta, a Mixie, an offspring between two supernatural races. One night, Lanore came upon the scene of a brutal crime and soon after finds herself caught in the path of a crazed killer. However Lanore is not one that would take it lying down, and she is determined to catch the killer before the killer gets to her.
I really enjoyed how different this book is. It is a mixture of several different genres with a bit of everything and has a tough female lead that won't let men decide what she can or cannot do. Even the cover is not the traditional female lead in tight pants with bared torso.
In Fire Baptized, Wright has created a novel with many layers that go far beyond a simple urban fantasy story. On one level, it is a crime story that also has the obligatory love triangle that seems to go with Paranormal Romances. On the other level when looking deeper, it is also a story commenting on oppression and segregation.
Supernaturals are rounded up by humans and forced to live in walled cities known as Habitats. In these caged societies, there lies further divides between species and the lowest of them all are the Mixbreeds, the ones who do not belong to any group. While the purebreeds can still wine and dine on the finest, the Mixies live in the gutters with no education and live day to day by what they can scavenge. In order to survive, some of these Mixies sign pacts with vampires to become their food and toys for 20 to 30 years in the hope that they might have a brighter future.
This got me thinking about our policies towards minorities and immigrants. We treat them as sources of cheap labour but do we do enough to make sure that they are well integrated into the society and do we provide adequate chances for them to secure a better future for their next generations?
In creating this alternate world, Wright has put in some marvelous touches to make this truly and uniquely hers. The addition of the Santeria religion into the story offers the reader a richer and grander sense of history. I would love it if the author could make available additional information on this world for those of us who are fascinated with the history of Habitat.
Fire Baptized is an exciting and gripping read. Highly recommended for fans of Urban Fantasy.
Note: Review based on copy provided by the author.
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