Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright
Lanore Vesta is in deep sh—trouble. Walking home along the streets of Santeria, a supernatural habitat community, she witnesses a murder. Fleeing the scene, she hopes the killer is not aware of her identity. Until a note on her door confirms the ugly truth—she’s attracted the wrong attention and it’s only a matter of time before the killer sacrifices her next!
Welcome to Wright’s alternate, supernatural filled universe. Where vampires, shape shifters, witches, and more exist and are persecuted by the US government. Forced to live in enclosed communities—think the Gaza strip or something like that, but these folks aren’t allowed to leave. The supes, as they call themselves, are boxed in by barriers. Santeria is depicted in Florida, not too far from Miami.
Living in a dangerous habitat, where super-human beings run rampant, seems bad enough, but it gets worse. Lanore is a mix-breed, a cross between two alternate supernatural species. The mix breeds get less freedom then their pure-bred counterparts. So being on the chopping block for a psycho killer isn’t really grabbing any law enforcement attention. Instead of waiting around till the killer gets to her, Lanore decides to take matters into her own hands, and that’s when the fun happens!
I enjoyed this story. It was different, sparklingly different then other Urban Fantasy I’ve read in the past. You’ve got a tough heroine that holds her own, and boy is she tough. Lanore is also incredibly intelligent, and distinctly reminds me of a stubborn, mystery-solving heroine type that is easy to love. Plus, Wright’s takes a play on different modern issues with a delightful spin. I don’t believe in spoilers, so I won’t divulge. The world she’s created is fantastic, very detailed, but at no point do you feel like you’ve experienced an info overload. Pacing and flow is near perfect.
Add in a romantic twist or should I say tryst. It’s a big triangle between Lanore, her Mixie activist group partner Zulu, and the ex-boyfriend MeShack. There’s plenty of scenes and drama to go with this group of three. Zulu and MeShack are both alpha male characters, and I’ll admit seeing them fight over a woman who doesn’t like to be controlled is a bit fun.
A bit of caution—this book is a little violent. Well, the killer is violent and the descriptions don’t downplay. I don’t believe this is a bad thing, but those with the ‘less is more’ philosophy may want to steer clear. My one other mention— I felt a little out of touch with the story for the first few chapters. I couldn’t put my finger on the exact reason, but there was a bit of jumping around in the plot at the beginning. After that, I was smooth sailing on cruise control.
Overall, I recommend if you’re looking for a new type of Urban Fantasy or a book that offers plenty of romance, violence, and solving a murder mystery a la Nancy Drew then Fire Baptized should be on your buy list.