Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Secret Fire Review: Taylor and Sacha

Book: The Secret Fire
Authors: C. J. Daughtry and Carina Rozenfeld
Series: The Alchemist Chronicles
Standing: Book 1
POV: 3rd person by Taylor and Sacha
Setting: London and Paris, present day
Genre: YA fantasy, paranormal

Source: ebook, Netgallery
Pages: 432
Publisher: Atom
Release: September 3rd, 2015

Favourite line: "Life is dangerous. If you want to survive, you get strong."

Rating: 4 stars

Blurb (Goodreads)
French teen Sacha Winters can't die. He can throw himself off a roof, be stabbed, even shot, and he will always survive. Until the day when history and ancient enmities dictate that he must die. Worse still, his death will trigger something awful. Something deadly. And that day is closing in.

Taylor Montclair is a normal English girl, hanging out with her friends and studying for exams, until she starts shorting out the lights with her brain. She’s also the only person on earth who can save Sacha.

There’s only one problem: the two of them have never met. They live hundreds of miles apart and powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.

They have eight weeks to find each other.

Will they survive long enough to save the world?

4 stars!

Two teens, living in completely different countries, are unsuspectingly thrown together upon the notion of an English student tutoring a French boy. 

Taylor is the girl with a clear future ahead of her, and will do anything she can to get into Oxford. Her grades are stellar, and all the teacher knows her. When her French teacher asks her up to tutor a French boy, she can't say no. That is, until lights start shorting out around her. Sacha is a boy from France, with both a life and death sentence hanging over his head. He's living life on the edge, knowing that his days are ultimately beginning to count down one by one. He's doing his best, but it's hard to really live life as a normal seventeen-year-old boy can when you're going to die soon.

The world of magic was quite intriguing, as it offered a fresh way to look at magic through a scientific lens. The idea of alchemy fits right in, since alchemy is believed to be both a magic and a science. I also loved the history in this book, how it relates to events that have happened throughout various generations. 

One thing that both Taylor and Sacha had in common was their protectiveness of their families. They both have a mother and younger sister living with them, and they can't stand to jeopardize their safety. Both have a strong sense of family, and are willing to lie, even run away, to protect them.

It was quite interesting to see how Sacha and Taylor made their situations work. At first, I feared that there would be the whole long-distance-relationship agony/desperation, in which they're both racing against time to get to one another. But it turned out rather well, with each leading their own storyline and dealing with their own problems. Neither are dependent on the other, which was nice. Of course, it should be no secret that they're a lot stronger together!

The only thing that didn't meet my expectations was the build-up towards the climax. Don't get me wrong, I loved the new revelations, but I also was hoping for something a little bigger, like an epic showdown or chase scene. I would have liked it to be slightly longer, as I think the book would have benefited from dragging the action out a little more. But apart from that, I really enjoyed it!


  1. Oooh, this sounds like exactly my kind of story (especially with Taylor and Sacha's strong sense of family, and both of them being independent but stronger together). I'll have to try to check it out soon!

    1. Yes, it's a great story! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have! :)

  2. Completely agree with your worry about the two character being in different countries but I loved how they met and slowly got to know each other :D
    It also made me a little jealous that I don't live in Paris :( it's quite rare to have the MC's in different locations but it worked so well for the book :)
    I felt the ending was a bit so/so and the death or a certain character a little predictable but that aside it was a fantastic start to a new series, I'll be sure to read the next one :D
    Was it me or did Sacha come across a lot old than he was? I was getting this whole smouldering vibe during the beginning through those online talks haha
    Fantastic review :D
    Cody @ Literary-ly Obsessed

    1. Agreed! I can't wait to read the next book, as I'm sure there's going to be a lot more action and confrontations! And now that Sacha and Taylor are together, I can only begin to imagine what they'll be able to accomplish...

    I absolutely loved the mix of science and magic, I think the two fit together perfectly in this case!
    I totally agree about the ending, though. I wish it would have been a bit more spectacular. And, of course the facts that it ends pretty bluntly ^-^
    Great review though :)
    Also, just finished The Last of the Firedrakes! Check out my review here!

    Caro @ Just Another Bookish Blog c:

    1. Couldn't have said it better myself! The ending just sort of happened, and I was wondering whether there was more when the book ending. Sigh. Oh well! But I'll still check out the next book, since I'm really curious to know what happens!