Book Review: Fire by C. A. Harland | An Unexciting Adventure with Gangs and Demons Doing What They Do Best

Fire (The Ninth Circle #1)Tala Morgenstern lives for the hunt, embracing her heritage as a demon hunter. When her younger sister, Hartley, disappears while on the trail of her long-lost father, Tala must seek the help of her other sister Aiva, who has turned her back on the underworld of magic and hunting. Suspecting demonic involvement, Tala and Aiva race to find Hartley before she can be claimed by hell.

Their search takes them deeper into the bowels of Dublin’s criminal underground, where the gangs are led by demons, and the currency is souls. With each Circle of hell bringing new dangers, and new revelations about their own place in the demon hunting world, Tala and Aiva have to rely on each other if they are to stand a chance of fighting their way to the Ninth Circle, and the demon lord who is waiting for them.


"But tell me something, Nighthunter, who are you to decide which has more right to live, the man or the monster?"


When I had read the summary of this book, it sounded like a "Shadowhunters meet Six of Crows" novel since it had demon fighting with gangs. Who wouldn't that excite? Also, I was a newbie to book blogging and found myself requesting too many ARCs I wasn't that sure that I would ever get to. Once I got to it, I hoped with all my might that it would be a great read; unfortunately, it wasn't.

First, the characters are very distant. Aiva and Tala have the ability to be very interesting characters; however, I never get to connect with any of their troubles because they won't open themselves up to the reader. All I know about them is that their one mission is to save Hartley, their childhood was frightening since they always had a demon chasing them down, and Tala is a fighter while Aiva would much rather quit her Nighthunter job and read (yay!). I made it halfway through and there was no change in the characters nor did their goals change. Aiva still didn't want to deal with her past and didn't want to become a Nighthunter, except when it came to saving her sister. She still wanted to be ignorant to the world unseen to others. Tala has anger issues and cannot go ten minutes without punching something. None of that changes. I wish there was some sort of character development and not a direct route from Stop A to Stop B.

Next, this book is very slow and unnaturally too long for what it needs to be. Harland wants to make sure the reader is following along with the events; however, with having to keep up with the outrageous amount of names I have to remember, I got confused and bored very quickly. Plus, there seemed to be a lot of suspenseful moments that ended with a relieved sigh. This relieved sigh never escaped from a character's mouth nor from mine, but it seemed like the book had some emotions as well as I continued to read it. The same event, which would feature Tala and Aiva both fighting demons in search for their sister, would occur multiple times. I kept wondering if they were going to find Hartley at the end of the tunnel; however, by the third time Tala and Aiva fighting yet more of the same demons, I had enough. I wanted family drama, such as finding that a demon is actually their brother, from the interactions between the demons and Tala and Aiva. I wanted the gang leaders to shed their armor and threaten the demons to a brunch date to eat the most scrupulous waffles ever made. There was never any change, and I want to feel on the edge of my seat in every novel I read, even if it is just Nina Zenik eating waffles with Inej and Kaz on a quiet Saturday afternoon. I want the best for my books and my tears.

Lastly, this book reads like any other adventure novel. It may have some unexpected turns and an author who can write some good scenes, but it feels as if this novel was made from a cookie cutter. It has two kick-butt females, which is great, but they only have one goal: save Hartley before she dies and get attacked unsurprisingly. This book wasn't for me; however, from looking at Goodreads, it seems that a lot of people like this book.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy your day!


Do you have any paranormal/urban fantasy book recommendations? How do you feel about cookie cutter books? Is there anything that can save a novel for you? Have you ever quit reading a book? Chat with me in the comments below or on any of my social medias!



  1. I’ve read the The Mortal Instruments series and I can definitely agree with you that it does have some similar vibes. It must have been such a let down to read and not feel a connection to the main characters, some authors really make characters seem like your best friend while some authors definitely miss the mark. The lack of character development and from what it seems it was very predictable? I can definitely see why you didn’t finish the book, it sounds like it had so much potential though!

    I’ve never quit reading a book - only because I feel like the inner me REALLY wants to know what happens in the end even if I’m not all that interested if that makes sense! Have you ever read the book Shatter Me? I think you’d enjoy it!

    1. Yeah, it was sad. It sounded so much like the Mortal Instruments; however, it took all the parts I love-the wit, the writing, the suspenseful scenes, the quirky and developed characters- and didn't do it correctly. Although she may have written other books, it seems like she is still learning how to perfect her writing, a thing every person goes through at one point in their time. I might be able to push myself at one point to finish the book. Unfortunately, it might not be a couple more years until I can bring up my courage.

      I have read Shatter Me, but it wasn't my favorite. It was an okay book; however, none of the characters stood out to me in any particular way. I love Tahereh Mafi's writing style though. It is so poetic and rich so I will definitely try one of her others. But, I have heard that the series gets better. Also, Restore Me came out, and it is a piece of majestic beauty. I might try it again! Thanks for commenting and chatting with me! Have a great day!

  2. A shame this read wasn't for you. Sounds like a lot going on, but it didn't flow well.

    1. Hi, Naomi! Yeah, I was unhappy while reading this book; yet, I thought maybe it could work. It just couldn't. There were a lot of info-dumps. I couldn't keep all the information being thrown at me in order. Maybe, it will work for others. Thanks for reading and commenting! Have a great day!

  3. I did enjoy your book. I really love to read the story with the picture books. Last I Read Madeline online and enjoy the tale.


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