REVIEW: Red Hot Fury by Kasey MacKenzie
Dear Ms. Mackenzie,
I’ve been a huge fan of mythology, and remember consciously discovering it in fourth grade with the study of Greece and Greek mythology. Disclosure time: I spent the latter half of summer prior to entering fourth grade reading the Greek myths. I really wanted to be Artemis and spend my days hunting with my girlfriends. Of course I didn’t really get that Artemis wanted her girls to be more than friends…but I was barely 10 years old…and kids are much more aware these days. When I saw the title of your book, I couldn’t wait to see where you had taken the badass Greek bearers of vengance.
In Red Hot Fury, humans and Arcanes went war when humanity decided that having a bunch of magical beings around wasn’t such a wonderful thing. An Accord was struck between all of the Arcanes (trust me, there are a lot of Arcanes. I was slightly overwhelmed) and the humans after the super-powerful Sidhe were exterminated; something the Arcanes didn’t think was possible. Arcanes don’t have it easy in the human world; they’re a minority that is carefully watched and generally distrusted. The Furies serve as the Arcane police force and try to ease human/Arcane relations. They’re the only type of Arcane that is born human and matures into their powers.
Furies are few and far between, their numbers suffering from the war, and many of them work with humans. Marissa “Riss” Holloway is Chief Magical Investigator at the Boston PD, a position that was created when the government realized the all-to-human police force wouldn’t be able to handle Arcane crimes on their own. Riss is called to Boston Harbor to ID a body that supposedly belongs to one of her missing Fury sisters, and discovers that the body isn’t all that it seems. Within hours of making this discovery, Riss is suspended from the Boston PD, someone tries to kill her and shoots her human partner Trinity, instead, and she’s forced to employ a mercenary who happens to be her ex-boyfriend, to help her out.
Sounds like a lot, right? It is. All of the above happens in the first two chapters, along with a trip to the Otherworld Fury Land, and my head was spinning with the speed at which things were getting thrown at Riss. Luckily, Red Hot Fury is told in the first person, so all of Marissa’s experiences are clearly articulated. The problem I had with the first person treatment was that there seemed to be quite a bit of info dumping happening, and I was having a hard time keeping up. Marissa’s relationship with her human family (and her Fury mother) was well told in the first person, but the description of her relationship with Scott (her ex) suffered from what I think of as first person wall. I can see the action happening but I’m unable to experience it. I really couldn’t get into Marissa’s head when it came to her emotional reaction to Scott, and for a romance to work for me when a book is first-person viewpoint, I need that emotional connection.
While it was obvious to me who the baddie was when said baddie first appeared, I realize that might not be the case for others that read the book. I would also like to note that the knowledge didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book, nor did I want to beat Marissa for being unable to figure it out, because I was able to step directly into her shoes and see why she missed the clues. It took me a little while to get into the book, but I’m glad I persisted and wonder how the book will go on to a second installment due to the first-person nature of the narrative. The back cover copy reads “First in a thrilling new Urban Fantasy series” so I’m assuming there will be another fury; Marissa is from Tisiphone’s line, so we’ve still got Alecto and Megaera to explore. I’m hoping we do. B.
This book release date is June 29, 2010.