Review: Into the Fire
Into the Fire, the last of the Night Prince books by Jeaniene Frost, was released on February 28th of this year. This book has been a long time coming and I'm really glad it's finally here. I have always loved Vlad and I really enjoy Leila and all of the other new characters introduced in this series. But, I think that it is definitely time for this series to come to an end. This book has been out for awhile, so I'm not going to hold back on the spoilers. So, be warned, spoilers abound! Keep reading after the jump to read my thoughts on Vlad's last book.
Now, I'm going to be honest here. I really loved the first two books and really enjoyed the
third the times I read them previous to this one. However, after reading the first chapter of Into the Fire, I realized that it's been so long since I read these books, I had no idea what they were talking about. So, I went back to the beginning and read all four books back to back. That may be part of the problem. Or, maybe my taste in books has changed since the last time I read these. Whatever the reason, I was not as enamored with the books this time through. I still enjoy the characters, but the plot is basically the same over and over again. Someone is out to get Vlad, they kidnap Leila, she gets free, she does something stupid, Vlad gets angry, Leila gets angry, they talk and Leila says she won't do anything stupid again. Vlad doesn't make any promises or makes vague, easily worked around promises. They hatch a plan. The plan goes awry. Leila does something stupid again, but she thinks she has no other choice. Vlad comes to the rescue. Bad guy is vanquished for now. I may be generalizing a little, but seriously, reading the books back to back made me realize how repetitive they are. Still enjoyable, in a mindless sort of way, but not nearly on the same level as, for example, Karen Marie Moning. Anyway, let's move on to my actual thoughts on this book.
This book started out a little slow for me. I can't explain why, but I had a hard time getting
through the first couple of chapters, maybe, as I mentioned above, it was the repetitive nature of the series. But, once we really got into the meat of the book, it was much more compelling. But, while reading, I kept thinking to myself, why does Leila always get kidnapped? I realize she's headstrong and independent and what not, but how has Vlad not locked her away yet? Or at least fitted her with some sort of lo-jack device. Yes, technically, she can connect to him and relay where she is, but if she doesn't know, now what? The Vlad I know wouldn't have let her do half of the things she does, Leila's feelings on the matter be damned. Yeah yeah....love changes you, blah, blah, blah. It just seems like a
Ian, of course, was a big draw. I love that smarmy bastard. We really got to know a fair bit about Ian in the book. The extent of his dabbling in magic being the biggest thing. He is
much more accomplished in magic than I suspected. He was a a major help to getting the information Vlad and Leila needed. Though, his encounters with demons are slightly worrying. That was a clear set-up for the Ian and Veritas book that is forthcoming. Ian needing to either get out of his deal, or kill the demon and Veritas out for demon blood as well. That couldn't be any more of a set up. But, Ian was as delightful and slutty has he always is. I love him so. I am excited, yet cautious, about his upcoming stand alone book. He is such a little sexual deviant, this book needs a dose of kinky, dirty sex. But, Ms. Frost seems to have moved past that kind of writing. I hope she can get back into the swing of things and give Ian the filthy book he deserves. And, given his non-discriminating sexual history, I kind of hope for maybe a threesome or ::gasp:: some man on man action. I highly doubt that will happen, but this kink fiend can hope. I love the different personas and mannerisms that Ian has for different people. And, the odd things that gain his respect. I especially love when he antagonizes Vlad and calls Vlad on his shit. That is the fucking best.
Demons are obviously going to play a big part in Ian's book, just as they did this one. Demons in this universe are fascinating. I do hope we get to see Denise again in Ian's book, since she'll be quite useful in getting out of Ian's deal. And, we know that Spade has a demon bone, the only weapon that kills demons. Will Ian ask him for it? Will we meet anymore demons? They seem to be a little more solitary than other supernaturals. We interacted with two different ones. And, we learned some more about how they operate and the powers they possess. I do wish we learned the backstory of Ian's ward, though. What did he do to require it? Also, do Vlad and Leila owe the demons anything at this point? I don't think they do. I think they paid up on their end of the bargain. But, will any of the actions in this book come back to bite them or Ian?
Ok, now there's something I need to get off my chest. Super mega spoilers ahead...you've
been warned......HOW FUCKING DARE YOU EVEN PRETEND TO KILL MENCHERES!! That was severely not cool. That was so unacceptable I had to put the book in the freezer and walk away for a few minutes. It doesn't matter that we are almost immediately let in on the ruse. That was very, very not cool. The fake death thing, or the readers at least thinking someone was dead, was used several times through this book and I didn't like it one bit. There was also one real death that was also unacceptable.
Now that I've gotten that off my chest, let's move on. We see quite a bit of Gretchen in this
book, which I think is always enjoyable. Even when she's being a whiny bitch. Hopefully, Gretchen's changing will be a good thing for her, since she's Mastered by Maximus and a descendant of Vlad's, she'll have protection for when she runs her mouth. I do wish we had gotten to see Gretchen in her newly turned, post-bloodlust state. I think that would be a sight to see. Also, I really, really want to see their father's reaction to this news. Hopefully they do it in person, just in case he has a heart attack on the spot.
It also seems that everyone in this book has a new power, as well. Vlad has accessed some sort of hyper-pyrotechnics in his grief over Leila in the last book. In this one, he has honed
this new power and can use it at will rather than only in moments of extreme emotional distress. Gretchen gets turned, which we know comes with a host of new things. We also learn that Leila and Gretchen come from a line of Native Americans with magic. The electricity within Leila's body isn't because of her accident. It's because her mother imbued in her their magical heritage. This is also what makes her immune to grave magic, which they exploit several times in this book. Honestly, the magic saving her from Mircea's spell seemed a bit like a deus ex machina to me. Yes, you can argue that Ms. Frost has been building it up from book 1, but it just didn't seem that way to me.
Overall, I did like this book. But, I was not as enamored with it as I was with the earlier books. As much as it pains me to say it, I'm glad this was the last book. It was time to bring Vlad and Leila's story to a close. Hopefully they will pop up in Ian's book.
What about you, Saucy Readers, what were your thoughts on Into the Fire? Are you going to miss Vlad and Leila? Are you looking forward to Ian and Veritas? Let me know below!