Fire Wave, #1
Released 1 March 2021
I know my rating makes it seem like Fire Wave by Ana Stanojevic isn't good, but it really is good, and I really enjoyed it. According to GR, 3 stars translates to "liked it," and if you look at my personal rating system, 3 stars is a good rating.
The biggest problem for me was that FW just felt kind of lackluster. Like, that sounds harsh, and I don't really want to seem that way, but I don't know how else to put it correctly. But I'll try.
So, where FW fell flat was I just expected and wanted more from it. And that's mostly just execution. Also, the MC, Aiyana, was a little annoying and sPeShUl.
That's the bad stuff; let me just say all the good things now. I loved the idea. The twists were pretty good. I still want to read the rest of the trilogy.
One last thing before I begin the full review. I read this about 9 days ago, and in the time since, I've read 3 other books — one of which I am currently reading. As such, my memory of the finer details may be slightly fuzzy. Please bear in mind that if I forget anything or misremember something, it's NOT because the book was bad; it's just my slightly spotty memory.
So with that being said, on to the full review!
World Building ~ 7/10
FW is set on what I believe is a futuristic Earth. Scratch that, I'm like 99% that it's in the future. I think the concept is pretty cool, but like, I'm not even 100% sure how the timeline lines up. I like the concept of the city (sorry, I can't remember the name, but that's just my memory).
I also like the conept of invading aliens. I'm really curious to know more about their species, why they picked Earth, and a whole lot more.
So, really I like the concept of everything, but I really think there needed to be more.
Characters ~ 6/10
We have our MC, Aiyana, and our main villain, Opsidia. While there are other characters, they aren't really as important to the story (at least, at this point). Overall, the characters are pretty good. I think they're described pretty well and are given some interesting characterizations.
Our MC works in a lab, but after strange events, she dons a superheroine alter ego, dubbing herself "Fire Wave." I like the path that she took to turning herself into a superheroine, and I like that she was so investigative, trying to get to the bottom of things.
However, I had a few problems with Aiyana. First of all, she started out kind of stupid. Within the first couple chapters, she decides to go in disguise to investigate a crime scene. What does she choose as her disguise? All black clothing and a beanie pulled down over her face with holes for the eyes and mouth. She then grabs her old baton as defense. Doesn't that scream "criminal" to you? But of course, adding a cape makes it better. 🙄
Then, in said disguise, she decides to take the public transportation to the scene of the crime! Like, what the heck?! How stupid are you?!
Second, when she finally decides to make her own costume, she thinks she can completely design, cut, and sew a brand–new costume all by herself and within a single day. I don't know about you, but last I checked, it's not easy to design a costume yourself, get it right on the first try, and to have it done in a single day.
Also, I'm not entirely sure how chains would help her to swing. Maybe it does, but to me, I feel like I kind of have to suspend any disbelief. And how would no one see her swinging around?
The other major thing, other than her stupidity, is that she seems just way too SpEsHuL for my taste. I think she needs to struggle a whole LOT more. With how easily everything gone for her thus far (and **SPOILER REDACTED**), I think her luck is about to end.
She's an alien. Um, she has another alien shadow, per se, who she just doesn't like. And, um, she's . . . just . . . bad?
I'm not really sure what else I can say about her. I definitely think she's an interesting character and villain. And I think her backstory is pretty interesting.
However, I'm still pretty confused as to her backstory. Also, I really don't know why she's a villain. Like, what's driving her? Really, as far as I can remember, she's bad for the sake of being bad.
Look, I need a reason as to why she's a villain. Give me some moral grayness! Or not! Just give me a reason as to why she's so bad.
Plot ~ 7/10
I might not be a major fan of what the characters did, but I think the plot as a whole was pretty good. I like the bits of mystery sprinkled in there, and I liked reading Aiyana's journey to becoming Fire Wave. Plus, I am excited to see what happens next.
But again, I wish there were more. Give me a bit more of an involved plot. Maybe some more action? More character growth? More investigations? Something!
Prose & Pacing ~ 8/10
As far as I can remember, the prose and pacing were really quite good! I think the pace was good for what was contained within the novella. However, if there were more or if the second book is longer, I think the pace should be about the same, if not a bit faster.
Grammar–wise, there were a fair amount of grammatical errors. Nothing too major, but for a grammar nazi, it just kind of drew me out of the story. My best recommendation to the author is to have multiple people grammar check it. (And it doesn't even have to be me! Just find at least 2 different people to carefully check it.)
Overall, I really like FW, and I definitely will read the second book. However, I just wanted more from it, and I am really disappointed that it just didn't live up to my expectations.
Nonetheless, I would recommend it others!
Major thanks to the author for providing me a free e–copy in exchange for an honest review!
Full review posted to Goodreads
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