This urban fantasy debut sees a woman who can control fire take on vampires and witches to save a child.
Diana is a Fire Elemental, capable of harnessing flames as she rides herd on all beings Supernatural. She and the other Elementals—Logan (Air), Gia (Earth), and Serin (Water)—work for Mother Nature to uphold the covenant, which is supposed to keep Supernatural entities from abusing magic. While frequently separated from one another on different missions, the Elementals communicate through the aether. Diana learns that Katie, a young Boston girl she once saved from a child molester, has once again disappeared. Logan tells her that “the wind speaks of vampires.” A proactive badass, Diana crashes the stately Broussard coven house to interrogate the city’s prestigious undead. She reluctantly teams up with the family scion, Alec, whose obsession with archaeology makes him a valuable, if nerdy, Supernatural ally. He’s also a rare Daywalker who, like her, has been searching for a missing child, this one the son of a Broussard family employee. As the clues point to a black circle of witches, the pair investigates New Orleans; Toulouse, France; and, of course, Salem, Massachusetts. In this series opener, Gilbert sends her characters jet-setting and provides excellent background information on each locale. Readers learn, for example, that the principal horrors of the Salem witch trials occurred in Salem Village, now called Danvers. Diana is also a pleasure to spend time with because her sarcasm never falters: “Why do all vampire names sound like they’re out of a bad regency novel?” The romance between her and Alec grows organically, and it’s easy to root for the underdog vamp to win over this fiery heroine. Her myriad powers should entice longtime fantasy readers, as when she studies meteorites and reveals, “I can tell when something is...not of the Mother.” The other Elementals appear in tantalizing snippets that should ready fans for subsequent series volumes.
A hot-tempered heroine and the charmingly undead prove a winning combination.