Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: April 24th, 2014
THE MISSION. Her sister stolen. Her grandfather murdered. Her home burned to the ground. At just 16, her life destroyed. Now, Megan wants revenge. THE ENEMY. But the men who took Megan's precious twin are no ordinary soldiers. The brutal witches, armour-clad and branded with the mark of the True, will stop at nothing to take back the power they once had. THE DECEPTION. Desperate for a way to destroy them, Megan uncovers a terrifying lie. A lie that will cast doubt on everything she has ever known, and everyone she has ever trusted. A lie that will put Megan at the heart of the greatest war her world has ever seen...
True Fire is an intelligent YA debut centred around witches and prophecies. It's well-written and compelling, putting a fresh spin on witches in literature. These aren't the kind of witches who wear big black hats and ride broomsticks; instead they're violent and unforgiving, intent on ruining everyone and everything in their path.
Megan is on the run after her home is burned and her grandfather murdered. Pregnant and alone, she sets off to find her missing twin sister who has been taken by witches. Along the way she meets Eleanor and Damon who become her only family and source of friendship, though they too are hiding secrets of their own. Megan's whole life crumbles right before her eyes, but in spite of all this she never gives up. She's determined to find her sister, the only blood family she has left, and put a stop to the advancing witches (also called the True). She's a strong character, fierce and loyal, and she's more important than she'll ever know.
In all honesty this book took me a while to get into, mainly because of all the information unravelling so quickly. Once I reached a certain point, though, I was hooked and couldn't put it down. Also, it has one of the best opening chapters I've read - it's shocking and completely unexpected! It sets the tone for the rest of the novel, and gives the reader an insight into exactly what's to come.
I would have liked to have seen more of the True, rather than the fleeting glimpses we get. They're the most intriguing part of True Fire, and I have a feeling there's a lot more still to be revealed about them throughout the remainder of the trilogy. Their rich history will surely be explored, as well as why they're doing what they're doing and how it all came to be. For much of the book the True are just alluded to, mentioned in conversation as people to fear and run from. Upon actually meeting them they are as bad as has been made out; absolutely brutal, unforgiving and memorable in the process.
No doubt there'll be the inevitable comparisons between True Fire and Half Bad, another book about witches published this year. I've now read both books and think True Fire is the better of the two and the start of a series I actively want to continue. It's a bit too long, sometimes overwhelming and slow in parts, but it carries with it a sense of foreboding, a sense that something huge is going to be set in motion in the next instalment. I hope that is on the cards, and I hope it's a battle as thrilling as what the True are clearly capable of. I have a feeling that Megan's troubles are nothing compared to what's to come!
Thanks to Quercus I also had the opportunity to ask Gary a 'top 5' question, so I asked him about TV shows! (Of course. But nooo, he didn't choose Buffy!). See his answer below and then scroll down for information on a True Fire competition!
Gary Meehan's Top 5 TV Shows
1. Doctor Who: My first memory is of Tom Baker (not) fixing K9 and being scared of Daleks crashing through doors.
2. A Very Peculiar Practice: Dark eighties comedy. Peter Davison trying to hold it together while the world around him goes mad.
3. Spiral (Engrenages): Dark French detective series exploring the sleazy Parisian underground.
4. Rome: Polly Walker was one of TV's greatest villains. Not that Rome had many non villains.
5. Veronica Mars: It was a toss up between this and Buffy, but the ending of Veronica Mars left a hole in my life and Kristen Bell was the perfect teen heroine.
Tweet ‘I want to read TRUE FIRE the awesome new YA series to @quercuskids and @garypmeehan #TrueFire’ to be in with a chance of winning £50 of ASOS vouchers. The competition closes on Tuesday 6th May at 4pm. Good luck!