Life outside the domes is not possible. At least that’s what Insiders are told. Twins Eli and Talia shouldn’t exist. They’re Outsiders. Their home is a secret. Their lives are a secret. Arafel is secret. An unexpected forest raid forces Talia into a desperate mission to rescue her family whilst also protecting the sacred Book of Arafel from those who would use it as a weapon. As Talia and her lifelong friend Max enter the dome, she makes some unexpected discoveries, and allies, in the form of rugged Insider August, that will change the course of her life forever. Talia will stop at nothing to save her family but will she sacrifice her heart in the process? The Fire Sermon meets Gladiator in this brilliant YA debut and start of a fantastic new trilogy. Perfect for fans of Francesca Haig, Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth, Michelle Kenney’s debut novel will have readers asking August or Max? Insider or Outsider? And, most importantly, what would you do for family?
Book of FireFeatured
The book starts with main character Talia and her family out in the forest. Her Grandfather was one of the original people who inhabited the forest and made it the home they have today but with his responsibility for his people he’s been hiding many secrets. Talia discovers she’s to be the next guardian of the book of Arafal, a book that in the wrong hands could be used as a weapon. Suddenly soldiers from inside the Dome attack Talia’s home and take her twin brother and Grandfather as prisoners, leaving Talia determined to rescue them.
Talia is a fierce heroine from the very beginning; she’s impulsive and reckless in her beliefs and decisions and will stop at nothing to save her family. Talia and her best friend Max aren’t prepared for what they finds inside the Dome and to be honest I wasn’t either, it was like something out of my nightmares. Think Sarah J. Maas’ Under the Mountain meet Susan Ee’s Alcatraz.
Under the Dome Talia forms an unlikely alliance with Insider August, an elite soldier charged with the task of finding the book. August’s character is shrouded in mystery as he works directly under Octavia, leader of the dome and villain of the story but also takes risks to help Talia rescue her family leaving you guessing as to who’s side he’s really on and where his loyalties lie.
Talia and August's relationship is slow to progress but one I truly savoured, there’s obvious distrust as their both on opposite sides and the tentative and gradual progression to something that looks a lot like friends, though Talia would never call it that! I would love to see more development between Talia and August because I am all for the slow burn forbidden romance. I can definitely see a potential love triangle as poor Max didn't really get a lot of time to Talia how he feels as she's generally being a badass and trying to save the world and he's such a sweet character but for me there's only one winner and I am #TeamAugust all the way. No need for a love triangle, choice made!
Book of Fire is a unique and interesting start to a new dystopian series. Kenney wonderfully weaves mythology, history and science together creating a thrilling and gripping read filled with myths and monsters. It’s fast paced, full of action and heart. I’m looking forward to finding out a bit more about the world and to getting some much needed answers to some questions I have.