*Trigger/age warning for explicit sexual situations
Ocean’s Fire, by Stacey Tucker, is the first in the Equal Night trilogy. Young Skylar has recently lost her mom, Cassie, to the relentless ravages of cancer. In the maelstrom following the loss, Skylar learns of her family’s legacy and the true power of the Book of Akasha. Is she ready for the responsibilities newly thrust upon her? It is time for the power of women, and women’s mysteries, to reclaim their rightful place in world cosmology. Thankfully, Skylar has help along her path in the form of Ocean, Beatrice, and others.
This book had a strong theme of loss that hit me hard. My paternal grandmother raised me for many of my formative years, shaping a great deal of my spirituality. Even well prepared, her passing was a harsh blow to me. Skylar struggled with the loss of her mom through much of the book, making it easy for me to be invested in her and her growth through the novel.
I enjoyed the lore behind the book. It came across as well researched. I love when books incorporate known mythology, bringing it forward for new audiences and interpreting it in new ways. It rarely fails to get people interested in the ancient lore as well. Greek mythos, and the lore of the Akashic records, have been of interest to me for a long time as an anthropologist, a lorekeeper, and one interested in the magical side of life. Women’s mystery cults and women’s mysteries today are sadly lacking in many stories, as they are lacking in society as a whole. As a whole, we’ve chosen to cut off half of what makes us human. If writers today can help shepherd that neglected half back into the mainstream of our modern mythology, perhaps that change can filter to the rest of society.
Oh, and horses! I loved the horses. Especially on the beautiful cover. I must say, this cover ranks as a favorite for the artwork. While the main lore is Greek, the horse symbology reminded me of Rhiannon of Welsh myth, and, of course, the horse goddess Epona.
There are explicit sexual situations throughout the book. Nothing in the description suggested this might be contained within. It would have been just as well served with implied sexual scenes as with those bordering on the erotic. If this is to be part of the draw of the book, as with books by Laurell K. Hamilton, some mention is needed in the book blurb/synopsis. Several of said scenes did feel contrived and not necessary to the story.
There also seemed to be a theme of casual cheating. Now, I’m not a prudish person. I function in an open relationship. But we chose that and are up front. If people agree to function in a monogamous relationship and easily break that, I find them very untrustworthy. No one just “finds themselves in that situation.” You can always say no. If you are weak-willed, either own up to that and accept the consequences or make sure to avoid, or remove yourself from, temptation.
There were also times when the dialogue felt too stilted and formal, especially from twenty-something college students. I would expect more contractions in speech with this age range. Most of the time I was able to gloss over it, but sometimes I got jarred from the story.
Overall, this was a decent read. Sure, there’s room for growth, but I did find it enjoyable and will likely check out the next in series, once available.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||328 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|