Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens on October 14, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Source: ARC From Publisher, BookExpo America
Aria is an elemental artist—she creates fire from her hands. But her power is not natural. She steals it from lightning. It’s dangerous and illegal in her world. When she’s recruited to perform, she seizes the chance to get away from her family. But her power is fading too fast to keep stealing from the sky. She has no choice but to turn to a Granter—a modern day genie. She gets one wish at an extremely high price. Aria’s willing to take a chance, but then she falls in love with the Granter . . . and he wants his freedom. Aria must decide what she’s willing to bargain and how much her own heart, body, and soul are worth.
In a world where the sport of elemental powers is the most popular form of entertainment, readers will be swept away by a romance with stakes higher than life and death.
I started out LOVING The Fire Artist. The idea of elemental magic as a performance art—almost like a sport actually—was very interesting. Then you bring Genies into the mix and it’s almost like baseball and steroids.
Then an abuse element was introduced. Aria’s father tried to force her to become a fire artist by burning her and trying to convince her that it didn’t really hurt. Obviously that’s horrible, but I thought it was a really unique and interesting way to introduce abuse. He never hit her, but he was so desperate to have a family full of elemental artists that he tried to force her to become a fire artist. Very interesting!
But then when she’s recruited, things went downhill for me. The whole fire artist thing was put on the back burner while the romance dominated.. and the romance was pretty insta-lovey. View Spoiler » [There are two ways a genie can get his freedom: by the wisher wishing the genie free, or by the wisher falling in love with the genie. The latter is really tightly policed to weed out infatuation and crushes; it has to be true love and supposedly that’s never happened before. But then naturally it happens in this book for the first time. But the romance itself wasn’t LOVE. It was a crush. They knew each other for like a week. Sorry, but that wasn’t love at all. That put me off the romance. « Hide Spoiler]
I think I just thought the book would be a lot more epic than it ended up being. In fact some of it was just pretty silly View Spoiler » [(I mean, her dad gets eaten… by an alligator) « Hide Spoiler] . The whole thing came down to a half-baked romance. It would have been cooler if there was some kind of epic, elemental war.
Overall it was okay, but I think it could have been a lot better, especially since it started out so great!
On another note, the synopsis pretty much sums up 90% of the whole story, which is why I put some of it in spoiler tags. Luckily I didn’t read it right before I read the book, so it wasn’t totally ruined for me. But keep that in mind if you’re considering picking this up.