A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery he'd abandoned years before. He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Elizabeth Hunter gives vampires the four main elements to supplement their power in her novel, A Hidden Fire, the first in her Elemental Mysteries series.
Giovanni has lived for over 500 years as a fire vampire. During which his beloved manuscripts and books were stolen from him. With mysterious letters appearing randomly, he knows that something isn't right. As the mystery unravels, readers will come to know Gio as more than a book loving vamp. Giovanni is a very likeable character; especially when paired with his supporting cast of vampire friends. He's truthful, dependable, and always puts his loved one's needs before his own. Readers will connect with him based on the empathy his story evokes.
Beatrice, the siren, the innocent bystander who is sucked into a world she didn't know existed. Beatrice keeps this book interesting. Hunter did a wonderful job crafting this character as she is full of wit, sarcasm, extremely smart, and full of love. Between the banter of Beatrice and other characters, plus the romantic notion Giovanni holds for her, readers will love Beatrice. They may have trouble connecting with her at first, but as the novel progresses and she opens up, so will the minds of readers.
The plot of A Hidden Fire was rough getting off of the ground. It tumbles and twirls without a hint as to where it's going for a chapter or so, but then it gets on track. The mystery plot sometimes seemed to fall to the wayside during the beginning/middle of the book, as the author focused more on Beatrice and Giovanni, but the character development was ahead of the game. Toward the end, Hunter set a good pace as the mystery began to be solved, though it will carry over into the next books in the series.
Overall, A Hidden Fire was a wonderful mystery novel about vampires, which is rare to see. Though the vampires played main parts, the plot specifically wasn't about vampires. I would have to say that I liked that, and highly recommend this series. I know that I will be continuing on to the next book. Hopefully very soon.
Rating: 4/5 Cups
Merry Christmas Eve!