What really hooks me into a story is not necessarily a story line or even strong characters. No, what does it for me is the feeling I get when reading the story.
I grew up in the 90s and so the whole brooding/sulking vibe is engrained deep in my culture. I enjoyed swooning over the tortured soul of Angel from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the greasy long hair of Jordan Catalono from My So-Called Life, and the lullabies of the Goo Goo Dolls. I think the word “tortured” is the key word here. The character Isaiah from Touching Smoke really brought forth the nostalgia from that period of my life. He’s dutiful, selfless, troubled, and very, very protective… and for good reason.
Fallon, the main character, is the recipient of his loyalty. Their bond is more than magnetic, more than unusual… more than human. It transcends all lines. Fallon herself has been thrown into situations she not only does not know how to contend with, but doesn’t even understand. What makes it even more frustrating is the one person who can give her the answers is the one person who could demolish her.
Lost memories, dreams of an oddly familiar girl, strange creatures hunting her, chasing her… what is happening?
I really enjoyed Touching Smoke by Airicka Phoenix. The characters were dynamic, full, and diligently created. It was a carefully thought out plot and there was just enough questions answered to urge you into the second of the series.
I enjoyed how Phoenix demonstrated certain characteristics in a subtle way and tied it all together at the end. I’d love to elaborate on that, but I’m afraid I’d spoil the story for someone who hasn’t read it yet, but when you read it, I feel certain you’d agree.
I also enjoyed Phoenix’s choice of wording and how she used it to define her characters, especially Fallon. There were several times I found myself thinking, “that is really good imagery,” or “how artistic.”
If you’re sitting on the fence about purchasing this book, I really think you should, especially if you’re a 90s girl who digs protective male characters and intelligent female roles like I do.