For centuries, there have been rumors about a lowly caste of supernatural beings known as the Terrae Angeli. Armed with the power to control Earth, Fire, Wind and Water, these warriors and their apprentices clandestinely serve as guardians for humans in danger.
Forced to become mortal, ex-teen angel Griffin has been banished from the Terrae Angeli. Struggling to adjust, he enrolls in the heaven-and-hell known as high school. In spite of his friends’ support, Centennial High proves to be a battleground, complete with a malicious math teacher.
And to make matters worse, his Mentor, Basil, has been ordered to take on a new apprentice, the gifted and egotistical seventeen-year-old Sergei, whose covert attacks make Griffin’s home life as bleak as a Siberian winter.
Caught between school, Sergei, and a desperate secret, Griffin is certain of one thing: the only way to fight a Cold War is with Fire.
At the end of 2011, my bloggy boss asked me to put together a list of the best reads of the year. On that list was Darby Karchut’s Griffin Rising, and this year, book two in the on-going series will make the list! Griffin’s Fire is an exciting and somewhat tragic read that I absolutely could NOT put down.
Griffin’s Fire opens with a very angry and depressed Griffin, who has had his angelic powers stripped and is now facing life as a mere mortal. Sadly enough, this is not the only trial Griffin is facing. He’s also challenged with high school and algebra, a new Tiro Sergei
moving into the house, and a girlfriend who is absolutely stoked about Griffin’s new mortal status. Too bad Griffin isn’t as stoked. (HA – stoked, fire!) A delightful and extremely patient Basil tries his hardest to help Griffin adjust to his new reality, but the road is long and arduous, and Griffin is quite resistant to change. Griffin does his best to fit in at school, but trouble seems to follow the poor kid, and incident after incident (and detentions) piles up. The hits just keep on coming at home, too: Sergei is an arrogant butthole, and Griffin is forced to sit on the side lines while Basil and the butthole go out on mission after mission. For Griffin, the future is little more than a bleak existence, with his only hope coming from his intense desire to somehow, someway, and despite all the odds, earn back his angelic abilities.
The greatest strength of this book is its characters! Karchut literally had me sighing at each of the incidents in which Griffin found himself
involved, hating the new Tiro and Nicopolis (oh yes, he’s back!), wanting to thump Basil on the head for not paying enough attention to Griffin, and wanting to slap Katie for being selfish, even if it is only in her diary. Additionally, the key moment in the book when everything changes for everyone had me obnoxiously cheering out loud, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Karchut has a knack for creating substantial characters in whom the reader can become absolutely invested. When you place these kinds of characters into a roller coaster plot, everything just gets better. Karchut has done just that. The plot line for this book is a fast-paced roller coaster ride and believe me, you will
gladly strap yourself in and hold on for the ride. It’s OK if you squeal a little as well; roller coasters have been known to cause such behavior.
The Bottom Line: book one of this series was so good that I was afraid book two would not be able to live up to the high standards set by book one. (Do I really need to make an Alanis Morissette “Jagged Little Pill” reference here?) I needn’t have worried, as I am beyond impressed with book two! Karchut delivers once again with a smooth, exhilarating, and wild ride that has the reader hooked from the beginning. The plot, the characters, the writing, the pace, everything about this book is top notch. Overall, the series is perfectly appropriate for young adult readers, but I would encourage adult readers not to overlook this series because of its young adult classification. I highly
recommend this book and its predecessor to anyone looking for, quite simply, a fantastic read.
Next up in the series is Griffin’s Storm: Book 3: Water.
Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, teacher, and a compulsive dawn greeter. She lives in Colorado with her husband and owns more backpacks than purses. As she should.
Her YA books include GRIFFIN RISING (2012 Children’s Literary Awards Gold Medal, 2011 Sharp Writ YA Book of the Year), GRIFFIN’S FIRE (2011 Readers Favorite Bronze Medal for YA Fantasy), and GRIFFIN’S STORM (November 2012). Her debut Middle Grade novel, FINN FINNEGAN (Spencer Hill Press) will be released March 2013. The next book in the Finnegan series, GIDEON’S SPEAR (Spencer Hill Press) will be released February 2014.
She has also co-authored a non-fiction book for teens entitled MONEY AND TEENS with her husband, author Wes Karchut.
Visit the author at her website: www.darbykarchut.com
Want to check out/buy the Griffin series?