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.
In the brave new world occupied by Aria Kilandros, the control of the elements is not only a very real thing but something that is revered, admired and, coveted. Science cannot explain why a certain number of people are born with the ability to control the elements but for those who can and are very adept with their abilities, there is fame and a fortune to be made. What science can explain is that the abilities tend to run in families, the gifts emerge around age thirteen if they are going to and taper off in the twenties. For those with elemental gifts, there is only a small window of opportunity to make their name and their fortune.
To become a famous elemental artist, one must have excellent control, a sense of showmanship and a great desire to achieve greatness. To that end, there are those among the artists who do not have a natural born gift but one that is manufactured, stolen. Aria Kilandros is one of those artists and every single day of her life, she lives in fear of being discovered. At just seventeen years old, Aria has made a name for herself as a fire artist and if her plans work out as she hopes they will, she will soon be able to leave the minor league shows for one of the larger, more prestigious leagues. Though she wasn’t born with the ability to control fire, Aria has acquired the ability and sees it as her ticket out of the hell that is her life. Her father is a controlling and abusive man, her mother is a broken shell of the woman she used to be, her brother is an ex-con and, she must rely on her best-friend to help her restore her abilities on an ever-increasing basis. Aria’s abilities are remarkable but they come at a very, very high cost. For years she and her best-friend have born that cost together but when Aria gets called up to the big leagues, she is forced to find a new means by which to replenish her abilities.
Life in New York is a mixed bag for Aria. On the one hand she is living her dream, she a player in the most prestigious elemental league and on the other hand, she is growing increasingly more desperate and her fire is waning and becoming unmanageable. Enter Taj, the most beautiful boy Aria has ever seen and the one person who can grant her greatest wish. Taj is an entity of legend and myth, a Granter and with the right words and the proper payment, he can secure Aria’s abilities and her future. Granters are, in many ways tricksters and though Aria is in desperate need of Taj and his abilities, she also has to be very, very careful. For several days, Taj and Aria spend every available second together. For his own reasons, Taj is no hurry for Aria to make her wish and for reasons of her own, Aria is in no rush to make her wish. Love was certainly never in the cards but Aria cannot help herself and as fate would have it, love may be the one and only thing that can save she and Taj. Oh, a snow-white gator might also come into play and do some saving as well.
The Bottom Line: As I was pulling my information for this post, I looked at the overall rating for this read on Goodreads and found myself completely confused. I even double-checked the title and author to be sure the low star rating is actually for the book I read. I find myself thoroughly confused and, it seems at odds with a great many reviewers. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the elemental artists to the Granters and back again. I was sucked into this read and pleased with it from beginning to end. Aria is wise beyond her years and has had to go to extraordinary lengths to protect herself, her family and, her secret. Though her choices aren’t always the best, they are made and Aria is always willing to accept the consequences of her actions no matter how awful those consequences may be. Even more fascinating than Aria and her talents are the Granters and their abilities. I found the story of the Granters and their role in human events to be quite intriguing and perfect match for the world Whitney has created. Granters have enormous power and the ability to alter the very world humanity inhabits though many are loathe to take on the role. Aria and Taj are a fine pairing and though their path is very, very rocky they do get a fitting ending. I found myself very much hoping this story was going to go on into a second book but alas, the The Fire Artist is a fully completed novel which leaves no stone unturned and no question unanswered. At the end of the day, I find I am quite alright with being at odds with my fellow reviewers on this read and fully recommend giving it a try.