This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Ninth Circle: Fire by C.A. Harland
Series: The Ninth Circle #1
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, young adult
Release Date: October 22, 2017
Publisher: C.A. Harland
Format: ARC, E-book
Tala Morgenstern lives for the hunt, embracing her heritage as a demon hunter. When her younger sister, Hartley, disappears while on the trail of her long-lost father, Tala must seek the help of her other sister Aiva, who has turned her back on the underworld of magic and hunting. Suspecting demonic involvement, Tala and Aiva race to find Hartley before she can be claimed by hell.
Their search takes them deeper into the bowels of Dublin’s criminal underground, where the gangs are led by demons, and the currency is souls. With each Circle of hell bringing new dangers, and new revelations about their own place in the demon hunting world, Tala and Aiva have to rely on each other if they are to stand a chance of fighting their way to the Ninth Circle, and the demon lord who is waiting for them.
The Ninth Circle was entertaining, fast paced and I liked the idea of the circles. Basically, think of the circles as levels of supernatural criminal activity. The lower the number the lower the threat. Each division was tasked with a different activity and were overseen by demons. What the characters of this story were unaware of was that there was a puppeteer pulling their strings and they were just the puppets. There was a sinister plot that they were helpless to avoid.
This story revolves around three sisters: Aiva, Tala, and Hartley. They all have different fathers and not one of them know who their respective father is. What they do know is that their mother was a demon hunter and that she had trained her daughters to follow in her footsteps, to become Nighthunters, before her untimely demise.
No longer a demon hunter, Aiva has been essentially estranged from her two sisters since their move from Canada to Ireland. Tala and Hartley run their own private investigation agency that specializes in the supernatural crimes but Hartley has gone missing. Hartley has a gambling addiction so her disappearance could be related to that but Tala believes that it is more likely that Hartley has become involved with the city’s criminal network in an effort to find out the truth about her dad.
After searching through Hartley’s belongings, it became clear to Tala that Hart had been doing her own investigation into the identity of her biological father. Tala believes that if she and Ava follow the clues they will be able to find Hartley before she gets herself killed. It is this situation that convinces Aiva to join Tala, despite the distance between them, they are still family and must do what they can in order to bring their sister home.
What I was not too fond of was that many of the scenes where the two sisters would go in search of information would have them attempting the obtain the information one-sister’s way and they would inevitably fail, go back to another location to gather what they needed in order to then again go back and try again using the other sister’s method. That just did not sit well with me. Fine if they did it one time like that but I could almost count on it that when the action scenes came. The other drawback for me was that I was just not “into” any of the characters the good or the bad. I just never fully engaged with them. I was pretty emotionally neutral throughout this story so that was a bummer for me.
Something very enjoyable about this story is that the main characters must follow clues which lead them to the next circle. Along the way there are plenty of battles being fought as well as many different types of supernatural creatures. Practically no kind is excluded. I definitely had my favorites portions of this story and the start may be a bit slow but it picks up quickly. The story takes unexpected turns and the ending was not what I was expecting but it works.
*Thank you to NetGalley & C.A. Harland for this eARC of The Ninth Circle*