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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Fire by L.B. Gilbert is the first book in The Elementals series. Diana has a job as the Fire Elemental to find and kill monsters, whether they be supernatural or human. When a little girl from her past goes missing, she travels to Boston to find answers. She doesn't expect to cross paths with Alec Broussard, a powerful vampire and academic who is also searching for a missing child. Vampires and Elementals don't exactly get along, so when Alec offers his assistance, Diana is reluctant. With time running out and her search turning up nothing, Diana has no choice but to trust him. Putting their prejudices aside, Diana and Alec track down any lead necessary to rescue the children before it's too late.
Reminiscent of a hard-boiled detective novel, Fire is gritty, sharp, with an edgy quality and a snarky humor. Diana's tragic background, her biting wit, and how closed off she is reminds me of the old time hard boiled detectives, but with a modern and supernatural spin. Most of the characters are something supernatural, but the world they work within is heartbreaking and realistic. The story is very grounded, but never once steps away from the magic. L.B. Gilbert knows how to deliver humor and emotion within lines of each other, with characters that are quirky, realistic, and follow different views of heroism. It's refreshing to see a new take on the vampire story, as Alec is a scholar with an interest in archaeology. Fire is compelling, honest, a bit dark, but a strong opening for the series.