Playing With Fire

A Supernatural Urban Fantasy (Uncommon Bonds Book 1)

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
348 Pages
Reviewed on 09/03/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Miche Arendse for Readers' Favorite

Playing With Fire: A Supernatural Urban Fantasy (Uncommon Bonds Book 1) by William E. Noland follows Lotte, a teenage girl who has just moved from Germany with her father. Lotte is the epitome of an outcast, although she couldn’t care less about what others think. She is asked to tutor Eric in German. Eric thought Lotte was nothing more than a dark and brooding newbie in Southby High School, but through their study sessions, he learns there is a lot more to her than her gothic appearance. The two become closer and when Eric learns of Lotte’s frequent nightmares, he is determined to help her get to the bottom of it. However, they both are in for a big surprise.

Playing With Fire by William E. Noland is a fascinating and exciting story that has depth and different cultural references. This shows how much effort the author put into the story and added to the already amazing writing and plot. I really loved how the narrative switches between Lotte and Eric to the creature, as we don’t often see the perspective of the monster in novels. It gives the story a unique edge and helped with the progression of the plot overall. The characters were also so well described, each with a distinct personality, but with plenty of room to grow. This was a fantastic story and I enjoyed it very much. I would definitely recommend this book to any fans of the fantasy genre.

Antoinette Wessels

I seldom read a book and start laughing out loud, but with Playing with Fire, book 1 of the Uncommon Bonds series by William E. Noland, this happened more than once. The story follows the unlikely friendship between Eric Schneider and Lotte Schwarz. Eric is failing his German and needs extra tutoring. His teacher suggests that he gets help from a new student from Germany, Liselotte Schwarz, to help him. Lotte, as she prefers to be called, is as weird as her appearance. Everything about her screams that you should stay away from her, from her dark clothing to her squiggly eyebrows. But it isn’t long before Eric realizes there is more to this girl than the dark circles around her eyes. She is plagued by monsters in her sleep. With the help of Eric, they set off on an adventure to free the monster and help Lotte get a good night’s sleep again. In the process, Eric also starts to develop feelings for this gothic girl who has entered his life.

If you like adventure and humor, you will love Playing with Fire by William E. Noland. The vivid descriptions of the characters in the plot make it easy to imagine everything; I really could see the monster before me. Eric’s inner monologue is extremely amusing and made it possible for me to feel a deep connection with this character. Eric also grew as a character immensely throughout the book and it was exciting to see who he became as a person later on. Waiting for the next book is going to feel like an eternity. I can’t wait to read more about these characters who later on felt like friends.

Alma Boucher

In Playing with Fire: A Supernatural Urban Fantasy by William E. Noland, after Lotte’s mother committed suicide, she started having nightmares and had trouble sleeping. Since then, all she could think of was the monster and how to catch up on sleep. The monster in her nightmares was an ancient entity that was trapped and suffering, but Lotte had no idea why she was having these nightmares. To keep people at a distance, she wore black and was unapproachable; all she wanted was to be left alone. She and her father moved from Germany to get away from the gossip and people staring at them. Eric was in Southby High School, and his grades in his German Class were not good. Mr. Meier said he must ask Lotte to tutor him. Nervous to approach her because she did not appear to be a friendly person, Eric was shocked when she agreed to help him. As their friendship deepened, she told Eric about her nightmares and the entity. He wanted to help her find the connection between her nightmares and the entity and a way to stop her nightmares.

Playing with Fire by William E. Noland started with the entity talking and, I must be honest, I was confused and also immediately intrigued. I wanted to know more about this entity. I just kept turning the pages and could not put it down. The chapters alternated between Lotte and Eric, and the entity, and flowed naturally into each other. The story was fast-paced and very interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters were well developed and skillfully handled; I could relate to them. My favorite characters were Lotte and Eric; they knew they needed answers and worked together to get them. I enjoyed reading Playing with Fire and recommend it to readers who love supernatural thrillers. You are not going to stop after this one; you are also going to want to read the other stories in the series.