The Solitary Bookworm and Reading Addiction Blog Tours presents The Fire of Dawn by V.V Aku
It’s the last day of the summer holiday in The Hague when Leah Koopmans’s carefree life as a teen is brutally flipped upside down. Her pale skin turns a dazzling gold, her senses heighten, and her muscles possess an uncanny strength. But with these exhilarating new powers comes a thirst that can only be quenched by one thing: human blood.
While her body craves for fresh victims and her heart drowns in guilt, she meets inhumanly handsome Max Machiavelli, who claims that Leah is immortal like him. Infatuation ignites into blistering passion when she joins his coven in Amsterdam. But as the mysteries shrouding her sudden change to immortality unravel, Leah quickly learns that her aversion to taking life isn’t the only thing that sets her apart from this group of herculean strangers.
From the picturesque canals of Amsterdam to Corsica’s limestone cliffs and the untamed Siberian wilderness; from first loves to fierce battles, The Fire of Dawn is an extraordinary tale packed with romance, betrayal, and bloodsucking suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the very last page.
I just finished The Fire of Dawn by V.V. Aku and I was surprised to like it as much as I did. The Fire of Dawn is a novel that I couldn’t quite identify the characters in it but before that let’s talk about The Fire of Dawn as a whole.
Leah celebrates her 18th birthday with her bestfriend when suddenly the club is engulfed by a huge surge of fire from an unknown source killing her bestfriend and everybody in the club. Leah seems to believe that this is a dream until she sees her condition – clothes filthy, her body is full of soot and grime and there are unexplainable changes in herself. Leah runs to escape but suddenly finds the unbearable thirst for human blood. Leah is so confuse and ends up killing a guy in a beach – that is where she is discovered by the immortals. Without knowing who to trust, Leah is hesitant with the new comers but her curiosity was piqued by the groups revelations. Soon enough Leah learns that this group is her “family” and later on will learn her history and what she is really. In addition to a history unknown to her, Leah soon discovers that she is in the middle of a war between immortals and the brotherhood. What will Leah do now?
Basically that’s the gist of it. First that I’d like to point out is that the immortals claims to be not vampiric in nature but does share similarities. It’s actually hard to grasp and separate the two entities but I would admit that this idea is very interesting. It’s just hard because I can’t personally label these immortals – the have the speed, the thirst for blood, a number of supernatural powers to help them BUT they do die easily. They can withstand sunlight, or it weakens them. They are immortal but destructible. It’s like they are weaker than a vampire but stronger than a human being. It was hard following the first part of the story but when the blood thrist was introduced I immediately though vampire but then the immortals explained what they really are so that helped. Let’s talk characters –
Leah was very confused at first which resulted to the reader (in this case me) to be confused as well. She is somewhat stubborn and lost, scared and shy. Her traits are understandable and I don’t really mind much since as the story progress, Leah eventually became a strong main character. For an immortal, she is not as vicious than the rest but rather remorseful which is why the other immortals believe that she can reunite all the clans together. There is a love interest for Leah who is Max but Adam will also played a significant part in her life during the later part of the book. I particularly love the scene wherein Max was first introduced to Leah –
From that exact moment when my hand slid into his, I knew that I wasn’t alone anymore. I knew that I was home.
That scene signifies that Leah is not only around people that can protect her but also is the start of her interest in Max. Unfortunately it wasn’t as heart pounding as I wanted it to be.
Max was strong, beautiful and charismatic. I can’t really picture Max and his love interest with Leah. It wasn’t really working for me which is why I can’t consider him Leah’s mate. The connection was too fast. I love you’s was exchanged as early as page 62 (Nook copy) – I hate insta-love. I can’t reiterate it as much as I want to but there are some insta-love that works and some just needs development and time. Another issue I have with Max was when she was teaching Leah to feed, it felt forceful to me which results to me hating Max a little bit.
Adam is part of the Brotherhood and not the immortals camp. He is human and is very persistent in squashing the war between the two camps. He is sincere and charismatic as well without the instant love interest present. His connection with Leah was more on the caring type – couldn’t really consider a love interest but more of a brotherly love but it is there.
I just like to insert Lili here. She is I think one of my favorite character. Portrayed as Chinese, she was very mature and a strong force in the immortal group. I love her dialogues and her wisdom passages. I particularly loved this one –
Your head is filled with worries and speculations about the past, present and future, It prevents you from seeing what’s right in front of you. She inhaled and raised her arms again. It doesn’t matter where you have been or where you are going.
The immortal and brotherhood camp is a combination of different characters. There are characters that will make you laugh and sympathize and there are some that will make you cringe. It is very balanced on my opinion and I love how Aku wrote this out.
The story both has a superb conflict and resolution. I love how the two camps fight over what they believe is the “right” and how they resolve it by finding a common ground. The ending was what I expected and I couldn’t be happier. This is quite an interesting read and I couldn’t put it down. I love this story and am looking forward to what happens next.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*
‘Something’s wrong!’ Max gasped, sitting up in bed so quickly that the unexpected movement sent me over the bed’s edge. I caught my balance before I smashed onto the walnut parquet. We had dozed off about an hour ago. Outside, the sun had risen.
Max was panting, his face filled with fear. ‘We’ve got to get out of here!’
‘What’s going on?’ I yawned, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.
‘They’re near! Pietro can hear them.’
He had said ‘they’ with such abhorrence that it could only have meant one thing. He got to his feet, scrambling for his clothes that were scattered over the floor together with mine. I had never seen him this alarmed. The bedroom door flung open and Pietro and Sam barged into the room, both in the same frantic state as Max was.
‘How did they find us?’ Max shrieked.
‘I don’t know, but we must leave immediately!’ Pietro yelled.
We left the house and darted toward the city center. The streets were deserted. Livorno was still asleep. In the morning sunlight, our legs were heavy, moving tediously slow while Pietro broadcast the thoughts of the advancing Brotherhood as they tracked where we ran－his voice without emotion. ‘There are four: two males, two females… They have entered the boulevard. Stand by for confirmation… They have turned right on Via Grande.’
Then Pietro’s face twisted in horror. ‘Stop,’ he whispered, his voice shaking. ‘They’re here.’
V.V. Aku has always believed in beautiful stories. She found the man of her dreams and her way in complex China, and wrote a fairytale of her own: The Fire of Dawn－a scintillating tale about strength, self-discovery, and a girl who dared to follow her heart.
Born and raised in The Netherlands, V.V. Aku (Veerle Ackerstaff) soon discovered that the world was a place worth exploring. After graduating high school, she set out to travel the globe until she finally touched down in China. On the border of Tibet she met Anzi Aku, a wild Black-Yi man who lives at the foot of the Himalayas. She has joined his clan and tries to find her place among the tribe and its shamans. When she’s not researching the clan’s mythology on vampires, she shamelessly gives in to the compulsion to write about the countless characters that haunt her dreams.
V.V. Aku is the author of The Fire of Dawn and Black Dusk. She has been the creator of stories since the age of three, and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults from The University of Cambridge ESOL. After nearly a decade of working as an English language teacher and TEFL trainer in China, Thailand, The Netherlands, and the UK, she now devotes all her time to writing, her family, and practicing Kung Fu. The Fire of Dawn is her debut novel.