Title: Soul Fire
Author: Aprille Legacy
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Rose Evermore has lived in Ar Cena her entire life. Despite this, she still feels like an outsider, like a shoe that doesn’t quite fit. Halfway through her eighteenth year, she begins to notice changes around her, such as the fact that she has a stalker who can hold fire in his bare hands, or the dreams that she can turn into reality. After a series of mishaps, Rose finds herself in an alternate realm, brought there to hone the magical power she was born with. Even here, though, Rose feels set apart. The Academy Masters treat her differently than the others. Her assigned soul mate avoids her when he should be working with her. Despite all this, Rose begins to grow into something no one could’ve seen coming; a hero. With her, nothing is as it should be, and she decides to find out why. Soon she discovers that not everything about this new world is what it seems. Least of all her.
Review: I remember meeting Aprille on Goodreads back when she posted her story on the website. She had been wanting to publish and wishing to have a hard copy of her own book in her hands. After lots of hard-work and determination, her wish was fulfilled and I am so proud of her. She is an inspiration for aspiring authors and her debut novel, Soul Fire, won't disappoint.
The first thought that came to my mind when I was reading Soul Fire was Harry Potter. I imagined the Academy Rose attended to be similar to Hogwarts (minus the whole Quidditch/broomstick lessons). Fantasy has always been one of my top young adult genres and the magic in Soul Fire was a spark like no other.
For a while, I seemed to be just as confused as Rose was when the Academy Masters treated her differently. They were more strict with her, had her on a tighter leash than most of the other students, and was more than likely lectured when she thought she did something positive. Aprille's writing style allows readers to feel the same emotions Rose does in particular scenes - something I enjoyed while reading her story.
Back to the Harry Potter references: I saw Rose as a more rebellious Hermonie. She was intelligent and strong, but not as willing to back down from a fight. Instead of thinking about the potential consequences, Rose stood up for what she thought was right; ready to knock down any obstacle head-on. Her soulmate, Phoenix, was dark and mysterious - intriguing traits that drew in my attention. While reading, I had also been confused about the whole "soulmate" situation. The number one rule is they can't fall in love... what? That almost seems like second nature to fall in love with your soulmate! This unique plot line added more power behind Soul Fire simply because it's something you don't see often.
Endings of books always kill me. This statement applies to Soul Fire 100%. Thank you very much Aprille. Now I HAVE to read the second installment of the series... But I don't think I'll mind. (=