Water to Burn by Katharine Kerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As the second book in the Nola O'Grady series (number of books as yet undetermined), this continues the story of Nola's psychic investigations into multiple realities, as well as more of the story involving the Chaos forces she fought in the previous book, License to Ensorcell. I'll start off by saying that I love this series and can't wait to read the next one when it comes out next year.
What I love about these books is that they don't take themselves too seriously. A lot of writers get so wrapped up in what they're trying to say that they forget to let the story do the telling. Water to Burn isn't especially lighthearted, but it's not dark enough that you are left feeling you just read a heavy mystery novel. Overall, it's a pretty quick and easy read, but it gets you involved enough in the characters and the story that you don't mind.
Nola is a pretty complex character for this kind of urban fantasy, and her relationship with Ari becomes more involved in this book. Let me get something straight here: The person who did the cover art totally got Ari wrong. Do you know who I picture when I read Ari? This guy. Right there. Yep, that's Ari in my head. And when I imagine him protecting Nola, and being her bodyguard, and being such a MAN, I admit I get a little lightheaded. So I can see why Nola would be totally hot for him, because hell, I am totally hot for him myself!
Another thing I love about this book was that, since you really need to have read LtE first, the explanations of the backstory were short and sweet. I didn't get long-winded explanations of what happened a few months before, and could just move on in the story. It probably would have helped if I had re-read the first book before reading this one, but I still remembered enough of it that reading this one wasn't confusing. There are a lot of acronyms in the book, but they are spelled out in the back.
I'm curious to see if Nola will follow the doctor's advice and put on some weight, because quite frankly she's way too skinny, and I've only "read" her!
I look forward to reading the next installment, in the hopes that the storyline with Michael and Nola's father will be delved into next. It was a great plot surprise to find out that their father opened the portal in the house, and I can't wait to see how Michael's powers will manifest themselves. Also, I wonder how Sophia will adjust to the world she's entered and if she will be able to cope with her new surroundings.
This was a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone who (a) loves Kit, (b) loves fantasy, and/or (c) loves a great read that won't take up a lot of time. In fact, if I'd put my mind to it, I could have very easily finished this in a couple of days instead of the approximate week it took me.
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