Fire & Shadow by T.G. Ayer – Book Review

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in Race and Ethnicity, Review | 0 comments

Fire & Shadow (The Hand of Kali Series, Book #1) by T.G. Ayer – Book Review

by Kelly Matsuura

Fire and Shadow by TG AYER

From the Blurb:

Normal people sneak out to a party and have fun. Maya Rao ends the evening by incinerating the guy who attacks her.

Nik Lucas, sexy, new in town and totally forbidden, happens to walk in on her. Normal guys would run for the hills. Nik knows a whole lot more than he’s telling.

Maya doesn’t believe the gods are real, doesn’t waste her time with mere mythology. But when gods, demons and hellhounds become the new normal and wielding fire becomes her new skill, she must decide what it is she really believes.

Can Maya accept that normal is something she will never be because it isn’t normal to be …
The Hand of Kali.

I’ve always loved Hindu mythology and was excited to find this YA series based on the goddess, Kali. It is a modern day paranormal story and the author did a great job of blending old myths and gods with relatable teen characters.

Fire & Shadow has some similarities with The Telesa Series by Lani Wendt Young, but is definitely not too similar. The main characters are very fresh and individual, and the story is a bit darker; taking the teens down to the underworld and alternate realms.

Maya is a great heroine: although physically tough and skilled at fighting, she had never been told who she was, and struggles to accept her power once she discovers the truth. But she faces each challenge as it comes and slowly learns to trust the people who enter her life and wish to help her grow. There are a few places late in the book where Maya is still struggling to accept the reality around her and this did get on my nerves somewhat, considering all the weird things she had experienced to that point. However, viewing this book as the beginning of a new series, that is a small flaw that doesn’t hold the story back too much. I’m sure in Book 2 we’ll see a stronger and more-focused Maya.

It’s hard to say much about Nik here without giving away the story, but he is a likable character and a good partner/mentor figure for Maya. For me, they didn’t quite have the heart-tugging romantic connection of other YA series’ couples (eg: Daniel and Leila in Telesa), but that’s not every readers first draw to a book. It is still a great fantasy read overall.

You don’t need to be knowledgeable about Hindu gods to enjoy the book. The ones that appear are well-described with a clear explanation of their meaning and power, etc. I’m curious to see where the series goes in relation to ancient Hindu myths and beings; there are thousands of potential storylines available.

T.G. Ayers has two more paranormal series: The Valkyrie Series which is Young Adult, and The Dark World Series which is New Adult and features animal shape-shifters. I like her writing and world-building enough to want to read these books too.


This book review was written by Visibility Fiction author Kelly Matsuura.

Links for Fire & Shadow by T.G. Ayer – Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook.

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