Feb 6, 2014

{Blog Tour} Book Review + Giveaway: Rise of the Arcane Fire - Kristin Bailey


Title: Rise of the Arcane Fire (The Secret Order #2)
Author: Kristin Bailey
Release Date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
After her parents died in a fire and her grandfather disappeared, Meg Whitlock thought her life had come to a standstill. But when she learned that the pocket watch her grandfather left her was really an intricate key, Meg, with the help of a stable hand named Will, uncovered the Amusementists: members of an elite secret society dedicated to discovery and shrouded in mystery.
Now the Amusementists are convening in London, and Meg is determined to join their ranks. But being the first girl in the Order has its difficulties, and with Will away in Scotland Meg fears she can’t trust anyone but herself. Her worries are only supported by the sabotage happening at the academy, with each altered invention being more harmful than the last.
With threats lurking around every corner, and while trying to prove her worth as the first female Amusementist, Meg must uncover the identity of the academy’s saboteur before the botched devices become deadly. And after she finds evidence of a sinister and forbidden invention, Meg must stop it - or risk the entire future of the Amusementists.
I'm not usually one to read synopsis for sequels, so I started reading Rise of the Arcane Fire with little to no idea as to what could happen. And it sure surprised me.

After finding out the truth about her family and the secret society they'd been involved in, Meg has settled in to a simple life in the toy store, tinkering about and studying her best friend's deceased husband's notes on Amusements. She knows the danger isn't over, and that proves true when the attempts on her life start once again. But when given the chance to run away from it all with Will, she chooses to stand her ground and get to the bottom of it, all whilst proving herself worthy of her place among the traditional-to-a-fault Amusementists.

Even though it put a chink in their relationship, I liked how both Meg and Will were ambitious and wanted to make something of themselves. They knew love alone wasn't enough, so they each set out to fulfill their dreams. And so because Meg didn't have Will to back her up this time, she had to learn to stand up on her own against her enemies, namely the judgmental male members of the Order,
"I bet the only pi she knows is in the kitchen!"
I took a step forward with my head held high. Righteous fury burned through me, and I did my best to imitate the daunting presence of the queen herself. In a sweet voice I said, "You're right, I do keep pies in the kitchen." The laughter died down as everyone looked to me. "Exactly three and one, four, one, five, nine, two, six, five, three, two, four, nine seven, one..." His eyes widened, and I knew I had him. 
and the insipid female members of Society,
"Oh, you think you are so clever. You should be careful, dear. Men don't enjoy the company of plain women with keen minds." Now her entire face had taken on a crumpled look, and her forced smile reminded me of a growling dog.
Plain. Honestly. She'd have to do better than that. As if she were some great beauty. "If that is true, and men do in fact prefer the company of frivolous women with dull minds, you should have no shortage of suitors." I shrugged and went back to my figures.
Yeah, I think she did well.

In this sequel, we learn more about the inner workings of the Order, and I certainly didn't expect it to be so complex and widespread. And then there is also the matter of David, Earl of Strompton, top one in Meg's class of apprentices, and now the third side to a love triangle. But no, please, don't run away screaming from this series if you hate those, because I assure you that this is one of the rare few triangles that work. It didn't distract from the plot, instead it pulled me in even more during the rare stagnant moments.

Although this sequel truly surpassed the first book in just about every aspect, I feel like it lacked something. But still, Rise of the Arcane Fire is a thrilling adventure that had me glued to my seat. I loved all the new characters and seeing the growth in all the old ones, especially how Meg learned that someone's last name shouldn't be taken against them. I have a few theories as to what could go wrong next, and, man, that list is long, so I sure am looking forward to the third book!

MY FAVORITE PART was Meg finally forming friendships with her fellow apprentices. I loved how they bantered and had each other's backs.


About the author:
Kristin Bailey grew up in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California. As a kid she enjoyed visiting the beach, camping and skiing with her two brothers.

Now she is a military wife and mother of two young children. She is also terrible about spoiling her pets. She has one fluffy mutt, two cats who think they own the world, and a fish tank with a quartet of fat fish, and two secretive striped ninja-assassin snails.

In the course of her adventures, she has worked as a zookeeper, balloon artist, and substitute teacher. Now she enjoys writing books for teens who enjoy mystery and adventure as much as she does.

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  1. Nice review. I should start the series soon.

    Thanks for participating!

  2. I like it when there's a couple I can root for, but also get to root for them separately :) This sounds good and I hadn't heard of this series before, so thanks so much for introducing it, Kazhy :)


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