Saturday, August 01, 2009

Books: Through the Fire

Through the Fire by Shawn Grady was a book that started big, and then, it stopped working for me quite so much after that. I've spent a lot of time trying to pinpoint what about it didn't work for me. I think the issue for me was that it is told in first person through viewpoint of Reno fireman Aidan O'Neill, a character who isn't big on introspection. So, stuff happened and most of the time I didn't know how he felt about it.
Aidan is an instinctual firefighter who's instincts don't prevent a rookie from getting hurt in a fire. He get's put on administrative leave and so decides to go to Mexico. And while in Mexico he rescues some children from drowning and ends up in a coma. And then he wakes up from the coma and immediately leaves the hospital and goes back to work since an arsonist seems to be picking on Reno and the department can't afford to be without him. Now, it may seem like I'm giving a lot away, but all this happens in the first 30 pages, which sounds sort of action packed.
I ended up confused.
After that the story remained in the Reno area and stabilized a little. Aidan talks to a fire investigator Julianne, who thinks that the fires may be targeting the fire department. The back cover describes this as teaming up. They talk several times. but it didn't seem like teamwork for me. Also some descriptions mentioned romantic suspense, I don't think it qualifies as a romance, but that could be because I don't really know what they think of each other. They seem to like each other, but I couldn't tell you more than that.
The arsonist story was sort of fascinating, although I found the resolution unsatisfying. Also, out of the blue on page 99 there is a reference that Aidan's life would be all better if he just accepted God. While I don't object in theory to inspirational story lines, this felt tacked on to me, especially since it disappeared for another huge chunk before being brought up again.
I did like most of the writing, and I thought there were parts that were just great, but overall I was left tired. There is a lot of fire jargon, most of which is not explained. I really enjoyed that, but others may wish for an interpreter.