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Fiery Soul Book 1: New Day
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2015 22:14:58

Really enjoyed the direction of this story. Fairly fast paced with good graphic style that pulled me in quickly. Looking forward to exploring other works by this publisher



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Soul Book 1: New Day
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Fiery Soul Book 3: Aftermath
by Kat G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2014 13:15:41

At the beginning, there are some editing issues on the preview page that don't exactly make the piece unreadable, but definitely do catch my eye and distract me slightly from what I'm reading. On the Table of Contents page, I'm a little weirded out by that image of Brianna - I don't know if it's intentional, but the shape of her face in that picture makes her look MAYBE about 11-12, which, given some of the sexual content that's gone on so far, as well as a heavy sexual assault element in Brianna's storyline... well, I'm just not sure what to make of it, I guess.

The first page of the comic, which is something that has happened with other large pages like this, has a large scene and four text panels. I'm a little bit confused on the order in which I'm supposed to read the text panels. I get that it probably wouldn't make TOO much of a difference as long as I got all of the information, but perhaps some kind of visual indication of order might help. The first few pages as a whole DEFINITELY bring up questions about, first of all, who their son is, and second of all, about how one should view the Conservators - who decides the definition of 'rogue' mage? Following that up by connecting the scene to Eric and his dreams is definitely fascinating, given that Eric's dreams always seem to have a strange power over him. I'm interested to see how this plays out.

I want to stand up from my seat and cheer for Eric when he finally punches his father. As odd as that sounds. I think it's awesome the way you have Eric finally make a choice after essentially being his doormat. Also, I think that the story so far deals a great deal with people who want to control other people for their own ends - how they are able to do that, and whether or not the victim will continue to take the abuse or assert themselves has been a constant theme so far. SO far, it seems like many of these people submit to what they view as destiny, or, at the very least, a power that they can't overcome (executions, rapes, abuse, things like that). I like seeing someone finally stand up and say 'no, I won't take part in this ugly world anymore.' I also like seeing this blossoming close friendship between Rebecca and Brianna. It's obviously something that's needed in Brianna's life, and I think that it also says something about the power of female characters to be supportive for one another and to one another when, many times, there are people who portray female-female relationships in such a way that they're competing or being bitches to each other. Well done in this instance.

Neil certainly takes on a much more sinister tone as a character in this issue, which is something interesting - he's obviously the main antagonist at the moment, which makes a reader truly wonder what's underneath the surface with him. Someone who appears to be so young, yet he's pulling the strings of what appeared to be the main 'bad guy' organization at the beginning of the first issue - a nicely done twist! It also tends to make me go back and think about some of the things Neil said at first, when he talked about his roomy 'getting expelled' - given Neil's brutality, it's WAY too easy to assume that's not what happened. And I'm pretty sure that's a good assumption to make.

The scene between Tracy and the police officer is fascinating, if only because we get that 'Salem' connection... and all of a sudden, dots start to line up. VERY subtle, and I love it! I also love the big reveal of Neil as Puck - pulling back on that mythology from Shakespeare specifically, even though Puck goes back WAY further than that, which I suspect we'll here more about in this issue or the next ones that come out. Tracy thinking of Eric, though, who thus far has not proven to be especially supernatural takes my attention and focuses it squarely back on him, searching for clues I may have missed. Nicely done with that one little detail!

The introduction of the new villain group is interesting, and knowing that Neil ties in strongly to Eric's backstory is also interesting, lending more and more weight to the fact that there's something going on behind the scenes that Eric simply hasn't discovered about himself yet. I think that, on the one hand, it makes him look naive to be discovering these things so comparatively late, but that's easily explained by how manipulative and abusive his father is, keeping him in the dark and under his thumb.

The pacing of this issue is really good - things happen so quickly that it's almost like a whirlwind. As a reader, you're just as confused as Eric is trying to put all the pieces together while being delivered blow after blow of bad news. VERY well done, in my opinion, because it makes you sympathize with him that much more. Then, on top of that, he's told by his (possibly delusional) mother that he's unwanted and not her real child... which of course connects back to certain things that have happened earlier. I think that throughout the series so far, that's one thing you've done a really good job at - making sure that all the details are in place that need to be in place and that none of them are wasted.

I like that for Eric, things have opened up to a point where his choices will dictate much of the rest of the story. For me, that leaves me as a reader to wonder whether he will waiver when making his decisions. This obviously has to be a very frightening time for him - after all, why would he trust the people who have killed his real mother and insist it's necessary? But on the other hand, they're the only people he can look to for training, and now, the only people who can tell him about his real past.

I think this issue at the same time was a good story on its own right, but did TONS of setup for future issues. This is probably my favorite of the three. The art has evolved quite a bit, and some scenes were very beautifully done.

The ending itself also leaves questions - if one son can choose to carry on his father's legacy, what will the other abused son in this family choose? How has he been corrupted already to the point where he thinks he has to literally devour his mother?

Knowing this is a series, it pleases me quite a bit to still end up with questions left. Excited to see what's in store for these characters in the next issue - not to mention what happens if/when all of the elements ever end up working together.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Soul Book 3: Aftermath
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Fiery Soul Book 2: Past Present
by Kat G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2014 11:56:05

The opening scene reminds me very much of X-Men, in the way that Brianna discovered her powers, and how it's increasingly difficult for her to conceal and control them. In fact, it reminds me a good deal of Jubilee's story (from the cartoon at least), which I like, because that's a very relateable story - a teenager who wants to be normal, but never can be.

I like the complications with Neil... he slowly turns into a more sinister character, but at the same time, you can't totally depend on him to be just the bad guy, given the way he reacts to the way that Ben and Aida are torturing Emily. It makes him something of a mystery character - someone who will do whatever he wants to get his way, clearly, but someone who... well, you never really know what 'his way' is. And I like that about him.

The murder of the coach was definitely a surprise, especially given that we as readers don't quite know what a Conservator is yet, other than that they are supposed to protect the world from 'witches'. Neil obviously has a problem with that - or maybe it's just that he has a problem with all authority, but it brings back Tracy's warnings that Engle should mentor Eric before he starts listening to someone else. Looks like someone else has decided to make SURE Eric listens to him.

The police station scene is the only one where I get a little bit confused. I gather that, as it's from Eric's perspective mainly, I can excuse some of that confusion, but the procedure doesn't make sense to me - why would certain facts about the death change who was working on it?

I do like the ending though, as it shows Neil swinging more towards dark unpredictable than playful unpredictable. It definitely makes you question what his motives were for giving Eric that one date and then forcefully yanking Brianna away from him - and whether or not she will listen or rebel. Given some of the past interactions, I have guesses about who is writing the letters, and I have to wonder exactly how Neil is going to cope with going up against someone of her apparent power. Granted that he is not even mortal (since he keeps referring to other characters as mortals, thus implying that he's not one)... but eventually, there are probably some checks and balances in this system that are going to come up - I think. I hope, for the character's sakes.

There were a few places where the art didn't quite seem to go with the panel - that is, a few places where something was happening in the artwork that wasn't discussed or talked about during the panel, which left me with a few questions, such as whether Rebecca was completely passed out, or if she was some kind of zombie-sex-slave type deal, as well as what exactly Eric did to Brianna. Rape is heavily implied, but it was difficult to tell for sure from the artwork.

This issue was a good bit shorter than the first, which I think is both a good thing and a bad thing. Each page meant something in this issue - there was definitely no filler, and it forced us into a very close examination of who Brianna is and what she's all about. Although most of the focus was off of Eric for this issue, I kind of liked that - it shows versatility to be able to change the focus of the story to examining someone else's background to show how they fit into this ensemble case of characters.

Overall, I think that this issue avoided some of the dramatic phrasing of the first. I wish it was longer, and that I had more of a chance to learn what's going on here - but I don't think that's necessarily a bad reaction!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Soul Book 2: Past Present
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Creator Reply:
Thank you.
Fiery Soul Book 1: New Day
by Kat G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/05/2014 11:29:02

I think that the way you began in the middle of an action scene was a very good choice- it caught my attention immediately. I did have a bit of confusion about how Emily escaped after being pinned in the dirt, since it looked like she was surrounded, but that was really my only issue with the scene. I like that you left it open - we see her tranquilized, we see the man who assaulted her, but we don't know what happened.

The university scene is a nice cut - I do have a slight complaint about the art on the first page of it, which is just that you can tell, especially in the lower left-hand side of the picture that those figures are duplicated, because there's three that are exactly alike right next to each other. Otherwise, the figures mix in pretty well together, and if I were just reading over the page, I wouldn't be able to tell that you'd used that technique. The college scenes otherwise run smoothly, and the opening interactions between Neil and Eric are entertaining and leave room for hijinks in the future.

The scene with Ben, Aida and Emily that follows - I waver back and forth on it. It almost feels like it's too short, if only because it doesn't QUITE explain what Ben is trying to do with these people. The word 'weaponized' is used, but how? And what sort of location techniques do they use - are they like bounty hunters? How do they identify people with magical abilities? These may all be things that are explained later in the comic or series, but they're questions that I'm asking as a reader during this scene.

I like the next scene with Eric in class. I think that the interaction with Brianna is really the best part of it. Neil and Eric are an interesting pair, but Brianna's attitude definitely raises some questions about why she's so guarded and along with Neil's pushing Eric to date her, sets us up really well for the future scenes between them. The scene at Darling Moonshine has a couple of confusing things at the beginning - the first is its size. I'm wondering exactly why a burlesque club is that big in a town with a private Christian university, but that may be something that's explained later. Also, in terms of the art I think the mask on the first performer's face is a little bit much - it makes it hard to see the beauty that Eric is describing because the effect of the mask is a little bit overwhelming. However, the twist with Brianna is a nice one, and the twist with Ben and Neil apparently working together is even better.

I think that the scene with Brianna's eyes and the flames maybe has language that pushes it a little bit too far - asking 'wouldn't it?' just once would have preserved the drama, but at the same time alerted us to the fact that Eric is picking up on cues that he didn't expect to see. Overall, though, if you took out that second phrase, I think it would be a nice continuation/confirmation that Brianna is the next target on the list - which, after the scene with Emily, makes us as readers uncomfortable, at least if we like Brianna's sass (which I do). It also goes a good ways towards explaining her secrecy.

There's a lot that happens at the end of the book - we have Eric's personal life growing increasingly complicated, and, simply, the fact that Eric has NO IDEA that he's basically being used as a pawn in an even bigger game. I love the way you reveal that Tracy is actually a part of that game as well, which makes her interest in Eric seem suspect as well. It's compelling to see Eric pulled between all these different people who want to tell him what to do, and to know that, at some point, he's going to have to make a decision about whose rules he wants to follow, or try to fight his way out of it to come up with his own.

Overall, I found minor problems with the artwork, which I noted above. Aside from that, there were minor problems with some of the wording in the story, most of which I've noted. I also feel like the ending, being filled with so many questions, is a little bit confusing, although I suspect that mirrors Eric's state of mind well. I like that it ends on a cheeky, sarcastic note that lets us know that there are plenty more questions to be answered here.

In spite of the things that I noted as problems, I do feel that, overall, they're minor problems in the larger picture, things that more careful editing and a little bit more time with the story could probably straighten out on their own. The artwork is not my expertise, so I can essentially only tell you what I see there, which is that some aspects of it 'read funny' to me - Fio in particular. The pictures of her at the end of the book are so beautiful that I really wish she hadn't had that type of mask on at all in the main scene. Overall, though, the story keeps it going, and the minor fixes you could make with editing are things that, even if overlooked in the final draft, are small when there's the big picture of the story and the way it ties together. Your scene cuts are good, and although I occasionally found the foreshadowing a little bit heavy, I feel like you left the reader with plenty of mystery to look forward to.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Soul Book 1: New Day
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Fiery Soul Book 2: Past Present
by Ess T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/14/2014 18:03:43

It left me wanting more, looking forward to part 3!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Soul Book 2: Past Present
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Creator Reply:
Thank you.:)
Fiery Soul Book 1: New Day
by Dawn N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/25/2014 00:51:58

Interesting storyline, not predictable at all. I like that you cannot quite put your finger on what kind of character Neil is. When you think you can generalize him, he flips a switch on you. Very much looking forward to another installment/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fiery Soul Book 1: New Day
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Creator Reply:
Thank you. Neil will over the next few books.
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