Book Review: Pacific Fire, by Greg Van Eekhout


Pacific Fire by Greg Van Eekhout

Published by Tor Books on January 27, 2015

Series: Daniel Blackland, #2

Genre(s): fiction, adventure, dystopia, fantasy, young adult

Format & Length: hardcover, 336

Source: purchased

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Pacific Fire: Another thrilling ride through Greg van Eekhout’s wildly imaginative world of California Bones, featuring entertaining new characters and a dangerous magical plot unfolding in Los Angeles.

I’m Sam. I’m just this guy.

Okay, yeah, I’m a golem created from the substance of his own magic by the late Hierarch of Southern California. With a lot of work, I might be able to wield magic myself. I kind of doubt it, though. Not like Daniel Blackland can.

Daniel’s the reason the Hierarch’s gone and I’m still alive. He’s also the reason I’ve lived my entire life on the run. Ten years of never, ever going back to Los Angeles. Daniel’s determined to protect me. To teach me.

But it gets old. I’ve got nobody but Daniel. I’ll never do anything normal. Like attend school. Or date a girl.

Now it’s worse. Because things are happening back in LA. Very bad people are building a Pacific firedrake, a kind of ultimate weapon of mass magical destruction. Daniel seemed to think only he could stop them. Now Daniel’s been hurt. I managed to get us to the place run by the Emmas. (Many of them. All named Emma. It’s a long story.) They seem to be healing him, but he isn’t going anyplace soon.

Do I even have a reason for existing, if it isn’t to prevent this firedrake from happening? I’m good at escaping from things. Now I’ve escaped from Daniel and the Emmas, and I’m on my way to LA.

This may be the worst idea I ever had.

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Pacific Fire, the second book in Greg Van Eekhout’s Daniel Blackland trilogy, continued the exciting adventure started in California Bones. This review will not have any spoilers for either book, but if you are interested in learning more about this series, check out my review for California Bones here.

Although the events of Pacific Fire begin ten years after the end of California Bones, the prologue served as an interim between the two to provide cohesion and assimilate the reader back into the story. The world Van Eekhout created continued to be developed and grew more nuanced in this book, conjuring up incredible images in my mind of what this alternate history looks like. I do believe the world building is my favorite part of these stories.

The cast of characters has shifted slightly from the first book, with a slightly different focus that allowed for more of them to feel less stereotypical. That being said, there were some moments where they weren’t entirely true to character or were not consistent within the constructs in which they were created. I also would have liked to learn about some of the newer characters more in depth. On the other hand, this really was more of a plot driven story, with lots of action and adventure that I was so immersed in, I found myself letting the character faults rolling off my shoulders easily.

In the end, Pacific Fire didn’t quite have the same magic that California Bones did for me, but it was still entertaining and a lot of fun! I’m eager to read the third book and round out this trilogy and hope to do so sooner rather than later.


5 thoughts on “Book Review: Pacific Fire, by Greg Van Eekhout

  1. Oh no, it’s the Second Book Syndrome! It does sound like a great sequel though. The amount of action and the world-building sound awesome too. I haven’t heard about this series before, but you sure do know how to pique my interest though! Thank you for sharing. Nice concise review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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