Taken by Fire
Taken by Fire by Sydney Croft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so very close to giving this a one star simply because the story of one of the characters looked as though it was heading towards a conclusion that I didn’t want. I thought that if what was foreshadowed actually came to pass, I’d end up flinging my Kindle across the room.

This will give an indication of how much I’d emotionally invested in these characters over the entire series. Fortunately, for the health of my e-reader, although the expected did come to pass, there was still another ten percent of the book left to read. HEAs are so much sweeter when the journey to them is made as hard as possible.

And all of this concerned side characters!

The main characters were equally as interesting and their own path to their HEA is equally fraught with peril (this is a PNR, so I’m not spoiling anything saying that there is an HEA where one is fully expected).

We previously met both of the main characters in the previous book. Stryker is an ACRO agent and has been with them for all of his life. He can make earthquakes happen either deliberately or when he loses control of his emotions which made the usual tantrums any child has growing up very interesting and very deadly. He’s currently on the warpath and gunning for Phoebe, an Itor agent who burnt his best friend to death in the previous book with her pyro-kinetic abilities.

Phoebe’s twin sister; Melanie who has her own power over ice is caught in between the two due to the fact that she and Phoebe share the same body. Two minds, one body and both have very different agendas. It sounds like an extreme case and multiple personality disorder and indeed, that’s what everyone at ACRO thinks at first. However, whilst they share the same body, their minds are so separate that one is completely unaware of the other’s actions until they regain control and face the consequences.

I found this to be a really interest story and was looking forward to how the fact that Phoebe is clearly evil and despise Melanie so much that she will wilfully destroy anything of Melanie’s including and not limited to property and pets.

This makes Melanie’s relationship with Stryker and ACRO very interesting. Can you imagine waking up and finding everything you cared about destroyed because your evil twin didn’t like something that you did or didn’t do? How would you convince others that it wasn’t you? How would you convince others that you are you and not someone else.

Whilst the main story of the relationship is going, this is is all set against the back drop of the final confrontation between ACRO and Itor. The only thing was that the confrontation felt a bit rushed but I think that’s only because it was a vehicle for the various relationships in play, not just Stryker’s and Mel’s.

The conclusion was, well, for the lack of a better adjective, happy. And appreciated and fitting. A great end to a wonderfully enjoyable series so it moves from a potential one star to five and one of my favourites. I’m sad that the ACRO series has come to an end although there is a large enough opening should it be re-started. Think ‘the next generation’.

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