Stone of Fire is an Action Adventure, Thriller novel.

As a clean read: Some violence. Some profanity and minimal sexual content.

Book Review Stone of Fire (ARKANE Book 1) << BUY NOW

This novel by JF Penn begins with a gripping first chapter. I wanted to know what was going to happen next after the terrible first scene. It was a horrible way for someone to die and I wanted the bad guy caught… but who was it?

The novel is the first book in the Arkane series. I admit that I haven’t read the full series, but I might continue. To read this book, you have to be able to put aside any arguments with theology. If you want Biblical truths, this isn’t the book for you. It is fiction, not non-fiction. There are Bible verses thrown as the characters use them to support the history of the stones, but you will find no such stones in the Bible. Don’t believe me? Read it for yourself.

This is a fast-paced story. The characters are up against an unrealistic timeline, trying to run around to gather the stones from all over. They are skilled in what they do and are, in fact, too skilled. Our female protagonist, Morgan, knows everything. She does work at the university, so it implies that she has knowledge, but I wanted to see them struggle to come up with the answers versus knowing the answers and the full history of… everything.

I can see the author has set up the possibility of a romance between two of the characters. The fact that they don’t try to date each other in the first book is refreshing. Far too often, authors are in a rush to establish a relationship versus letting them unfold slowly. There is flirting and they do check it other out, but they keep their distance.

But I didn’t really like Morgan. Yes, she loves her sister and her niece, but the fact that she had an affair set her up as untrustworthy and unlikeable. This could have been done to make the reader feel that Morgan carries a lot of guilt with her and that her relationship with her sister didn’t come easy, but it didn’t make me sympathetic toward her. I felt indifferent. Perhaps, the reader will learn more about her character throughout the series, versus knowing all there is to know within the first book. I worried more about the little niece than any adult, even though the niece didn’t get a lot of story time. Maybe that’s just me as a mom worried about a small child.

It is clear that the author did a lot of research. Again, I won’t go into the theology of it. I want to focus on the descriptions of buildings. She does a beautiful job of describing their surroundings and the history of building construction. It is almost like getting a lesson in architecture in a fiction novel. That was enjoyable. The research was only a distraction when our know-it-all protagonist had all the answers and all the history. I needed them to need access to more historians and do some digging in some more libraries for information. Yes, their timelines limited what they could do in a finite amount of time, but they needed to struggle a bit more in the knowledge department.

 

Clean Read Book Review:

There is profanity in this novel, especially from our antagonist. He had a bad past and his somewhat colorful language is one way his displays it. The language is mild compared to some books and isn’t overwhelming to the story.

Stone of Fire does contain a fair amount of violence. People die through gunfire and flames. There are plenty of explosions and building destruction. There is no gruesome gore and you are spared from the details.

Sexual content is mild. I have already referenced the affair, but it is referenced as a past action and is almost glossed over in the story. There is also mention of a woman being groped in an assault.

Overall, if you don’t like violence in what you read, this may be one for you to skip.

 

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