Review: Army of Fire by Jennifer L. Kelly


Overall Score8/10

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

Series: The Elementals, Book 1

Publisher: BoxerBull Books

Release Date: October 25, 2016

Source: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Book Summary (From GoodReads)

According to the Legend of the Impossible Girl, the Five Elemental Stones must be obtained from the Elemental Abyss. Newly initiated into Fire, Ka must retrieve the Fire stone from the Land of Fire and upon her return single-handedly defeat the Army of Fire in order to save her friends.


This book opens up with the destruction of Earth as we know it. The story then skips ahead to the civilization on Zon 9 (what an awesome name for a planet) where we find Ka, the protagonist of this story, figuring out which element she wants to declare at her Pronouncement. On this new planet, the new environment has caused humans to develop longer life-spans and an affinity toward, and ability to, manipulate an element. Each element has certain character traits associated with it and individuals usually feel drawn to one element more than others. However, Ka doesn’t feel a particular affinity toward any of the five elements.

She ends up choosing Fire during her Pronouncement (the choosing ceremony) and thus begins her journey. What Ka doesn’t know at first is that she is the long awaited “Impossible Girl,” the one with the power to change everything for the humans of Zon 9. However, she first must find herself.

The world-building in this book was excellent (can I go live in either the water or earth college building??). It was slightly reminiscent of Divergent but I actually liked this story more. The division of individuals among elements felt more like a distribution of labor based on skill-type with magic thrown in. The politics in this book were very slowly revealed but, at the end, left me incredibly curious as to what will happen in future books. The plot was a little slow at the beginning but it set the stage beautifully for later events in the book.

I think the characters were well-developed and multi-dimensional in this book. I wasn’t a huge fan of Ka at first but I really started to root for her and like her toward the end. What stood out to me about this book the most was how many of the characters developed in this novel. While the book focused on Ka’s journey, the author allowed the secondary characters to grow with her (there is one particular one that I’m thinking about and I’m sure you’ll know which one I’m talking about after you’ve read it).

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I’m excited to read the sequel. This was a unique, fantastical world with interesting characters.

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

One comment