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Friday, September 3, 2010

T2T Tour: Rise of the Fire Tamer

Rise of the Fire Tamer by Kailin Gow

Source: author for blog tour

Grade: 3 stars out of 5
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory meets Narnia in Rise of the Fire Tamer. Five avid fans of the game Wordwick are invited to the creator’s home and test drive the newest game. They find out that this game is all too real. Armed with weapons and their choice of words, they fight to the end.
Rise of the Fire Tamer creates a new world much like that of Narina with wondrous creatures and deadly traps in Anachronia. But the biggest plus for Rise of the Fire Tamer is not the actual storyline, which by the way is unique by itself, but for the educational bonus the reader gets. Rise of the Fire Tamer is full of SAT words that would provide a much more fun way to learn. There are context clues from when the gamers speak the word and an action occurs with a glossary in the back as the last resort.

Kailin Gow writes strong heroines and heroes that hold its own various strength; not all brute strength, but intellectually as well. Gow forces against stereotypes and goes a different route with the characters to create memorable personalities (likable or unlikable is not a major concern for these gamers).

The novel is fast-paced and borders on predictable, but there is a slight twist at the end. It’s very much a true action adventure tale where the scenes are easy to follow, but enjoyable nonetheless.

However I still have many lingering questions and overall reluctance with the “game” though the sequel may answer them. The flow was also quite...odd. At the end of each chapter, the reader gets an insight to their minds. Overall the narration is focused solely on Gem but these short bursts of change of narration at first had me confused then slightly irritated. There is also the editing. I believe that my copy is an ARC; I hope that it is because there are some words that are missing letters (“her” was meant to be “here) and skewed formatting where there are extra lines between paragraphs or not enough lines.

Stop by the Traveling to Teens homepage for the rest of the stops

Kailin Gow is the author of over 40 books. She is also an adventurer, having traveled all over the world, conducting research, and collecting stories. Some of the more interesting places she's been to are: Dracula's Castle in Transylvania where she was presented with a sketch of Dracula, The Stanley Hotel in Colorado where she saw something quite odd, the lost city of Pompeii where both her cameras were drained of battery, St. Petersburg where she held an hour-long conversation with a Russian soldier who didn't speak English and she didn't speak Russian, and the orphanages of Thailand where Kailin distributed toys and books to and hugged hundreds of disabled orphans.

She holds a Masters Degree Communications Management from USC's Annenberg School of Communication, and Bachelors Degrees in Drama and Social Ecology from UC Irvine. She is a mother, a mentor for young women, and the founder of the social group for girls teen and young adult girls called Shy Girls Social Club at shygirlssocialclub.com.

More EDGE books.


  1. Wow, that cover is wonderful! Sounds like a hit or miss for me, unfortunately. Nice review though!

  2. Hi Yan,

    So glad you enjoyed the book! I'm impressed - you got the gist of the Wordwick Games, and the comparison to Chronicles of Narnia and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is right on. I took a chance writing this book series because it isn't the usual YA book, but I wanted teens, especially girls to be able to feel empowered about themselves. This book has now become a staple at battered women's shelters and girl halfway houses. Yan - Good review - I know you rarely give 5 stars so this is great!

    @Wendy - so glad you like the cover :) A second edition will be out soon with a new cover and a discussion sheet at the end of the book.