Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Burning Alive: The Sentinel Wars Mass Market Paperback – May 5, 2009
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Butcher's absorbing series opener successfully fuses an urban fantasy premise with characters designed to appeal to romance readers. Helen Day encounters a man in a diner and is dismayed to realize she recognizes him from nightmares where he watches her burn to death. Drake, an ancient member of a dying race devoted to protecting humanity, feels a powerful attraction to Helen, which she returns despite her fear that the nightmare will come true. After demons attack them, Drake's determination to keep Helen safe is at odds with her haunting vision, leaving her wondering which to believe. Butcher skillfully balances erotic, tender interactions with Helen's worries, and intriguing secondary characters further enhance the unusual premise. Fans of Butcher's romantic suspense novels (No Control, etc.) will enjoy her turn toward the paranormal. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Passionate, intense, and set in an utterly fascinating new world."
-New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In the first 15% of the ebook, the point of view shifts between six different characters--Helen the heroine, Drake the hero, Logan the inhumanly beautiful vampire ally, Thomas the other Theronai warrior, Zach another Theronai warrior, and Lexi, the mysterious friend on the run. And I've just listed the characters, not the number of times the point of view shifts among them during these pages. Just when I start to become the slightest bit intrigued with what's going on, POV abruptly shifts to someone, somewhere else. Very frustrating. The momentum of the plot is broken, and characterization suffers. To me, it feels like rushed world-building and character-introducing. I pass.
Bottom line: I gave it 4 stars for the story potential this series has, as a stand alone it is a 3. Good story, original world creation, too much left for following books, I don't mind cliff hangers for the next book but this one left about 4 or more unresolved story lines. Too many great series out there to waste too much time, next 2 books will decide if it makes my "buy this" list.
Helen Day has had dreams for much of her life. In these dreams, she sees herself surrounded by flames, burning alive, while a mysterious man watches. Imagine he horror when one evening in a diner she sees that very man, staring at her. Terrified of what this means, Helen tries to flee, only to have her life turned upside down in a single moment.
Drake is one of the Sentinels, a Theronai man who sees his fate in the eyes of Helen. Having suffered agonizing pain for years, one touch of Helen and his pain is gone. When he realizes his enemies the Synestryn are after Helen, he will do whatever it takes to protect this woman, whether she wants him to or not.
Helen holds the fate of the Sentinels in her hands, for reasons that stun the Theronai when they meet her. However, if Helen cannot conquer her fear of fire, and the imminent death seeing Drake has foreseen, they don't stand a chance against the Synestryn. Soon, Helen and Drake will be Burning Alive with passion... and danger.
I was intrigued by the premise of The Sentinel Wars series and eager to give Burning Alive a try, not having read Shannon K Butcher previously. I love that the series set up is quite original, not populated with the usual vampires, shape shifters, and fae. Rather than try to carve a unique niche into an already overpopulated market, Butcher creates her own creatures and fantasy rules.
Helen is a likeable heroine, so normal in her behavior. She's no powerful female warrior in the beginning. She's just a typical woman with very human fears and desires. However, don't let that fool you into thinking she is weak. As the story progresses, Helen grows in her strength and adapts to the fantastical world into which she has just been thrust. Drake is a powerful warrior, standing up under unimaginable agony for centuries. While he carries on, this suffering does wear him down slowly so when he finds Helen eases his suffering, it's no wonder he can't stand to be separated from her. I liked the fact that it is actually a physical separation he is afraid of, which throws a few wrenches into the works when danger approaches. We are also introduced to several fascinating secondary characters, some who are obviously only meant for one book, others who I suspect we will be seeing again in future books in the series.
For an action-packed urban fantasy romance however, there are several parts in Burning Alive that seem to drag on, slowing down the pace of the story almost completely. This is likely due to the information dumps required in setting up a new world and series. I also had a hard time keeping some of the types of beings straight in my head, especially the Synestryn. There are so many different types of these demonic beings that I kept getting confused, especially since it appears that there are only two particular kinds of beings belonging to the other two Sentinel races - the Theronai and the Sanguinar. It almost felt like Butcher felt the need to create so many kinds of bad guys just to ensure plenty of battle scenes.
I already have book 2 in the series, Finding the Lost, and look forward to spending more time in the world of The Sentinel Wars. Hopefully the few issues I had with Burning Alive will not repeat in future books in the series and will increase my understanding of the world and hold me captive throughout the story.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, December 2009. All rights reserved.