Author: Alex

And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic

About the Book

Deaf since early childhood, Caleb Zelic is used to meeting life head-on. Now, he’s struggling just to get through the day. His best mate is dead, his ex-wife, Kat, is avoiding him, and nightmares haunt his waking hours.

But when a young woman is killed, after pleading for his help in sign language, Caleb is determined to find out who she was. The trail leads Caleb back to his hometown, Resurrection Bay. The town is on bushfire alert, and simmering with racial tensions. As Caleb delves deeper, he uncovers secrets that could ruin any chance of reuniting with Kat, and even threaten his life. Driven by his own demons, he pushes on. But who is he willing to sacrifice along the way?

What I Thought

This is the second book in the Caleb Zelic series and, like Resurrection Bay, is relentless in its pacing as Caleb once again is trust into the centre of a murder mystery. Continuing a few months on from the aftermath of events that took place in book one, Caleb, beset by nightmares, is barely making a go of it and struggling physically and mentally. When, out for a run, he’s approached by a homeless man and given a cryptic note asking for help. Unable to resist, of course, Caleb follows the down-and-out to a dark alley and, everything from there on in goes to hell in a hand basket!

Poor Caleb, you have got to feel for this guy. So well written by Viskic he feels like someone you know or should know—a friend of a friend—he seems so familiar. Fighting the world on several fronts not least of which is battling through an ordinary day dealing with talking people, we get to know so much more about Caleb, and just how hard it is to be deaf in a speaking, hearing world. Viskic does an outstanding job of making us feel and live through Caleb’s eye. And yes, his ears too. Every missed word, every simple situation made all the more difficult by the obstacles he faces. 

But Caleb is undaunted by his hearing impairment, and though he struggles, it’s made him who he is, more acutely aware of others in a way we cannot comprehend. And Viskic really reflects this so well in her writing. How he interacts with others and, just as importantly, how they, in turn, interact with him. It’s all so brutally honest.

It’s also both jarring, and so cleverly done. This is what makes for a far more interesting read, because Viskic’s characters are working within this framework, along with us, the reader. Making Caleb one hell of an interesting character never mind he’s determined, stubborn to a fault, and never, but never give up once he’s committed to doing something. In this case, finding out who killed the woman in the red dress.

With plenty of mystery, false leads, any number of ruses and misdirects, Viskic keeps things moving along at a decent pace, and never flags with both the plot, details, or character involvement. Even down to the secondary characters carried over from Resurrection Bay. We’re treated to more details and background, learn more about the community itself, where Caleb grew up, including more involvement with his younger fucked up brother, Ant.

It all makes for a thoroughly absorbing read. I was so invested in what was going on, I read this one in three very nail biting sittings. So determined to find out what was going on, who the killer or, killers, where, and whether or not we’d see Caleb get back together with Kat, his estranged wife. 

And Fire Came Down takes on a lot and delivers lightning in a bottle for a second time. Tense, fraught, razor-sharp observations and, as I said, relentless. Caleb takes us on another journey of discovery, both personal and emotionally, as well as thematically. And while the ending ties up a number of threads by the end, it also poses a few more that we just know are going to be answered in the next instalment, in Darkness For Light. 

While this might read OK as a standalone, I suggest reading Resurrection Bay first, as it will give more depth and background to the characters, plot, and setting. Never mind, just what makes Caleb tick.

Another outstanding read from beginning to end, I highly recommend this series. 

WWW Wednesday

Bonjour tout la monde: welcome to WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words in which we ask three simple questions:

  • What are you currently Reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

So, what have I been up to?

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. And I am so glad I chose to read this next out of the 4-5 books calling to me from my TBR. As this, as it turns out, has been the perfect read for this time of year. Not only featuring the ubiquitous vampire but the first couple of chapters of observational humour had me laughing so hard, I had to go back and re-read sections. This is going on my list of the best books of the year, that’s how good it’s been so far!

What did I recently finish reading:

I finished reading And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic in record time, this weekend. Here again is another excellent, hard-hitting book that I just couldn’t put down. This is book 2 in Viskic’s the Caleb Zelic series that started with Resurrection Bay. And let me tell you, this is turning out to be one hell of a knock-out series, Caleb is one of those characters you just can’t help but root for. Watch out for my review this coming Friday!

What am I reading next:

Ah, that’s always the though question because, despite having a towering TBR with so many good books on, I never know until the last minute exactly which one of them I’m going to start. Yes, I know, it’s not indecision more that I’m a mood reader and, as such, have quite the eclectic mix in my reading pile just in case. Everything from fantasy and SF through to cozy mystery with some murder and mayhem, as you never know.

And you, what are you currently reading, or planning on reading next?

Top Ten Tuesday

This week our topic for discussion set by Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl is, Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them To Me … which in and of itself, might be a left over from last week’s challenge, Long Titles! 

While I’ve read a couple of books recently that were, in a way, recommended to me by people on twitter—I have also read at least 3 or 4 books that someone has recommended to me via the comments after reading a really positive review. Those have turned out to be some of the best reads as well. Because, by then, you have at least read their review and already know what you’re letting yourself in for. 

My thanks to Jake from over at Jake is Reading, Ollie at Infinite Speculations, and Jo from Blue Mood Cafe, for providing me with lots of inspiration and some really great suggestions these last few months.

On the list are:

  • THE PHLEBOTOMIST (SF) — by Chris Panatier 
  • CAPTAIN MOXLEY AND THE EMBERS OF EMPIRE (Fantasy) — by Dan Hanks
  • VELOCITY WEAPON (SF) — by Megan O’Keefe
  • WE RIDE THE STORM (Fantasy) — by Devin Madson
  • BLOOD ON THE TRACKS (Crime) — by Barbara Nickless
  • OVERKILL (Crime) — by Vanda Symon
  • IN THE DARK SPACES (SF) — Cally Black
  • THE LAST SMILE IN SUNDER CITY (Fantasy) — by Luke Arnold
  • RACE THE SANDS (Fantasy) — by Sarah Beth Durst
  • THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES (Horror) — by Grady Hendrix (on the TBR)

So, there you have my list. What about you, have you had any really good recommendations lately and if so, what where they? 

The Sunshine Blogger Award

If you don’t know about this one, The Sunshine Bloggers Award is a community award where bloggers nominate other bloggers who bring positivity to the community. I was honoured to be nominated by a couple of people over on twitter—Coffee, Book & Candle— and want to say a BIG thank you to Jack, at Jack’s Bedtime Reading, for his nomination! 

Loved, loved, loved his answer but more, he’s set some really interesting questions!


So, how does this all work? Well, the rules are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
  • Answer 11 questions prompted by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and set the 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award badge on your post and or your blog

And now, drum roll please, here are my answers to Jack’s questions:

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