Review: Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by HP Mallory

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble - H.P. Mallory

Fills in Witches Square


This was a disappointing read. It started out so well, sucking me into the world building and liking the characters; it ended with a cliffhanger that left me feeling "meh". There were problems with consent, with a quasi-rape (vampire forces his fangs and drinks from heroine's pubic area) and a threat of sexual rape in the same scene. This is why I prefer my vampires being the dark, brooding villains rather than the sexed up beautiful corpses (with the exception of the Midnight Breed series).


I really like the heroine (of the book and the entire series) Jolie Wilkins. She is trying to make her psychic business into a success. Her BFF and employee, Christa, was an actual support for Jolie and vice versa. The hero, Rand Balfour, was mysterious but fun to get to know and the mission he hires Jolie and Christa for was entertaining.


Then came the party with the villainess, Bella, and Jolie's introduction to the paranormal world. The independent and smart Jolie, who does have self-esteem issues, becomes dependent on the protection of Rand and a target for all the different species to acquire for her witch abilities. The rest of the book is nothing more than Jolie's middle school emotional rollercoaster and sexual awakening while she and Rand try to build a coalition army to fight Bella and her army. Jolie becomes a whiny, TSTL character; Christa is a card board cut out of a "friend". Rand keeps trying to get through to Jolie to be more careful and cautious, as this world is far different from the human world; she is too impulsive and needs constant rescuing, despite being such a powerful witch and the living fulfillment of a prophecy.


Bottom line - so much potential for a great fantasy series cut down by lack of editing and emphasis on horny, ditsy heroine.