Review: Red Hot Fury by Kasey Mackenzie

Red Hot Fury (Shades of Fury, #1)Red Hot Fury by Kasey Mackenzie (Shades of Fury #1)
Urban Fantasy
June 29, 2010
Paperback, 337 Pages

Reviewed by Tori

Favorite Quote: “You want one of your own don’t you?”
“One? Riss, I’m a hound.”
“Oh gods…you want a litter?”

Marissa Holloway is a Fury and has worked as the chief magical investigator for the Boston PD for over five years. She had no idea that the murder scene she had been called to will end up changing her entire world in one brief second. Once she determines that a corpse’s identity has magically altered she is suspended from her job, a mortal assassin tries to kill her, and she becomes the key player in the beginning of a war between the mortals and the arcane.

A magical race that avenges wrong doing in the magical world, Riss is called to a crime scene that shows one of her sisters murdered. But further analysis shows it is not a fellow Fury but a nody just made to look like her. When Riss goes back to the office she is inexplicably suspended and an assassin tries to kill her. After convening with the Fury elders, she finds herself on her own with no back up and no clues. So she does what any self respecting woman would do…she contacts her ex.

Scott Murphy is a man of many things. Warhound, bodyguard, merc, and until recently, Riss’s boyfriend. But that’s all in the past and now Riss needs protection. When Scott and Riss begin to investigate they find a shocking conspiracy.. Someone is kidnapping arcane beings and experimenting on them. And no one is who you think they are.

This is an action packed fight or die book. From the start you jump right in and swim for your life. Fast paced with a lot of running dialogue and character interaction. Marissa (Riss) is a tough magical heroine who fights for the mortals even though they really don’t care. As a fury she has really cool snake tats that are really her familiars. They rise up and fight with her. Verrrry cool.She is flawed as all great heroines should be. She is sarcastic, doesn’t think before she speaks, and is constantly jumping to  the wrong conclusion. But she knows and acknowledges her flaws.

The love interest Scott Murphy is a warhound. He and Riss had a pretty hot and steamy relationship till their stubbornness and inability to communicate caused a massive breakup. But the spark is still there and Scott and Riss try really hard NOT to reconnect while reconnecting. We get some romance between Scott and Riss but it’s a mere flirtation within the story line. The introduction of another possible romantic liaison seemed out of place and not really worthy of mention.

The premise is interesting and unique in using Furies and warhounds. The plot leads you on a merry chase till the very end. And that’s the problem. There is just too much going on. A lot of background information and then character information makes it overwhelming. Once you think you know what’s what, Ms. Mackenzie changes up the game on you and your back at the beginning. Each character has a strong personality and unique position in the story. But so many characters are introduced through out the book that I thought about starting a spread sheet to keep up. 

I had a problem with Riss in that she never seems to win. Just gets out barely alive. Someone always has to save her. While I like a vulnerable heroine, I don’t like one that talks a lot of smack but can’t back it up. And she can’t. Her flaws are her worst enemies and she capitalizes on them. Every other character could do what was presumed of them but not Riss and that bothered me.

All in all it started out as a solid storyline that lost control and ran away from itself. It gained control back in the end and resolved itself in an interesting way that left it open for more books.

Rating: 3/5

Recent Reviews:
The Book Pushers – 2.5/5
Dear Author – B
That’s Queen Bitch to You – C-


  1. Pamela "SpazP" says

    Great review! I love Fury mythos and stories surrounding them so I can't wait to finally read this!!

  2. Mandi says

    The ending sounds like it might be worth picking up the second book..not sure if this one is for me though.

  3. Blodeuedd says

    She looks so kickass, and then she always as be saved. I don't mind a heroine being saved, as long as she can kick some serious butt during

  4. Heather (DarklyReading) says

    I love the cover of this book though it sounds like it suffers from some first book in series pitfalls..maybe next one will be better?

  5. VampFanGirl says

    I was looking forward to this book because of the awesome cover but now I'm not so sure if it fits within my reading appetites…

    Thanks for the great review Tori!

  6. tori aka ggs_closet says

    Pam-Thanks.I love anything with mythology too.

    Mandi-It may just have 1st book growing pains.


    Blodeuedd-I agree

    Heather-I agree.

    Vamp Girl-Thanks.

  7. Janicu says

    Hmm. Although you don't seem like you're sure about book 2, I liked your review. Gives me a good idea about whether I'd like this one or not.

  8. Tanya says

    Great review! I have to admit that a combination of synopsis and cover are how this book ended up in my TBR. I think I will still pick it up, but I'm troubled with the characteristics of the heroine. I'm definitely not one for finishing books with heroines that can't follow through.

    Thanks for the review!

  9. Fiction Vixen says

    I've had my eye on this one, mainly because of that cover! I've been back and forth as to whether or not I want to read it. Still on the fence darn it! LOL

  10. tori aka ggs_closet says

    Janicu,Tanya,& FV-The cover ROCKS but I just have a problem with h/h that jump into danger ALL the time. I probably will read the next book in series. It takes a lot for me not ot continue reading.

  11. firepages says

    You review is awesome! Although this book received lukewarm views, I am still interested in checking it out.

  12. Melissa says

    Hmm… wanted to read this one, but now I'm on the fence. I think I was taken in by the cover too. However, still might be worth it especially if she grows in the next book.

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