"Published author, aspiring novelist . . . welcome to my world of madness!"

Sep 13, 2011

Book Review: Dance on Fire

This truly was a spectacular read from an author that I fully expect to see emerge as one of horror's rising stars. The first thing that struck me about this book was the author’s prose. It’s beautiful, almost poetic, but not overly done. It has a wonderful flow and rich descriptions that will draw the reader in, immersing them in mood and setting. (In fact, I decided to read this book after listening to a reading of the first chapter. After hearing the first few lines, I was hooked.)
Things start off quickly, leaving no time for boredom. We watch a creature prowl the night, silently stalking his victims. Or is he? Right off the bat, two cops are brutally murdered and the entire town of Kingsburgh is sent into a tailspin. Who committed this vicious attack, and why?

The book centers around Nathaniel, a vampire who was turned centuries ago when his family was murdered, a young cop, Michael, and his wife, Barbra. They are an interesting cast—an eclectic mix of people that James Garcia Jr. took time to develop and breathe life into. You won’t find one-dimensional characters here. Not only did I enjoy reading about each one, but I cared what happened to them. The supporting cast is pretty interesting as well. I think many readers will get a kick out of the overly ambitious Mayor. *laughs*
Dance on Fire is a mysterious page-turner that moves along at a fast pace. It takes many twists and turns, giving the reader plenty of opportunities to guess who or what is really stalking the small town of Kingsburg, California, and even the town itself is laid out and built upon a solid foundation. This story is a well-balanced blend of horror and suspense, and though it’s referred to as a Christian crossover, the religious undertones were subtle enough that they won’t encroach or offend those with agnostic or different views.

My favorite thing about this book was how Nathaniel’s history was revealed bit by bit in a series of flashbacks and memories. My excitement grew every time a date in the 17th century cropped up because I knew I was in for a special treat. His was an enthralling tale, both heartbreaking and horrific. One can’t help but feel for him after learning of the trials he endured at his maker’s hands.  James did a fantastic job casting the reader back in time, enveloping the senses, and painting vivid pictures.
Vincent is the opposing force in this book and a wicked force to be reckoned with. He sends cold shivers down the spine whenever he makes an appearance and his determined hunting of Nathaniel is as ruthless as it is riveting.

I don’t want to give too much away, but believe me when I say this is a great mystery packed with suspense and chills at every bend. Once I started reading, it was hard to put down. I’m definitely looking forward to purchasing the second book in this series. Dance on Fire is well worth the read and James Garcia Jr. is certainly an author I'll be keeping my eye on in the future.
View his blog here. along with his official Twitter and FaceBook pages. He'd love to hear from you. Click here to listen to a reading of Dance on Fire and purchase a copy.


  1. Adriana, I am humbled and encouraged by your wonderful review. As I am currently doing rewrites on Dance on Fire: Flashpoint, this makes me want all the more to do even better than the last book. Thank you for taking the time to read my work and for penning this lovely review.

    -James Garcia Jr

  2. Great review! Makes me want to read Jimmy's book even more!

  3. Awesome review! Jimmy has a great blog and is a dedicated writer, and I'm glad his novel is receiving this much-deserved attention!

  4. Ooh this sounds like an exciting read. I really want to get it now. :-)