Child of Fire (Twenty Palaces Series #1)

Child of Fire - Harry Connolly The book opens with Ray Lilly driving Annalise Powliss who is a member of the Twenty Palace Society - a group dedicated to eradicating demons and stopping the use of magic in the world, towards a small town. Ray knows that when Annalise is finished using him as her wooden man that she intends to kill him. Though Annalise is the least powerful member of her society, there is no doubt that she can easily kill Ray. The children in this town a disappearing and even more alarming, once they disappear no one remembers them, not even their parents. At the center of this mystery, is a strange doll factory that was created specifically to give jobs to the locals, because the mining industry has fallen apart. As with all small towns, the community is extremely tight knit and very protective of the Hammers who are the riches family in town. The police are completely corrupt and actually demand 100 dollars protection money a month from local businesses. As Ray and Annalise investigate, it is clear that some sort of evil is at work in this town, but when Annalise gets horribly burnt, Ray is left to his own devices to solve the mystery and attempt to find a way to restore the children. He is armed with a magical knife made out of paper which has the ability to cut through anything, eradicate magic and comes to him on command. His body is marked with several tattoos that render him somewhat immune to harm.Ray is a touch of a Gary Stu and regardless of what the situation is, or how fantastic the odds, he manages to escape. Interestingly enough though we are told that Annalise is the powerful one, it is Ray who ends up feeding her raw meat in an attempt to heal her, and it is Ray up ultimately saves her life. Ray also has a complete and utter aversion to guns, even when people are shooting at him, he refuses to fire back because, "someone might get hurt." No matter how many bullets the bad guys fire, Ray never gets shot. Uh huh...this is a pure action and adventure trope that is boring. read More