Consumed was a fearless, high-octane submersion into the deadly world of firefighting and the love story that built from within it. Told through multiple perspectives, Ward’s vivid portrayal of the physical and mental risks of being a first responder held a no holds barred approach, perfectly setting the story up with an intensity that blazed wildly and kept burning throughout the novel. I fell hard for the gut-strong Anne and the all-consuming attraction she had with the unwavering man in her life that was Danny.
The bold themes in this love story were all-encompassing—the lead and secondary characters perfectly depicting the repeated effects of loss, sexism, trauma, and mental health issues in this field and beyond. Ward effortlessly penned a heroine that could be strong and re-inventive while showcasing her innate vulnerabilities. I found it easy to relate to her struggles in opening up and felt close to her along the entire length of her journey. The easy camaraderie she had with Danny was wonderfully written and I was all too involved as it ebbed and flowed. But maybe most of all I loved Danny’s raw honesty in his struggle to maintain his connection to her while so many things pushed them further apart.
Consumed was an exciting and emotional novel. I wasn’t expecting the depths and themes it delved into, but I came out of it all the happier it did. This story goes there with confidence and it pays off in the full formation of every character and how easily it was devoured. With Ward’s ever-present skilled writing and her penchant for character-driven stories, this was an amazing book for reasons that I still cannot capture in words. Take the journey with this crew and you’ll be as excited as I am for what’s to come.