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Burning Season - Review

Updated: Nov 13, 2023


*I received a copy from Cocoa Chapters Book Tour via Kensington Books. All reviews are my own.*


I had a nostalgic moment picking up Kiki Swinson's new title, Burning Season. I remember getting in trouble at home and school for reading all the raunchy, ghetto, drug-pushing yet exciting world of adulting. It was the only thing I would read at the time! In my teenage eyes, Urban Fiction was the fast life I wanted to tiptoe in. Eventually, I stopped reading these books (they all told the same stories), and the library saw less of me. Now that I think about it, I believe this was my downfall in reading. It really took me a decade to pick a book back up again! I don't mean this in a negative way, but thank God for the pandemic!



"Set your schemes . . .
A volunteer Virginia Beach firefighter, Alayna Curry faces death every day—and is proud to carry on her retired father's legacy. But with cash always tight and her long-time boyfriend Levi pressuring her to give up what she loves to make more money, she knows she needs more cash flow to stay afloat. . .
Set your traps . . .
All Alayna has to do is keep quiet about a scheme to burn down buildings for insurance-hungry “clients.” And for a while she’s on fire from the rush, making insane cash—and finding new passion in all the wrong places. But when the money suddenly stops rolling in—and one “client” after another pushes back against the deal—Alayna and the rest of the crew stop watching out for each other and start fighting for their lives . . .
Set your life on fire . . .
Now with the cops turning up the heat and every firefighter for themselves, Alayna must walk an impossible line to get out from under. But between betrayal, secrets, and broken duty, will what loyalty she has left be the one thing that burns her life to the ground for good?"

Anyway, I'm getting off track here. I got a chance to read Burning Season, and I wasn't impressed. The synopsis had my full attention, but the story didn't live up to the hype. It was supposed to be about a young woman living up to her father's legacy and being one of the best firewomen she could be. Instead, we got a multiple POV story between her, her brother, and their Captain, all trying to figure out how to get away with scamming and a murder charge.

My biggest disappointment with this story is that I thought it would be more focused on the main character, Alayna. Burning Season wasn't about her at all. Even though she is the main character, she's written as if she was a side character. Literally, the story introduces her brother Alonzo and the insurance hustle before we even get to know her. If we could go back, I'd reshape the synopsis to include her brother and the Captain and mention the side hustle they had because they damn sure weren't putting out fires.


Aside from the lack of girl power, the story was very predictable. None of the characters made smart decisions, and most were so unbelievable that I had to put the book down a few times to prevent me from throwing it against the wall. I don't know why this book is categorized as a Thriller because the suspense wasn't there. There was plenty of drama and mess, so if that's up your alley, you have something to look forward to.

Overall I rated this book 2.5 stars. I'm tired. This could have been executed better. There's a reason I stopped reading Urban Fiction novels, and Burning Season did not help. And what's bad about it is that the story still needs to be finished. It had a very abrupt ending. I can't call it a cliffhanger because the story is done, but it isn't completed. Yea, it's a weird sentence, but trust me, it makes sense. If this is a start to a new series, I will not be tuning in.


Burning Season is available now!


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