overall i'm not impressed by this series because by book two i still didn't feel like the end fit with the focus of the book. (spoiler alert) why does cybil come up with the next step and not fox or layla? why doesn't it come out of their gift? this kind of thing is what pushes me to straight (no pun intended) romance instead of (para/fan) romance.3 stars
the background and description of the smoke jumpers was not distracting or annoying, she did a good job intertwining their jobs and lives into the plot (for nearly 500 pages), without getting boring or feeling like i'm being lectured/educated. whether or not it's entirely accurate, i can't say. but it has the first page of google-searching covered. (i'm also not reading this shit to learn anything)
it followed a group of young-20s into their early 30s. There was the typical "will i be alone forever" questionand bad relationships, irritation with family and drunken nights, but only because it's what most middle class folks go through. There wasn't any of the obnoxious zaniness and complete lack of self-reflexivity and growth that i just can't stand in most chick-lit (see: shopaholic series, bridget jones.).
The narration was good, and considering the amount of characters she narrated, the author did a great job. the vignettes within the chapters/scenes of memories were well placed, it mirrored how memories would come to the surface in real life. It was an interesting alternative to the 3rd person omniscient narrator, or the character breaking the 4th wall.
It was hard to follow all of the characters if you aren't paying attention, but who only has 4 friends/acquaintances from college? There were a lot of secondary characters/mutual friends and they added to the story and shaped the pictures of the main characters. 3.5 stars