A Thousand Fires

A Thousand Fires

by Shannon Price

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Overview

Shannon Price's A Thousand Fires is a breakout contemporary debut—think The Outsiders meets The Iliad—that's perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Veronica Roth.

10 Years. 3 Gangs. 1 Girl’s Epic Quest…

Valerie Simons knows the Wars are dangerous—her little brother was killed by the Boars two years ago. But nothing will sway Valerie from joining the elite and beautiful Herons with her boyfriend Matthew to avenge her brother. But when Jax, the volatile and beyond charismatic leader of the Stags, promises her revenge, Valerie is torn between old love and new loyalty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250301994
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 393,950
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: HL630L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

SHANNON PRICE is a proud Filipina-American and Bay Area native. She once led an a cappella group for three years despite not knowing how to read music, and she carries that same level of confidence in every area of her life. When not writing, she can be found watching baking shows, exploring old bookstores, and going to the beach as often as she can. Shannon currently works in the ever-harried Silicon Valley. A Thousand Fires is her first novel.

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A Thousand Fires 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
thegeekishbrunette 3 days ago
This was a book I was really looking forward to reading. I was so excited to start it and the first few pages really draw you in. I felt like this was going to be a great read. Unfortunately, I ended up having some issues with it. Let's start with the characters. There were some I liked more than others which is usually how it goes. Valerie, the main character, is half Filipino, comes from a decent neighborhood, and is dealing with the loss of her younger brother. She blames herself for it and wants revenge. She does have good development throughout the plot but there was just one thing that annoyed me about her. Every time she is around Jax, the leader of the Stags, she becomes enthralled with his looks or smell. When she was first introduced to him, she talked about how hot he was for a couple sentences. It just felt repetitive.  Since I have already mentioned Jax, let's talk about him. He was an okay character who was a little flat at times. He also wants revenge and will do anything to get it. He is probably one of my least favorite characters overall. As for the other characters, I really liked the ones that Valerie finds herself surrounded by when it comes to being in the Stags. A few come from harsh backgrounds and they just want the world to be better for those that have a hard time getting by and are trying to be pushed out by the richer ones aka the Herons. A few fell flat here and there but overall some of the minor characters added to the plot in a big way. There is also great diversity in the characters. The plot is one thing that saved this book for me. It was unique, intriguing, and at times quite heartbreaking. I liked how different the three gangs were. I was not a fan of the romance that was involved and felt that it didn't add to the story. It was insta-love and that's one thing I do not like. As for the plot twists, there were some but only a few were surprising. I also didn't like the ending and felt that it was rushed and didn't have enough closure as to what happened with certain people and the wars. Overall, I am a bit disappointed I didn't like this book as much as I had hoped. It did have diversity and an interesting plot but it just had one too many issues for me to fully enjoy. Shannon Price's writing is wonderful for a debut novel and I will be looking forward to seeing what she writes next. earc provided by publisher. All opinions are my own.
Yolanda Margolin 11 days ago
Thank you to Tor Teen and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eArc. The blurb for this book sounded so intriguing, I mean, it is inspired by The Iliad and The Outsiders. Because of that description I expected this book to be intense and epic. Yes, there were some intense parts and but also lots of parts where they are just chillin’ and waiting around. The story is set in present day San Francisco, and there is something called the Wars happening in this city. There are three gangs who fight in the Wars. The Boars, Herons and Stags. The Herons are the rich kids, the Boars are everyone else and the Stags are like the middle-man who tries to turn the tide of the war. Valerie Simons is a girl on a mission and to complete that mission she desperately hopes the Herons recruit her. Also if she is a Heron, she and her ex-boyfriend, Matthew (Heron royalty) can do their one year, in the Wars together. Now not everyone gets recruited to be in any of these gangs, I’m not even sure what the criteria is to be a Heron. So how does this whole story play out? The gangs have lots of beef with one another because of events in the past. It grew from there and became something bigger, The Stags want to help make the world a better place by taking down the bigger corporations that are run by The Herons. Valerie is an interesting character, I was pleasantly surprised to learn she’s half Filipino and I recognized some Tagalog words. She comes from a nice family, dad has a good job, she and her mom are tight, but she did lose a little brother and she’s riddled by guilt about it. Losing her brother sets her on a path of revenge. Also, Valerie is a cutter. Depression is definitely a theme in this story, it is present in various characters. As for the romance in this story – clearly Matthew, her ex and a Heron, is the perfect guy. Whereas the Stag she’s attracted to, Jax, is so hot and cold. I can’t say their relationships interested me in this story, Valerie was going back and forth a lot, confused about her feelings. I didn’t like either of the boys. ‍♀️ There is a diverse cast of characters in this story which is nice. My favorite character was Micah because we actually learn a lot about him and his history, unlike Jax who remains mysterious. I felt like there was a lot of vague spots in this book. For awhile I kept wondering, what is the deal with these “Wars”? It didn’t seem important at times. Was anyone else confused by it? Or was that just me? Overall, I felt the story was choppy. There were lulls and then action and though I enjoyed the diversity of the cast and Valerie being half-filipino, the story just fell short of what I was expecting from the blurb. I’d say the ending had most of the action so at least it finished off with a bang, but sadly I wish I liked this more than I did.
Bookbookowl 22 days ago
Thank you so much to Tor Teen for providing me with a copy of A Thousand Fires, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Valerie has counted on being recruited by The Herons gang on her 18th birthday. She knows her boyfriend will be recruited and she assumes she will be riding out her one year gang service with him. But when a different gang, The Stags recruit her, with the promise of giving her information on who in The Boars gang killed her little brother, her entire world is turned upside down. Caught between the loyalty she must show to Jax, the leader of The Stags, and the boy she still loves, in the rival gang, she’ll need to figure out who she can really trust. A Thousand Fires felt like such an original book. I know it’s been compared to The Outsiders, and I see why, but it was such a great story in it’s own right. Fast paced and modern, with plenty of emotional moments, the story takes us on a ride where everyone has different agendas and backstories as to why they chose to join the gangs. Although the story is told from Valerie’s point of view, we get to know a surprising amount about the other characters in the story – especially her fellow gang members in The Stags. There were some heavy topics involved, such as self harm and grief, so proceed with caution if those are a trigger for you. All in all, I honestly wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did and I’m quite surprised there hasn’t been more hype around it!
marongm8 23 days ago
This book was received as an ARC from Macmillan-Tor/Forge in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I could not stop reading this book, the action, the drama, the conflict evolving for Valerie and her family was so breathtaking that it knock my socks off right away. First off, it's about time that a female heroine is named Valerie. Valerie is a powerful name and boy did she fit her role well. This reminded me a lot of Divergent but more dramatic and more intense which made me enjoy it more. Valerie's determined to seek vengeance of her brother's death in that she is joining the elite group of Herons with her boyfriend but when a leader of a competitive group gives her an offer she can't refuse, she is dealt a difficult choice between family and vengeance. I was left speechless and breathless and I know our teen book club will love this title too. We will consider adding this title to our YA collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
QuirkyCat 26 days ago
A Thousand Fires is the debut novel of Shannon Price, and is a novel worth checking out. It's a modern-day retelling of The Iliad, with a touch of The Outsiders thrown into the mix. Naturally, that has a lot of readers more than a little bit curious about this one. In a world where three gangs rule the land, everything is both familiar and dangerous. On your eighteenth birthday, you stand a chance of picking recruited by one of three gangs. If recruited, you're expected to put in a year with them. You cannot leave. You cannot run. The Herons are the most organized gang of the three. They've got their hands on corporations and politicians. As such, they tend to rule the roost. The Boars are wild and loud, and will do what it takes the stop the Herons from getting bigger. And then there are the Stags. They're the smallest, and some people even believe that they don't exist. Their goals are much more obfuscated than the other two. Ten years ago Valerie Simons lost her little brother to a gang war. A Boar gang member killed him, even though he was just a kid. Ever since then, Valerie has been working towards getting herself recruited by the Herons so she could get her revenge. Only, she wasn't recruited by the Herons. Instead, the Stags came to her. And they offered her the chance at revenge that she so desperately wanted. All she has to do is earn their trust before they'll give her a name. Just one name, and she'll get the man who murdered her brother. “Eighteen – old enough to have had your heart hardened, young enough that blood still passes through it.” Warnings: This is probably fairly obvious, but this novel contains more than one example of gang violence within its pages. It's never gratuitous, for what it is worth. A Thousand Fires was a magnificent and emotionally compelling novel. It's a prime example of a character driven plot, with Valerie's pain and determination driving her and the plot forward. It was impossible not to feel the pain and anger she was suffering from, while also hoping that she would find a better path in life. As a fan of both The Iliad and The Outsiders, I knew that I had to give this novel a chance. Now that I've read it, I can honestly say that it lived up to all of my expectations. You can see the influences here, naturally. But it also felt very much like its own beast as well. The end result was something both unique and amazing. Valerie's character was dynamic and vibrant. Her pain felt real – like it was emanating from the pages. Watching her get into something over her head made for an interesting read, even if there were times where I felt like screaming at her (have you ever watched a movie and wanted to warn the characters about what was about to happen? It's like that). The secondary characters were equally interesting. The romantic subplot(s) added a lot to Valerie's story...and her confusion. It was a perfect touch. And of course, it helped to add emotional tension to what was happening. Part of me is actually a little bit sad that A Thousand Fires is a standalone novel. I would have happily read a second novel in this series. And even a third. I guess that just means I'll have to check out whatever Shannon Price comes out with next.
Anonymous 26 days ago
For whatever reason, going into the book I expected it have some sort of fantasy element to it. I thought it was going to maybe lean more towards some kind of Divergent-like narrative. However, I was very wrong, but also very okay with that fact. When I first started reading, I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to like it. I'm not much for gangs and wars, but I was surprised by myself, and this book. I found myself intrigued by the story and its characters, specifically what drove each of them. I think it made the characters very relatable and I was able to grapple with their morality as they did, well, at least the main character. I did get some Romeo and Juliet vibes from this, which I was here for. It's not like it's the center of the story, but I'm a sucker for romance nonetheless. I liked that friendship and depression and its different forms played a larger role in the narrative, too. It's something you don't see a lot of in books, and I think that representation is needed.
Jazzie 27 days ago
A captivating and intense YA debut contemporary Note: This Review contains NO spoilers I enjoyed this debut novel from Shannon Price. Although I vaguely remember The Iliad and The Outsiders, I can say that A Thousand Fires definitely gave off a loose reimagining feel of such stories. Anyways, A Thousand Fires is a gripping and captivating story of love, loss, revenge, and sacrifice. Moreover, I think it is more fitting for an upper Young Adult audience since it contains mature content. Shannon Price created an intriguing story with well-developed and complex characters that made this riveting story almost impossible to put down. With the subtle hints of romance, this story had its fair share of interesting and revealing twists. A Thousand Fires is also an emotional journey of a young woman's search for "justice." I don't want to say anymore or else I would reveal too much. I am not one to spoil a good book to others. I know this is a read that some may not enjoy, but I can say that the characters alone can be relatable to others. Moreover, these characters have qualities/aspects to real issues that many of today's young adults deal with. So, yah, I think others will enjoy this YA debut novel.
PaulsPicks 3 months ago
Billed as The Outsiders meets the Illiad, I can definitely see elements of both in A Thousand Fires. But this story and the writing just doesn’t resonate with me like either of those pieces. Set in modern day San Francisco, the story is about one girl’s desire to enact revenge on the gangs that have taken a part of her family away. Valerie is bent on joining the Wars after her brother was struck down in the crossfire two years ago. Against her parents’ wishes, she drops out of high school and accepts the offer to join the splinter gang, The Stags. The Red Bridge War started when a collection of young techies banded together to consolidate power and ideas, but as their money and influence grew, another group called The Boars stepped forward to oppose the Herons. The Stags is a gang that ventured off from the two after much history and political maneuvering. Jax is the attractive and magnetic leader of The Stags. Valerie is drawn to him but thinks she must stay true to her ex-boyfriend who has now joined The Herons, but may still keep up contact. Jax sees it as his mission to expose the truth about the Herons to the world, the fact that they have manipulated real estate deals to change the landscape of the city. He says that he will do it through peaceful means but the players don’t always play by the rules. Part morality play and part ode to teenage rebellion, I just felt like the book lacked in so many ways. There was a lot of waiting around in the gang’s house in the plot and much of the exposition was done through info drops. Another thing I found frustrating was that several of the minor character just aren’t fleshed out very well and as the story progresses they have an impact on the book but those events don’t have the weight they should have because of the lack of characterization. I was excited about the premise and the setting to begin with, and was even allowing to suspend disbelief for many things… but this one just fell flat for me. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Marta Cox 3 months ago
Ok I read the preview provided on Netgalley so was quite intrigued to see where this story would go. Essentially we have Valerie who dearly wants more than anything to find out which gang member killed her brother. Her chance to finally find out is crushed when instead of being offered a position with the Herons she suddenly finds herself taken by the Stags ! Not what Valerie wanted but their unpredictable leader offers to help her so Valerie leaves behind her safe world and enters one full of secrets, deceit and danger. I really wanted to like this as I thought the idea of Gangs reminded me of West Side Story and obviously Romeo and Juliet. I will say because Valerie is in love with Matthew the idea of star crossed lovers did crop up but sadly it didn't actually go in the direction I'd hoped for. Valerie and Jax just never made sense to this reader as he wasn't developed enough. Plus the three gangs and the power they had really wasn't that believable. This is a standalone book so expect Valerie to get revenge but the cost is hard leaving this reader feeling empty. This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
BookishBecca 3 months ago
Overall, A Thousand Fires is a good book. It's face-paced, brutal, violent, dark, edgy and gritty, mostly in good ways. It's set in an alternate version of San Francisco that is dominated by gang wars between the Herons, Boars and Stags. On her eighteenth birthday, Val joins the elusive Stags on a quest to get revenge on the Boar who murdered her kid brother. Val is an endearing and strong character who has endured so much pain and experiences more in this book. There is clear character development here as she starts out as a naive young girl and turns into this strong woman who discovers who she is. It must be said though, that there should be a content warning in this book for self-harm. The MC struggles with it, and it goes into some detail about it. As a self-harm survivor, I know it could be a little triggering for some folks. I thought that Price handled it really well, she dealt with a dark subject without glorifying it, and in the end, the MC is on the road to healing and recovery, which is the main theme of the book.