Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can’t shut it off. Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl–who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin–moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he’s never had: purpose. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Dark, moody, and breathtakingly relevant, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated boy with unimaginable ability, is sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.
Estevan Vega creates a very realistic portrayal of family disfunction, influenced by a darker theme. Arson’s ability to create fire and destroy at whim causes an increase in his social isolation until he meets Emery, the strange girl next door who hides her face behind a mask. The duo learn about making mistakes, relationships, failure, and the dark power that lurks behind Arson. It is a constant battle for Arson to control his power. Stress and emotional pain can make the power even more difficult for Arson to stop the flames from emerging.
I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Vega at Monster Mania in Hunt Valley, MD. I was intrigued enough to purchase Arson and I brought it back to my hotel room. I could not set this book down. Page to page, I lost myself in the story. Vega writes this story from the point of view of not just Arson and his friend Emery, but also from Emery’s disfunctional parents, Arson’s demented grandmother, and other characters. His accurate portrayal of social isolation, family disfuntion, and human interaction. I refer to this type of book as an “accursed page turner”. I could not stop reading. I do want to warn readers: there is disturbing content, but underlying it all is a message of hope and love.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. Every single one of us has experienced a time when we felt isolated or that we just didn’t fit in. Mr. Vega has created two characters who epitomize that feeling, and reminds us of that sensation.
A sequel to this book, Ashes, is in the works, and I cannot wait to see where Mr. Vega takes Arson and Emery!