The Fire Within My Heart
Ayshen Irfan (@author_ayshen)
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@cleric20)
"I was only twenty years old when I died. Who would have thought that with death came immortality?"
This is how the dark tale The Fire Within My Heart begins. It's an unhappy story featuring the town of Britchelstone where a rampant serial killer is targeting young women.
Bad news for Scarlet Cherie - our main protagonist as she finds herself as his first victim - left to rot on the side of the road, she slips into the darkness, awaiting her mortal fate.
Rather than then move to a police crime story - author Ayshen takes the plot into the fantastical by having Scarlet come 'back' thanks to an enigmatic entity named Nikolaos.
Whilst the killer continues to strike, Scarlet is thrown into new reality, meeting and dealing with weird and wonderful creatures. Oh she has spooky powers too - perfect for exacting revenge on her killer from the shadows...
It's not too much of a spoiler to tell you have Scarlet has become a vampire, and all bets are off as to where she'll end up.
The Fire Within My Heart is packed with some fascinating lore, a host of supernatural creatures and some very dark fantasy action. It's a great tale for those who enjoy the more arcane things of life - so not for the faint of heart or anyone adverse to the fantastical.
I had the chance to ask Ayshen the Darkmatters Q's - read on to get to know her a bit better...
Matt: If the devil sent a demon version of you – who or what would be your nemesis?
Ayshen: What an interesting question! I have a certain curiosity and intrigue in Archangel Michael,
and I like to think that he would be my nemesis for two reasons. Firstly, we could have a sort
of second War of Heaven, where Michael leads a great army to fight me, but I collapse from
grace and become a server of Satan instead. Secondly, as he is the Angel of Death
according to some, I think it would be a very interesting concept if we both worked as agents
of death—him as an angel and I a demon. He could be trying to take them up to heaven,
giving their soul an opportunity to redeem themselves, and then my pesky, spectral figure
appears and tempts their soul to sin.
Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or
watched in a book / film of any genre?
Ayshen: Basically the entire film Martyrs (2008). That whole film deeply disturbed me. There is
literally not one exact point I can say is most disturbing.
Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the
centre of London what type of parade would it be?
Ayshen: A spooky, sinister parade! One where we all dance through the streets at midnight dressed
as ghostly figures and creatures of the night. We would throw rose petals through the night,
letting them rain down and settle across the city like red snow. It would be gothic, and
fantastic, and mesmerising, and debauched.
Matt: You’re in a strange town with £100,000 that you have to spend in a single evening – talk me through what you get up to…
Ayshen: Rent out the biggest, oldest house (preferably a castle—if it’s in England, I feel most places
probably have a castle at least somewhere in the town) I can find and get hundreds of
ominous invites made that say I’m throwing a party. As someone else I’ve hired goes out to
post them through every letterbox, I get all the party bits together and then, as the witching
hour falls, the party begins. The one rule for this party is, however, that you must be dressed
up in elaborate fineries to enter. But, I am neither cruel nor exclusionary, so I would have a
cloakroom filled with fancy dress that people are welcome to borrow if they so wish in order
to enter. Imagine The Great Gatsby meets Interview with the Vampire.
Hmm… I might have gone a bit over budget, though!
Matt: Best film line of diallogue ever?
Ayshen: “People should not be afraid of their government, government should be afraid of their
people” — V for Vendetta (2005)
Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask?
Ayshen: Plot twist: it’s Archangel Michael! He’s swapped the scale and sword for a gun.
Matt: What is the meaning of life?
Ayshen: I shan’t even pretend to know the answer to this—and it probably varies greatly depending
on my mood of the day.
Matt: Who is the most attractive person on the planet?
Ayshen: This has genuinely been the hardest of all the questions… ahh, I simply don’t know! If they
have to be a real person, then I suppose I would say Joan Jett as she was my childhood
crush and I still have many pictures of her on my wall.
I’m honestly stumped with this one, it seems like a lacklustre answer, but I simply can’t think
of just one person (who is either not fictional or only attractive playing one specific role in a
TV show or film).
Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you?
Ayshen: Write down my book ideas that always pop up when in the shower and have no bloody way
of jotting them down! On a serious note, it would be really cool if they could record my dreams somehow, but maybe that’s too unrealistic.
Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?
Ayshen: I plan to be immortal, so far it seems to be working out—I’m not dead yet, after all.
There you have it, a delve into the tortured mind behind this dark thriller, I enjoyed the trip into the nether world and it certainly sits nicely alongside two of my Burton Mayers Books stablemates who also have vampire books out - Fiona's Guardians and The London Vampire Diaries.
Here's my verdict on The Fire Within My Heart...
Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - An effective, dark and different vamp-em-up...)
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