I felt that I really should have loved Luka and the Fire of Life, but didn't. The novel was full of clever references to myth and magic. It was in some ways a very traditional find-your-father adventure, and at the same time took place in the modern world complete with video games and American movie stars, and I found that combination of traditional and modern very exciting and fresh. The story teller voice of the book was strong, so strong and so prevalent that I found it hard to suspend disbelief. My personal taste in fantasy is to forget that I'm reading a story and root for characters that seem real to me, characters for whom I care deeply. Adding to my difficulty in connecting with characters, members of Luca's adventuring party often disappeared, went mute, seemed like actors who had no lines and suddenly popped back into the story again when it was convenient to the plot. I prefer a story in which all the important characters interact and participate on a regular basis.