Praise for Daughters of Fire

Daughters of Fire tells two love stories. The first is . . . between an optimistic but wary native woman of depth and beauty and a callow Australian researcher . . . The second, which pervades every freshly painted scene and every clever turn of plot, is the palpable esteem in which the writer holds the islands he calls home. . . . This is a spiritual novel, poised between the stars watched from the island's famous telescope and the hot turbulence underground; it constantly reminds us that there is much more to our world than meets the eye. . . . This is one highly recommended thrill ride of a book.

—Arthur Rosenfeld, Huffington Post Books

Set on the island of Hawaiʻi, Daughters of Fire keenly captures the boiling point of long-simmering tensions between traditional lifestyles and Western development.

—Jeanne Cooper, San Francisco Chronicle


An enthralling ride that introduces the reader to virtually all of the forces at work in Hawaii today. From the historical to the scientific, the spiritual to the political, to corruption and eruptions, this carefully researched thriller of a novel MUST be made into a film! I can think of no more effective way to inform the public of what is really going on in Hawaiʻi.

—Victoria Mudd, Academy Award winning producer of “Broken Rainbow” and “Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion"


This is a book about power and justice . . . one of the most factually aware novels I’ve come across . . . It is a lush and earnest story of good and evil, rich in metaphor and magical realism that takes place in contemporary times but holds fast to a time long gone . . . It’s not enough to learn about Hawaiʻi, the book seems to say—you must also respect it. You can find those words written in dozens of guidebooks, but this novel shows why.

—Anthony Pignataro, Maui Time Weekly

Set amid the beauty, volcanoes, and intrigue of Hawaiʻi, Daughters of Fire is an original novel exploring the meeting point between cultures . . . An engaging saga of suspense, crafted with a deep understanding and appreciation for Hawaiʻi's unique history and culture, Daughters of Fire is highly recommended.

—Midwest Book Review,


The latest novel from Koa Books is an epic tale . . . a thrilling mystery of social and political discord . . . you can tell Peek is not only a resident of Hawaiʻi but also familiar with the cultural and geographical history of his settings . . . Peek writes about the land with respect. He writes about the Hawaiian spirit with reverence. The shadow of the volcano, the heart of Pele, is a very sacred place . . . a powerful place, and Peek does well in capturing it . . . He has spent years working on the volcano and it certainly reflects in his work. I am very excited to see what he does next.

—Misty-Lynn Sanico,

Tom Peek's novel offers a window into the complex reality of life in contemporary Hawai'i. His storyline moves between, in, and around native/western worlds with relative ease, creating an intriguing tension and discomfort that makes for great storytelling. Peek's understanding of place, culture, and current issues is deep and respectful, without being heavy-handed. Daughters of Fire is a terrific read for people who want more than a "fun-in the sun" read. Locals and visitors will be swept into the world of Pele and life on Moku o Keawe.

—Maile Meyer, founder and owner of Native Books / Na Mea Hawaiʻi

Daughters of Fire is a book whose most immediate strengths lie in its wide popular appeal and its mixture of romantic adventure tale and noir. Even more, however, it is Peek’s keen sense of place that nourishes the lives of his characters . . . Places come alive for the reader on every page of this taut, deftly constructed novel. This is an unforgettable work of fiction that will have much to say to readers of each generation. . . . Peek is a storyteller extraordinaire, cut from an older cloth seldom seen today.

—Dr. Susan Y. Najita, The Contemporary Pacific (Read Article)

Tom Peek . . . has lived a life worthy of Melville, Twain and Stevenson. . . . The book, with multiple plot lines . . . has drawn comparisons to Michener’s Hawaii.

—John Burnett, Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald

A multifaceted gem of a novel, vividly imaginative in its storytelling, yet stunningly accurate in its rendering of Hawai‘i’s history and contemporary scene. Daughters of Fire is the literary confluence of James Michener’s classic novel with Gavin Daws’ honest post-statehood study Land and Power in Hawai‘i. A sweeping tour of Hawai‘i, honestly portraying islanders of all hues and voices, written by an author who took the time to listen and observe, and write from his own direct experiences with the island and its people. It’s an honest, telling tale that gives visitors deeper insight into those disconcerting glances they sometimes get from the local people. A tight, gripping drama that exalts the power and mystery of nature over the supremacy of man, for anyone who can see and feel and know there is sacred all around us.

—Nelson Ho, past Chair of Sierra Club’s Hawai‘i Chapter

As someone who grew up on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, I appreciate that the book honored the island and its local people. It was hard to put down

—June Kaililani Tanoue, Kumu Hula of Halau i Ka Pono, Chicago

The rifts in the earth at Kilauea volcano are mirrored by the rifts in local society in Tom Peek’s debut novel Daughters of Fire, and although it’s a work of fiction, there are forces at work that anyone who lives in today’s Hawai‘i will recognize.

—Chris Vandercook, Hawaiʻi Public Radio

Daughters of Fire tells the story of modern Hawaii, with its political problems and controversies. Peek brings it to life through his experience and knowledge, gleaned from years of studying with local Hawaiians and living among them as brother and friend. His book reflects his passion and respect for Hawaii, most especially the Big Island, site of Hawaiʻi’s famous and feared volcanoes. . . . He shares this knowledge and perspective with the reader in a far more knowledgeable and detailed manner than other writers who visited Hawaii occasionally, such as Michener and Robert Louis Stevenson. . . . Daughters of Fire, however, is more than a story. It’s a message about man’s connection to the environment, which is important for man’s ultimate survival. . . . Find the mystery, adventure, excitement and wisdom from this must-read novel.

—Carol Forsloff, Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

In Daughters of Fire Tom Peek has written a highly engaging novel with a finely crafted, intricate plot and fascinating, well-wrought characters set in one of the most beautiful places on earth—the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Drawing on years of experience living and working with Native Hawaiians, Peek takes us into the spiritual and cultural depths of Native Hawaiian traditions, presenting in a respectful and convincing way a worldview that deserves serious consideration in a time of rampant economic development that threatens to undermine and destroy traditional cultures throughout the world.

—Dr. Edwin Bernbaum, author of Sacred Mountains of the World

Like a local plate lunch special, [Daughters of Fire is] a mix of many different genres, an unexpected combination of flavors and tastes that work well together. It’s a romance. It’s a murder mystery. It’s a political thriller. It’s a social commentary on traditional Pacific vs. western world views . . . Readers familiar with the landscape and culture will appreciate the authenticity , and those new to Hawaii will get a taste of the complexity of island culture without feeling lost. If you’re looking for a book to take on a trip—or to remember your Big Island vacation—this one satisfies.

—Lehua Parker, author of One Boy, No Water, a Niuhi Shark Saga

If it is dynamic, strong women you like in a story, then this is going to be a favorite. If you are intrigued by the mysticism of the Hawaiian gods and goddesses . . . then Daughters of Fire will be both exciting and educational. . . . If the power of the natural world fascinates you, the geology of Hawaii, its active volcanoes and the powerful ocean surrounding it are sure to excite and lure you to turn the page and maybe even book a ticket. Finally, if all that is not enough to get you to read Daughters of Fire, then good old political cronyism, corruption, and greed wrapped up with murder and beautiful women should reel you in. . . . There is something for everyone in this great fun book.

—Sheryl Lynch, Librarian, Hawai‘i Public Library in Kapole

The story starts out mellow as Gavin (Australian astronomer) and Maile (Hawaiian/Chinese anthropologist) get to know each other. After about 40 pages, the intrigue begins and the story takes off. The action never slows as danger and conflict build, right up to the explosive ending. The Hawaiian history, folklore, gods, sorcery, and magic are treated with utmost respect by the haole author. I highly recommend the book to anyone who loves these islands and the people who inhabit them.

—Laurie Hanan, author of Almost Paradise and other Hawaiʻi mysteries

In Daughters of Fire, Tom Peek combines the storyteller's skill of involving readers in the characters' diverse life experiences and worldviews with the academic's careful attention to detailed research. This book would provide a unique and effective vehicle for addressing important topics on social change and intercultural communication in college courses.

—Dr. Michael Osmera, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, Linfield College in Oregon

This was definitely a book I couldn’t put down . . . a wonderful read—full of neat vignettes of Hawaiʻi ‘socio-politics’ and good adventure.

—Dr. John P. Lockwood, volcanologist and coauthor of Volcanoes: Global Perspectives

Earthquakes, volcanoes and a romance in paradise . . . Daughters of Fire hits the trifecta of a South Seas adventure.

—John Dvorak, former USGS geophysicist and author of Earthquake Storms

Daughters of Fire in a way takes off where Hawaii by James Michener ended. It’s an emotional, terrifying, and inspiring look at this land that has moved so many to its paradise atmosphere and possibilities. Notable fiction!

—Viviane Crystal, Crystal Book Reviews and

In addition to crafting great characters for this work, Peek’s prose flows through the pages with all of the rhythm and feeling of the old Hawaiian legends . . . the combination of story and legend transported me, making me feel that I was actually on the island, dealing with the problems of clashing cultures . . . In fact, I think this one is a treasure and definitely deserves more exposure and should garner many more readers.

—Lyn M. Meadows, A Book Addict's Musings and