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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Embers by Laura Bickle


After a bunch of figurative home runs with new Urban Fantasies, I guess it was time for me to find a book that just didn't work for me. Sadly, I found it with Embers.

It's not that the writing was bad, I think it's just that it flat-out didn't work for me. There were elements that should have made it a story and world that I would like: it drew heavily from mythologies, and it's a world that appears to be like ours on the surface (with magic that exists that most humans (and law enforcement) aren't aware of). However, I kept putting the book down, and almost didn't pick it back up. I read it in a dozen or so sittings because I kept losing interest and putting it down.

Anya wasn't someone I would dislike, but she wasn't super likeable, either. The secondary characters were all pretty one dimensional to me, as well. The ideas were all good - the worldbuilding, the familiar, the plot, the clever use of mythologies... unfortunately, it just didn't come to together for me.

Here's the blurb:

Unemployment, despair, anger--visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit's unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.

Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya--who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern--suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil's Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya--with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team --can stop it.

Anya's accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she's risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she's ever faced.

I'm giving Embers a 5 of 10. I realize I'm in the minority here, but I'm not the only one who has not liked this book. A quick web search turned up a DNF from The Bibliophilic Book Blog and Blog with Bite. Wings at Storywings also didn't seem to care for it. There are lots of people who love the book, just check out the reviews on Amazon if you want to see some positive reviews. But Embers didn't work for me.

I came close to giving Embers a 3 or 4 of 10, but I'm giving it a few more points because the basic idea that the book revolves around is a good one.

Book Rating: Embers: 5 of 10

Embers satisfies another book in the Debut Urban Fantasy series challenge I'm doing, which means I've now read six of the fifteen books in the challenge.

1. Embers
2. Sparks (Aug 31, 2010)

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