Series: Embers – Book 1
Author: Laura Bickle
No. Of Pages: 359
Release Date: 30 March 2010
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.
Embers wasn’t what it could have been.
After an interesting start things started happening that were just plain odd, and not in a good way.
The storyline about a fire investigator was intriguing, it’s just a pity that we had about two chapters of investigative work and the rest was filler.
Anya presents as an interesting character, she is intelligent, quick-witted and gutsy. Anya is a Lantern, a fire elemental, and I just wish in one book involving powers that someone would actually be inquisitive enough to explore what they can do and be completely ignorant of them until halfway through the middle of the story. It became quite boring seeing how much Drake, the evil guy who is also a Lantern could do that Anya couldn’t.
My favourite character would have to be Sparky, which would be inevitable for most people as he is a funny little creature who is like a playful puppy. Sparky is a salamander with a taste for electrical currents and a love for his plastic glow worm.
The other secondary characters didn’t really fit in with the story, some were meant to, but others just didn’t work.
Ciro was excellent, smart and dependable. Jules was annoying because he was an overbearing bible basher that took everyone around him for granted, he was too narrow minded to really fit in with what he was supposed to be doing. Max was a pointless character who caused too much trouble, not in a funny way though, in a what the hell are you doing kind of way. Max didn’t bring anything interesting to the table at all. Katie is a witch, but I kept getting the feeling that she was fake, for all of the magical beings around her she just didn’t square up with her massages and salt throwing, and yet she relied upon for her “talents”. She just didn’t really work as a character.
Brian goes both ways for me; he’s almost a nerdy version of tall, dark and handsome. He also seems too good for Anya, and he was. He fell into a coma early into the novel, and it seemed like that was just so Bickle could get him out of the way while Anya consorted with other men whilst trying to convince herself she was in love with Brian.
The sex scene was kind of pointless, and I’m a person who likes a bit of smut in her novels, but the fact that the love scene was lacking the love interest and was just a one-night stand with some dude was completely irrelevant.
I have been taught when writing that if it doesn’t attribute to character development or the storyline, it’s not worth putting in. Bickle has obviously never heard this saying.
I know I went on a lot about the characters, but they are what stood out to me this story. There was no storyline, it fizzled out in the first four chapters, it was all Anya, and it was boring.
If I manage to snag a free copy of Sparks, from a sale or a contest, I will read it, but I’m not going to go out and buy it based on Embers.