Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: Embers

Hello, dearlings!

Happy Monday to all of you! I hope that the beginning of this new week finds you well, happy, and reading up a storm.

I have for you today a very interesting little book, that I think many of you will probably enjoy. It's odd, though, because I've been hearing this book touted as the "Next Twilight" but I'm completely against that concept. Why? Because it's SO MUCH BETTER. I could barely get through the first book of the Twilight series without gagging on the non-complexity, the poor writing, and the lack of a good story in general. Embers was ENGAGING, WELL WRITTEN, and fun to read.

Well, I'll tell you more about that as we go on. Let's get to the book info, shall we?

Title: Embers
Author: Amy Keen

Genre: YA Supernatural
Publication: September 22, 2012
Pages: 288


Scarlett Roth loves nothing more than to immerse herself in a good book. So, the tale of a modern-day witch hunt and a sinister adversary threatening to irrevocably alter a young girl’s life forever should be the perfect story in which to lose herself. Unfortunately for her; she’s the girl, the threat is real and she will unearth one of the modern world’s greatest secrets – the witch trials are not over, they have evolved.

Scarlett’s life is thrown upside down when she starts having terrifying visions. Her only comfort in a strange new town comes in the form of enticing and popular Jake; but the more she learns about her ‘power’, the more she realises her interest in him is drawing unwanted attention of the darkest kind.

I had a few reservations about this book at first. Another teen-fiction about the supernatural weirdness of a random girl whose life just can't seem to find order. Well, apparently I'm a NEGATIVE NANCY in general, because that's how I feel about most of the modern-paranormal setting Teen books I pick up. Why do I even still get them, I wonder?

Well... because I get surprised every now and then by a book like EMBERS, which is full of a good plot line, great character development, and some recognition that sometimes teenage behavior is just WEIRD. I'll explain that...

I was a teenager once. I remember. However, I think that I forget how all encompassing teen emotions are. There is sometimes ZERO rational thinking that goes along with existing as a teenager. I can't really relate to this anymore, so perhaps this is why Teen books set in a more modern era irk me from time to time. But Amy Keen has created a character that is FULLY AWARE of her weird teenage quirks. Scarlett isn't apologetic about them, why should she be, she's just aware they exist. For this I give Ms. Keen a HUGE THANK YOU.

What is also fantastic, though, is that personal awareness of the main character did not take away the characters teen-ish-ness. I've read some teen books where the main characters were fall too adult seeming. Which can be true in real life, sure, but just-not-likely.

The story was rich, and enjoyable. Scarlett is spunky without being over the top. She's cautious but adventurous. She also has a wee bit of that hard-headed "This is a bad idea but I want to do it anyway"-ness about her that she becomes equal parts annoying and loveable. Like a little sister. You can relate to those moments, but at the same time you're like *facepalm*. 

Though the story began to seem somewhat predictable towards the end, Ms. Keen seemed to have in mind to lure the reader into a false sense of "knowing" and then she shook things up a bit.

Though I enjoyed the whole book, my favorite part by far was the last line.

"They're watching."


The only qualms:

Scarlett never gave off any super-weird vibes to me. Not enough for SPOILER her mother to be able to be convinced by a lunatic that her daughter was insane. SPOILER Now, this doesn't ruin the story for me or anything... but I suddenly have a hard time accepting her mother as such a doting and devoted woman to her daughter. Of course, fear for her daughters safety might have driven her to make an irrational decision. You also never know with those creepo doctors, either. They can be pretty sneaky.

Jake and Scarlett (or did I misread it?) are 18 years old. They are legally responsible for themselves and can make decisions without their parents permission. Now, they're both depicted as good kids who care about their families... but when things get crazy they act like they can't escape when they're plenty old enough to pack their bags and GET THE HECK OUT OF DODGE!

Okay okay. Might I add that this is later explained by the fact that there is NO WHERE TO RUN because the bad guy is everywhere. It was just that before this was explained (much later in the story) I was trying to figure out why escaping was a problem.

Overall this book was enjoyable, engaging, and well written.

I look forward to finishing the second book "ASHES" and posting the review for it on the 12th as part of the wonderful ASHES BLOG TOUR via Gliterary Girl's Media.

Ta ta for now my dears.

Until Next Blog,

Read On!



  1. Sounds like you really enjoyed this book.

  2. Well, Auggie, this is interesting
    I LIKE the idea but I hate it when books are compared to The Twilight Saga
    I liked Twilight, but a lot of books are better than it by a long shot
    GREAT review
    Your reader,