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Embers Mass Market Paperback – March 30, 2010
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“Bickle has something great in Anya. Embers has everything: demons, ghosts, dragons, love, sex, police, and murder.”
—M.L.N. Hanover, bestselling author of Darker Angels
“Gritty but never grim, Embers is a truly urban fantasy, where the soul of a city haunts every page. I can’t wait for more of Anya and the unforgettable Sparky!”
—Jeri Smith-Ready, award-winning author of Bad to the Bone and Shade
About the Author
Laura Bickle has worked in the unholy trinity of politics, criminology, and technology for several years. She and her chief muse live in the midwest, owned by four mostly-reformed feral cats. Her short fiction has appeared here and there. Sparks is her second novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
I like stories about ghosts and mediums. Embers puts a new spin on the familiar story by introducing a special, and rare, form of medium called a Lantern. Anya is a strong female lead with a special gift, but she is definitely not perfect. She has her faults and weaknesses. My favorite character was Sparky, Anya’s familiar. Bickle has done a great job developing her world and her characters; I frequently forgot that this was the first book in the series as it didn’t have any of that debut novel feel. I recommend this novel, and I’ll be grabbing the next in the series, Sparks, during my next book shopping spree.
Check out my blog for more indepth reviews and recommendations.
HIGH LEVEL: I enjoyed this book- think of it as an "atmospheric" read. It's almost as if you are watching the entire story unfold through fog- or smoke. It was calming, although could be slow at times. Refreshingly new take on Urban Fantasy mythology and complex conflicts- both internal and external.
PLOT: I was pleased by how well Ms. Bickle threaded the reality of modern day Detroit within her story. Made an excellent setting and completed the dark, conflicted tone. Main plot was a little thin, nothing complex- the mystery is unraveled a bit too quick. Giving the main character a day job as an arson investigator was brilliant- added to her character, the plot and the general depth of the story. The night job as a ghost hunter was unfortunately a bit tired and lack luster- it read like a colorful episode of the TV show and needs work.
MYTHOLOGY: You'll find ghosts, written to have appropriate depth, and demons that were written a bit more cliché. The truly gifted piece of magic was the different types of mediums people could be and the complexity of Anya's status as a "Lantern." Nicely thought through and I can't wait to see more in future books. The mythology was creative and engaging- the drawback, however, was that it was too vague in the greater scheme of things. I never did get a good sense of how the paranormal and the normal got along- how aware the society at large was of the creatures that went bump in the night. Exactly how did all the history that was presented fit together with the present? It felt incomplete.
CHARACTERS: Eclectic and engaging. I appreciated how well most were played around each other- though the police detectives were extremely two dimensional. The story would definitely have benefited from a bit more character development for some of the supporting roles, but the lead was nicely done- well rounded, grounded. The clever sidekick of the salamander familiar Sparky was just awesome- he had more character than almost anyone else. He really made the book and is the main reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 3.
BOTTOM LINE: I enjoyed it enough that I intend to continue reading the series, but wished there was a bit more to it. The main characters were likeable and the mythology clever and well written. I imagine this series is only going to get better.
RECOMMENDATIONS: (Not including the universally loved Kim Harrison's The Hollows, Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden and Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson)
- Ilona Andrew's gritty, post-apocalyptic magic vs technology world: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1)
- Faith Hunter's more ethereal, less tangible, but still riveting series Bloodring (Rogue Mage, Book 1)
- Faith Hunter's bounty-hunter shifter series Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, Book 1)
- Jocelyn Drake's vampire/were/demon centric series full of grit: Nightwalker (Dark Days, Book 1)
- Caitlin Kittredge's procedural crime with a were heroine Night Life (Nocturne City, Book 1)
- Ann Aguirre's psychometric investigator in Blue Diablo: A Corine Solomon Novel
- Eileen Wilks' procedural crime featuring werewolves, etc Tempting Danger (The World of the Lupi, Book 1)
- Diana Rowland's demon summoning cop Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, Book 1)
- Lilith Saintcrow's two series, both darker and far more gritty Night Shift (Jill Kismet, Hunter, Book 1) and Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine, Book 1)
- Seanan McGuire's fae private eye series that starts with Rosemary and Rue (October Daye series)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Apparently Anya can see ghosts, the good and the bad ones.Read more
I absolutely love the Urban Fantasy (UF) genre, along with Paranormal Romance, it definitely gets the top spot in my heart as for my taste in reading.Read more
"Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits...Read more