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Fireborn: Embers of Atlantis Paperback – August 30, 2011
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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Top customer reviews
The flashbacks were well done, and the writing was smooth and easy - the mark of a practiced craftsman. If you're a fan of urban fantasy, this book is definitely worth reading.
Ethan Gallows is a cameraman in a world gone mad. Things are falling apart and magic is real. When he goes along with a reporter to London to film an art show he runs into a powerful woman named Sojourner who wants Ethan to come with her. Ethan wants nothing to do with magic, but when he finds he may actually be one of three scions left in the world who is hosting a dragon he may not have a choice. If the world is to be saved, Karma increased, and the Taint reduced, then Ethan will have to live up to his potential.
There were some things I really like about this story. I enjoyed the scenes in the past of how Atlantis fell; these were interesting and engaging. I enjoyed the crazy, nearly post-apocalyptic type world that Ethan live in. You never knew what to expect in this world; there was crazy magic, zombies, monsters...it was just completely unpredictable.
The action scenes were also well done. I loved the idea of Taint and Karma fighting to make the world evil or good and enjoyed how the balance could be shifted.
There was a lot that could have used some improvement too. The characters were okay, but not very engaging. The best of the bunch was the CNN reporter; she was spunky, an absolute mystery, and fun to read about. Ethan was too dour to be all that interesting and engaging of a character.
Although I enjoyed the unpredictability of the world, because of the lack of description I had trouble picturing it at times. I would have enjoyed more description and a little more explanation as to why the world was the way it was.
The constant switching between the historical scenes at Atlantis and the current day scenes in London, was somewhat awkward and interrupted the flow of the story making it hard to stay engaged in the story. There were also a couple of plot points that were just weird. For example there is a fight scene on the subway that for some reason is told from the recording camera's perspective....I didn't understand why. It would have been better to tell it from one of the character's perspectives, hearing it as a camera recording was just awkward and strange.
Also towards the end there is a prolonged section where out characters encounter Nazi zombies...I was left at a total loss as to why. It didn't add anything to the story, was contrived, and again awkward to read.
Overall this is an okay book. I loved the world created here and enjoyed the idea of balancing Karma and Taint. I also enjoyed the history about Atlantis and how dragons were involved. The action scenes are very well done too. Unfortunately I did not like the characters, had a hard time picturing parts of the world created, and thought that the storyline didn't flow very well. Additionally there are a couple scenes in the book that feel contrived and don't really add much to the story, they are just awkward. This does appear to be the first in a series starring Ethan and crew. I probably won't be reading future installments in this series because I just didn't find the characters and story engaging enough.
I've been a fan of Hickman's books for 15 years of more, and was eager to read this one. I had never heard of the Fireborn RPG before, but have read hundreds of other books written in role playing settings. No knowledge of the game setting is required to read this book, it works well as a standalone novel. I thought this book was an interesting read. I liked the setting and the characters. I've always found Hickman's books to be easy to read with a smooth, flowing storyline with characters that the reader comes to love (or hate). I read through this book quickly, wanting to know what happens next. The biggest disappoint I had was that the book ended. At about 300 pages, it's not a short book, but I wanted it to keep going. Now I'm stuck waiting impatiently for the next book.