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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: Embers by Laura Bickle

Title: Embers
Author: Laura Bickle
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 03/30/10
Truth burns. 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.

Plot: 5 Stars
The arson aspect of the plot was amazing and interesting to read about. You can really tell when an author does their research, and I was amazed by Bickle's ability to describe the fires vividly without being drawn out and boring. I also liked the concept of a lantern, or a medium that uses the element fire, and the lore that was weaved into it. My favorite part was how Anya had to balance the two aspects of her life -- being a fire investigator and a lantern -- in a world where few knew about the paranormal.

Pace: 5 Stars
There was never a dull moment. A couple times, I took a break from reading and was like, Whoa! I read that much? I love when stories fly by like that. Each scene transitioned easily into the next and the action never stopped. The subplot involving DAGR and hunting spirits fit nicely between the arson events leading the story on.

Characters: 5 Stars
I absolutely loved Sparky, Anya's salamander familiar. I loved that he cuddled with a Gloworm and that he liked to play with (and end up destroying) anything electrical. He brought a bit of humor to the story exactly when it was needed. Anya was a very likeable heroine. I enjoyed learning both about her powers as a Lantern and her job as an arson investigator. I also found the members of DAGR to be a good group of people, and I hope to see more of them (especially Brian and Katie) in the sequel.

Cover: 5 Stars
The orange colors of this color make you think you're holding a book that is on fire. The cover model was a very nice choice after reading Anya's description. And I loved that the cover model was wearing a salamander necklace like Anya did (to bind her to Sparky). Little details like this that are taken right from the story always make me happy when I see them on a book cover.

Overall: 5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.


  1. Awesome! I've got this book on order, can't wait to read it now.

  2. Wow great review. Now I can't wait to read this book. I have it just sitting there saying read me read me, but I'm procrastinating and review is not due until the that = procrastination.

  3. I've been debating buying this book - almost did, but ran out of money. Next month!

  4. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. It really means a lot to me that you took the time to read and review it! :-)


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