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4.12.2010

Embers by Laura Bickle


EmbersEmbers by Laura Bickle
Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster
Author Web Site

PJVs QUICKIE POV: Not to be trite, but Embers by Laura Bickle smolders with urban fantasy originality and suppressed emotional turmoil.  With each turn of the page, Bickle sucked me deeper into the heated world of inner city Detroit and held no punches regarding a city that is on the brink of collapse. Bickle exploits everything that makes a good urban fantasy in Embers. A tragically haunted main character that is tough as nails, yet close to breaking because of emotional strain.  A background urban setting that sets the tone of the novel.  An originally crafted plot that sets itself apart from all the other vampire and werewolf stories that are jostling each other for recognition. A simmering romance that isn't the main focus, but is touched on just enough to build tension.  I was highly impressed with Bickle's debut and was very excited to read this book, I'm glad it lived up to the hype - and was chosen as a BWB adult selection.

REVIEW: Anya, tragic urban fantasy heroine, is a Lantern. She can see spirits and literally absorb them within herself. A souleater, she also is in possession of an elemental spirit, in the form of a Salamander named Sparky. A charming character, Sparky wraps himself around Anya and protects her from the spirits that are constantly harassing the only person that can really see them.

Anya is also an arson investigator and she is on the trail of a ritualistic arsonist.  The arsonists crimes are almost perfect in their total destruction and they always leave one clue, the scorched depiction of a serpent.  On top of her investigation, Anya also participates in a ghost researching unit that calls itself DAGR.  It is a reluctant relationship, because Anya is the only one that really sees the spirits and is forced to absorb the nasty ones, and sometimes even deal in demon possessions, something she does not like to do.

Anya's life is a tough one, she is stretched thin and still dealing with numerous ghosts from her past that haunt every step she takes. As the investigation of the arsonists is launched to a murder investigation, when a firefighter dies, Anya must evaluate her life, what she is, and just what she holds dear.

A superb example of the Urban Fantasy genre, Embers is an easy and entertaining adult read. Prime for fans of the UF genre and a great starter for those that would love to jump into this genre.  If you can't tell I really liked this one.  The only problems that I found with it were a few plot threads that didn't make sense. I really didn't understand, who could and could not see the spirits. It seems no one but Anya could see them at the beginning, but then that the DAGR team could by the end. Small problem though.  One thing I must mention though, that I have been obsessing about it since I read this, where do I get a pair of dancer shoes, and um why haven't I heard of this before?

RECOMMENDATIONS: Urban fantasy lovers and starters, go for it, a great read. It is an adult selection.  There are some hot scenes, but nothing graphically explicit.

BWB 4/4






  1. So if you had the chance would you have a pet elemental, even with the inconvenience of broken microwaves?
    1. The Christmas light incident was really scary.  I'm a bit on the scattered brain side when it comes to shutting off lights and turning up the A/C, so I think while Sparky seems like a great companion, I might have to pass on adopting the next salamander that crosses my path.
  2. What did you think about the relationship between, Brian, Anya and Drake?
    1. I didn't really connect with Brian, he was cute but I didn't find the depth of emotion that she ended up feeling. I thought the Drake element added some flavor that you don't necessarily find. 
  3. Did the book make you want to visit Detroit or steer clear?
    1. Steer clear.  While she did go into some redeeming qualities by the end, I don't think I would want to live there. 
  4. A big part of Embers surrounds paranormal activity and the whole Scooby style system....What do you think of shows like Ghost Hunter, Paranormal State and the such? 
    1. I think they are probably all staged. I just watched The Fourth Kind last night and now I am completely POd at Hollywood in general that they really tried to pull over that crazy scam. So those shows are probably hoaxes. 
  5. Do you believe in the paranormal world around us or chalk it up to complete fantasy and make believe?
    1. I believe that there are so many stories that are rampant throughout the world. Stories that coincide from one culture to the next that are similar in nature.  From vampires, to werewolves, to Big Foot, to Ghosts...their stories are all very similar and hard to discount just because of lack of actual hard evidence, I'm waiting for the vamps to come out of the closet. LOL. Regarding actual ghosts it's probably the one aspect of the paranormal that I'm pretty sure is real. You see, I'm from New Orleans and it is a very haunted city. I've actually lived in a haunted house up until Katrina. I've watched a 10 lb jar, filled with orange slices slide from the back of the refrigerator to slam down on the back of my stepsister's head, almost landing her in the hospital (the ghost didn't like teenagers). I've also woken in the night to hear the ghost banging on an internal window in the house - internal meaning we had an addition added to the house, and instead of pulling out the window it looked out to a shelving unit that was only accessible from inside the house.  There was never anyone there. So yes I believe in spirits. And I wonder what happened to our spirit, whom I believe was a WWII soldier who died shortly after returning form the war in that house. You see the house was under 13 feet of water for Katrina and we razed it, so now it is just a lot. I wonder if he haunts the lot?




10 comments:

Tina said...

eeeckkkkk Haunted house with a WWII vet, um yeah Ive never seen or heard anything like that...I like smelling the flowers and skipping stones..:D

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

don't really watch those shows at all.

Blodeuedd said...

Sounds like a lot going on, and I like the sound of it

Sullivan McPig said...

Nice review.
I ordered this book, but as it's being shipped from the US with standard shipping rate I'll probably will have to wait a couple of weeks for it gets here *sigh*

Melissa said...

This really sounds like something I need to read. Ah, one more to add to the wish list!

Diana (Book of Secrets) said...

Great review! I think I'd really enjoy this one. Sounds original.

Lily Child said...

This one is definitely going on the tbr list! Thanks for another great review! :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

This does sound like an amazing read! I really liked the synopsis on the back of the book when I saw it, and was sold then. But this review has added to the fire. Thank you!

Donna [F.D. Ramblings] said...

I almost started reading this one last weekend, I will read it next for sure now. Terrific review!

The Bookish Type said...

This sounds really exciting! It seems like all the fantasy books I come across these days are YA (not that I don't love YA) so it's refreshing to see an adult version. Thanks so much for writing this great review!

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