Monday, 10 March 2014

Book Review: Embers by Laura Bickle(Anya Kalinczyk #1)

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.

My Review:
Anya works for the fire department in Detroit but she is also a Lantern-she has the ability to 'eat' troublesome ghosts and remove them from this world. Her talents are often called on by her friends in a ghost hunting group. But now Anya faces a paranormal firebug intent on raising a mythical creature to burn down the city, and has to deal with a demon starting to possess her. Being attracted to the firebug does not help matters...

I liked this book. Anya was a good character and I liked the idea of her being brought in to get rid of troublesome ghosts by eating them. It was a bit different from anything I had read at that point in my urban fantasy reading career! I totally loved Sparky, her salamander familiar with his dog-like antics and love of chewing electrical equipment and causing chaos everywhere he goes. He is a wee rascal who is always getting up to something and she is constantly trying to keep an eye on him. The demon 'Mimi' was quite funny at times and there is a lot of potential there for fun and games. There was a good group dynamic going with the Ghostbusters and all the added interest of tense relationships between them. I like when there are well developed sidekicks that add to the story and the fact that they were a pretty normal bunch made it better.

I didn't really like the romance angle with the psycho firebug though. The guy is an evil lunatic and all you can think about is getting intimate with him? That really annoyed me. He was featuring a bit too much for my liking and I got annoyed with Anya's sympathies for the guy who was murdering people and wanted to sacrifice the city to a big bad beastie. It especially rankled with me when Anya works for an emergency service tasked with saving lives. What is wrong with you, stupid?!!! This is something that can switch me off the paranormal romance side of the genre-heroines getting involved with guys who are scum. However the plot is good enough for me to grit my teeth and get on with it as I really wanted to find out what happened.

Overall this was a good urban fantasy adventure, and those who like this genre and paranormal romance should have a good time with it. Most readers will love Sparky! My Goodreads rating is 4 but I'd give this 3.5 instead if it was possible.
star rating photo: 35 star rating 3-5-stars.jpg

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