Monday, July 1, 2013

Laura Bickle: Embers

In her debut novel, Laura Bickle introduces the elements of fire that can be harnessed and used by elemental  people.

Detroit is a city that has had a hard time, unemployment, despair are visible within the people of the city and crime is never far behind. Anya Kalinczyk is an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, this work to her benefit as Anya is also a Lantern; she has the ability to communicate with ghost, devour the evil ones, but also has some elemental abilities of fire. Anya is going to need all her abilities to help solve a serial arsonist who keeps getting bolder and bolder and the fires are starting to become deadly. Anya had until the Devil's Night to uncover what is happening or an ancient evil is going to awaken and devour the city of Detroit.

This book was interesting, it had some really high points but also some low points as well. I see this book as a combination of a few authors that I have read both recently and over the years, mainly Amanda Stevens, Darynda Jones and Jennifer Estep. This is mainly seen in Anya's powers and abilities. Anya's powers seem to be a combination of Charley Davidson's grim reaper powers, Gun's elemental powers over fire, so in total an interesting combination. The story I found was written in a darker and depressing world that is more seen within Steven's novels with the main character trying to fit into a world, where she does not quite fit in.

Overall, this book tends to have a slower pace and flow, and I think that this has something to do more with the profession that Bickle chose for Anya to have. She is a fire investigator, therefore, less "regular" police work when compared to a main character is a police investigators. The investigation overall seems to unfold slowly even when there is a suspect is identified and confirmed and for some reason this also means there is  lack of action within the book as well (and this includes the ending which I found lack luster).

I absolutely Loved Sparky, I think that he is my favorite part in the book. Sparky was something different that I had not read before and I found that he was the comic relief when Anya is in her downward spiral. I thought it was interesting that sparky was attracted to anything that was electrical and shiny and that his favorite toy was a light up glow worm. Sparky was just the relief to the depressing attitude that has surrounded Detroit.

The D.A.R.D is an interesting aspect, and very current idea as it seems like ghost hunting has become once again popular, but it has gone past the simple weegie board to going to places to try to find ghosts. However, in Bickle's book the D.A.R.D help relieve places and people from evil spirits. Whether an individual believes in this type of thing or not I think that Bickle does a good job in covering all bases and have it equal to what has become more popular today.

I was not a big fan of Anya's two love interests. I never really felt like there was a connection with either man and that everything was just forced upon her, or what she thinks that she should be feeling especially with Brian. The forced attraction to Drake kind of made sense with Mimi holding the reins (and due to circumstances), but I was not really a fan of either  man. I think that this is part of the place where Bickle struggled the most maybe with the thought that she had to have some sort of love interest with  I think she could do a lot better and possible listen to Sparky more with her man selection, lol

Overall, I liked the book and the combination of elements that Bickle brought into this novel, however, I did find the book to be a rather slow read and lacked the action (especially in the ending) I have come to expect in the urban fantasy and paranormal genre. I think that I will pick up the next book in the series as I want to see how Anya's powers grow and to read more about Sparky as for me this was the most interesting aspect within the book, but this is not for those who like books that have action.

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