Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Review: Amber Smoke (The Escaped #1)

Release Date: June 9, 2015
Author: Kristin Cast
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Length: 275 pages

There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has opened the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.

Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.

With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the House of Night series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.



Protagonists: While this book has many third person POVs, and by many I mean about four or five, most of these chapters follow Alek and Eva. Alek is the immortal son of one the the Furies, Maiden, though he was raised by all three of them. He was raised to battle evil in the human world and break a curse set upon his homeland. He cannot break this curse alone, he needs the help of the current Oracle, Eva, who's power lies dormant. I really loved the characters of Alek and Eva, both characters start off fairly flawed in the beginning of the book, and while there isn't a whole lot of development, the potential is there and I felt as though that was kind of the point.

Romance: So as far as I can tell there is not going to be any form of love triangle in this series. What I mean by this is that other than a couple of off handed comments there never seemed to be another guy or girl vying for either Eva' nor Alek's affections. The romance between Eva and Alek, while having an instant connection, is a bit slow moving, maybe not as slow as I would have liked, but definitely not as bad as it could have been. Actually it was funny that there was a bit of not so subtle commentary on insta-loves in this book that I loved.

World-Building: There is a lot of world-building in this book, unfortunately most, if not all, of it is a bunch of set up for the rest of the series. This book was very slow paced, actually correction, it was very slow paced for a Paranormal or Mythology book, if this was a Contemporary it actually would have been fairly fast paced. However, instead of demonic bad guys I was expecting this duo to be fighting we get mortal cops hot on their trail. I mean at least give me one demon/ghost/Tartarus spirit for these two to fight as a team, or give me a better idea for what it means to be the Oracle. Seriously other than a connection the Alek, her Warrior, and some supernatural healing, we don't see any real Oracle magic. It was still enjoyable however and I'm hoping that with all this set up out of the way that we'll get to some crazy awesome demon/warrior/oracle battles.

Predictability: So because of the weird pacing this book actually turned out to be fairly hard to predict. There were a few things in the beginning that I was able to see coming, but as things began to slow down, or rather as I noticed how slow things were moving, it was hard to tell just what was going to happen. This ended up working in the author's favor though as some of the crazier and larger might have been easier to see coming if the plot was moving along faster. There was something, or rather two things, at the end that I neither saw coming nor quite understand.

Ending: So the last official chapter of this book ends in what I'll assume to be the final confrontation, ironically things moved a bit too fast for me to tell, but then there's this crazy cliffhanger. So when the epilogue came up next I was expecting some sort of move towards the story plateauing, even if the story kept that previous cliffhanger the author could have still left the reader with a bit of closure. Nope. The epilogue focuses on a brand new character and moves toward foreshadowing the next installment and ending on yet another cliffhanger. Oh the horror!


So overall, I really enjoyed this book, I'm a sucker for Greek, or really any, Mythology, and while the plot didn't move along too fast I enjoyed the set up and am anxious to see where these characters are going!


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