250 Word review: Ember, Carol Oates

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250 Word Review: Ember (Joyce Oates) Goodreads | Amazon


Summary (From Goodreads.com)
When Candra Ember wakes up in hospital after a dangerous encounter with a red-haired woman, she is shocked to discover that seeing a winged boy wasn’t her imagination. Candra is exposed to a world of rivalry and sacrifice she never knew existed, and the aftermath of a war to save humanity thousands of years ago. Soon she finds herself relentlessly stalked by Sebastian, a beautiful and arrogant Watcher Angel and romantically pursued by his darkly seductive rival, Draven. Ultimately, dubious about her own goodness, Candra’s very existence compromises a tentative peace in the city of Acheron.

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Title: Ember
Author: Joyce Oates
Length: 237 Pages
Source: Tour copy for review (see here for the rest of the tour)

Plot: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Readability: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★


My opinion:
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Ember – the whole angel genre seems to have sort of missed me if I’m honest!

Despite my apprehension, I found Ember enjoyable and refreshing. A great, quick read, I was hooked early on. For fans of the type of male competition seen in shows such as The Vampire Diaries and True Blood – a safe “good” guy vs a compelling bad boy – I’d strongly recommend it. There’s plenty of competition here, and throughout the book you can’t help but wonder if maybe you’re getting the good guy and the bad guy mixed up…

The plot felt original (though that may be my genre naiveté showing through!), and Carol Oates writes beautifully. Candra’s confusion is clearly felt, and I loved the supporting characters. For me though, it was Sebastian and Draven that made the book. With a shared dark past and drastically different attitudes, they’re sexy, intense and innately likeable. The romance in Ember is excellent too – more sensual than sexual. It’s a slow, intense seduction of a relationship (something I wish we saw more of in YA fiction, where I find romances often feel vague and occasionally forced).

My only disappointment with Ember was the ending, which although generally good felt a little anti-climactic. I really enjoyed the book overall though, and I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Buy it? I’ll definitely be buying it.
In a nutshell: Great characters and enough twists to keep you guessing….

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