Title: Embers (Anya Kalinczyk, #1)
Author: Laura Bickle
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: March 30th 2010 by Pocket
"Truth burned. It always burned, even in the dark, cold hours of the morning when nearly everything slept."
"Embers" is the very first book in a brand new Urban Fantasy series of at least two books.
The cover alone with its warm yellow, red and orange shades really made me want to read this book. It reflects the story very well, as Embers is, as the name suggests all about fire.
Anya Kalinczyk is an arson investigator for the Detroit Fire Department by day and a member of the DAGR (Detroit Area Ghost Researchers) by night. And she is a Latern, a rare type of medium who is able to devour ligering, malevolent spirits.
As a series of arsons unsettle the city and her two jobs she tries so hard to keep apart, inevitably mingle, Anya makes it her goal to stop the deadly arson who tries to summon a ancient entity to derstroy the city.
Anya is a charcter who is deeply marked and influenced by a horrible accident in her past. She tries to keep herself apart from others in fear of hurting themand thus often makes her feel lonely. It is that very fear that also affects the relationship with the people she works with. As Laterns are one of the rarest of the psychic mediums, her ability only adds to her feeling of isolation. In addition, Anya struggles with her ability, which causes her both physical and emotional pains. Other than most characters gifted with a special ability, she doesn´t embrace it or use it gladly but tries to ignore it. Even though she craves the feeling of being protected, she has a hard time accepting her colleagues´ care. Anya is a conplex character who suffers from her past but still tries to manage the present on her own by make some tough decisions. She is a nice contrast to the other kick-ass heroines in the Urban Fantasy genre without being whiny.
Her only companion is Sparky, the unruly salamander familiar. Even though she often complains about him, she still seeks comfort in the creature´s presence and touch. Sparky is kind of very much like Anya, as he is unable to ineract directly with anyone except Anya and spirits. That doesn´t stop him however from messing around and destroing any electronic devices.
I really loved Sparky. He added a light note to the story and constantly reminded me of my own dog when he was a puppy.
The villain of the book is a also not your typical bad guy. The more Anya learns about him, the more intrigued she is by him, as he might be one of the only persons who can really understand her.
The members of the DAGR are a bunch of very unalike yet special people who are a great addition to the story.
Embers includes everything you could wish for in an Urban Fantasy book. A compelling story that picks up its pace from page to page until it culminates in a surpruing and sizzling finale (I really wish I could reads faster so I at the end because I wanted to know so badly how it ends)and not your typical vampire and werewolf cast, but something else entirely.
Laura Bickle´s captivating debut makes you laugh with Sparky, sympathize for Anya, cheer for your favourite love interest and bite your nails at the very end.
4.5 of 5 Points from me.
The book includes scenes of sex which are only midly graphic.
The next books called Sparks will be published on August 31 by Pocket.
Laura Bickle has also written Dark Oracle as Alayna Williams.
For more info, check out her homepage:
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