Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Embers Blog Tour Review

Today I am beyond excited to be a part of the Embers blog tour and share with you a few details about this wonderful book. There are several giveaways accompanying this tour. One winner will receive a $100 gift card, another will receive a signed Temptation Series book set, including Temptation, Belonging & Forever, and ten lucky winners will receive an eCopy of EMBERS! Don't forget to enter, and please make sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
A huge thank you to Jenny and Danny from Kismet for organizing this tour and running things so smoothly.

Embers (The Wings of War, #1)Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Series: Wings of War, #1
Released: October 21st 2014
Publisher: K. A. Hopkins
Length: 357 pages
Buy: Amazon

There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. And she may be the only hope mankind has as the rapture approaches and evils rises.
Embers is an epic paranormal adventure about a seventeen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she finds out that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels. While Ember learns about her heritage, and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two teenagers who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the young men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it is cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war, one that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil, and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She also might be one of the few champions who will make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.
Embers is a dark and gritty YA novel that’s the first book in the series, The Wings of War. 

The basic outline of Embers is similar to just about every other YA paranormal romance out there. However, once we start reading it and uncovering the world Karen Ann Hopkins has created for us, we quickly realize that it has more than enough to make it stand out. By the time we reach the second half, any comparison is long gone from our minds and the originality of Embers, the sheer strangeness, is all that’s left for us to notice.

Yes, Hopkins’ refreshingly original idea is what makes this read truly worthwhile. Her worldbuilding is dark, bold and interesting and her characters far from being black-and-white. In fact, Ember’s romantic interest is basically a soul-eating monster, and still Hopkins found a way to make us sympathize with him and even like him. The paranormal elements in this book are quite different and extraordinary. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing Embers as just another angel book when it’s, in fact, much, much more than that.

Ember is such a likeable character from the start, perhaps a bit timid and antisocial, but more than ready to fight for her beliefs. She is a leader through and through, our Ember, not easily swayed by the popular opinion. I admired her for standing up for what’s right from the start and not being afraid to stand up for herself or someone else when necessary.

However, due to his long life and morally gray existence, I found Sawyer to be a much more interesting character. His struggle to keep what’s left of his humanity was a constant source of tension, and his occasional slips, while rationalized and perhaps even necessary, quite painful for us to read.

The romance, I’m afraid, didn’t work for me at all. It was instalove for Sawyer and instalust for Ember, with some very understandable caution on her part. The timing of things and the progress of their relationship wasn't what I'd hoped for at the beginning, and even in the end Ember’s reasons for being with Sawyer weren’t quite clear and her feelings weren’t believable to me.

Nevertheless, I’d highly recommend Embers to fans of excellent worldbuilding. The ending left me questioning some choices and fearing for Ember’s future, both with Sawyer and among her own kind. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

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Tour Schedule

Monday, October 20th Unabridged Bookshelf & Book Briefs
Tuesday, October 21st A Thousand Words A Million Books & Books and Things
Wednesday, October 22nd Sweet Southern Home & Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews
Thursday, October 23rd the unofficial addiction book fan club & Becoming Books
Friday, October 24th A Dream Within A Dream & Becoming Books

Monday, October 27th The Avid Reader & Lost in Ever After
Tuesday, October 28th Lose Time Reading & So Bookalicious
Wednesday, October 29th Such a Novel Idea & Reading Addict
Thursday, October 30th Curling Up With A Good Book & Coming at YA
Friday, October 31st Actin' Up with Books & To Each Their Own Reviews
Monday, November 3rd GenGen's Book Blog & A Bookish Escape
Tuesday, November 4th Sassy Book Lovers & Bittersweet Enchantment
Wednesday, November 5th Nay's Pink Bookshelf & The Nocturnal Library
Thursday, November 6th The Book Faery Reviews & Bumbles and Fairy-Tales
Friday, November 7th Books in the Spotlight & Her Book Thoughts


  1. I love love love great world building

  2. Aside from the romance, I'm so glad you enjoyed this one Maja! I love that what at first glance appeared to be a very typical YA paranormal in fact turned into something refreshingly different with really great worldbuilding. Thanks so much for being a part of the tour!

  3. This sounds like it was such a good read and truly different. Too bad the romance was such a dud. :(

    Great review Maja, I do think I would like to try this still. I love anything stand out in this genre.

  4. I don't normally read angel books. Paula Weston's series is the only one that works for me, but I was very curious about this book since the beginning. I love the sound of the unique world building and the great characters. It's a shame about the romance though. I dislike instalove, so I don't think I will enjoy it as much. Still, I'm willing to give this book a shot!
    Lovely review!

  5. I also had a problem with the romance when she was straddling the line between normal and supernatural. I still didn't buy it when she was just dealing with the supernatural, but I didn't hate it. I did like the characters separately though! :)

  6. Hmm... I am not the biggest fan of angel type books, and I just did a romance with an insta love/insta lust situation and it was not for me. I like the sound of the world building and such so I might still read this one if I ever dig out.

  7. I'm glad that despite the insta love/lust component you were able to enjoy this book overall Maja! I admit that I'm a little wary when it comes to my paranormal sort of reads, but I'm glad that this book did have a lot of original and fresh things to offer! Fab review as always!

  8. Ok, unique take on angels and paranormal with amazing world building? YES please!
    I'm not too happy to hear about you not being too keen on the romance though, Maja.

  9. Yeah, even though it seems like the romance should have been a pass, I kind of want to meet Sawyer! He sounds like a good character.

  10. It's great to hear that this one did its best to be different among the many. Hard to find one of those these days!

  11. I look forward to trying this book! I have heard a lot about it, and I really love the cover <3 As well as that, it sounds like a unique book with a very different plot and characters. I want to see how the wonderful world building is done as well :3


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