Title: Ember of Night
Author: Molly E. Lee
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Synopsis: I’ve never been a stranger to the darkness. But when darkness comes knocking and looks that good, who wouldn’t invite him in? Draven is mysterious, evasive, and hot as sin. The only thing more infuriating than how much he won’t say is how obnoxious he is every time he does open his mouth. But when a group of strangers attacks me and he fights back, causing them to vanish into a cloud of black dust, I know Draven is more than he seems. He finally shows me there’s a veil separating the world I know from a world of demons living all around us. Turns out, good and evil are just words. Some of the demons don’t fall into either category. And I’m realizing just how easily I fit in among the ancient warlocks, the divine soldiers, and the twisted supernaturals... There’s so much more to me. To my past. And to what I am truly capable of than I ever thought possible. So when all signs point to me having the ability to unleash Hell on earth? I’ll have to decide if I want to do the world a solid and save it, or give it one hell of a makeover.
Review: Ember of Night started out strong for a young adult urban fantasy but fell short toward the middle of the book.
Moving on. That’s what crossed my mind after I finished reading Ember of Night. Trust me, I really wanted to love this one. I never enjoy leaving a mediocre review, especially if the publisher gifted me the book, but as a reviewer it’s my job to share my honest opinion. So, here we go.
Ember of Night had all the makings for a unique story: child abuse survivor stops at nothing to give her sister a better life while battling her violent father and terrifying demons. Hell yeah. Sign me up! I couldn’t wait to read. Unfortunately, the intriguing premise quickly dissolved once Draven, the mysterious love interest with a devastating past, appeared on the page. The same story has been told a thousand times. Insignificant girl who struggles with an external threat meets brooding boy after he waltzes into her life unexpectedly. After wooing said girl with a love potion concocted of sarcasm and disinterest, the girl falls for the boy while internally rationalizing her knee-jerk decision to play with fire. Drama unfolds, sexual tension between the attractive boy in tight fighting shirts and the girl builds, then climaxes too soon, dangerous threats come knocking, along with predictable plot twists, followed by an eye roll worthy ending.
Ember of Night tried to stand out from the crowd but plunged into the, “Look at me! I can be like A Court of Thorns and Roses too," trap.
Exhibit A: “You’re mine.” Sigh. As a fan of A Court of Thorns and Roses, Draven’s copycat line left me cringing. No Draven, you’re no Rhysand. Hmm. I think I may have said that aloud while reading.
Speaking of Draven, I struggled to connect with the moody syphon and I’m not sure why. Perhaps I’m tired of reading the same story over and over again.
I cheered for Harley at the beginning. Halfway through, I tired of her internal dialogue. I didn’t agree with a lot of her decisions, but then again, I’m not eighteen anymore. So, there’s that.
Ray, Harley’s younger sister, was a sweet character, but her dialogue sounded more like a teenager instead of a young child. It kept throwing me off. Are you seven or seventeen, Ray?
Now, let’s discuss the high marks that Ember of Night earned. I had zero complaints with the pacing or author Lee’s writing style. Yes, overused words frequented the pages, but they didn’t distract me from the story. I appreciated the varying sentence structure and loose storytelling. It felt natural for Harley’s point of view, and it kept me turning the pages. The visual descriptions used by author Lee painted a creepy picture of the demons, and the dialogue flowed effortlessly.
Overall, I didn’t hate the book, but I didn’t love it. I don’t plan on reading the next installment because the ending of book one squashed my desire to see what happens next.
Triggers/Warnings: child abuse, adult language, sexual content
Escapism Factor: 3/5
Emotional Connection: 3/5
Character Development: 3/5
Completed Read: July 2021