Amber Smoke: The Escaped (Book 1)
by Kristin Cast
“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.
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 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.”
I have read all of the House of Night series and all the novellas, by Kristin Cast and her Mum (P.C. Cast). And when I saw that Amber Smoke had been released I knew that I had to read it, so I bought it in my March book haul, but when I found that the second in the series was soon to be released (sooner than I thought) I knew I had to read it now!
The Maiden fell in love with someone who was sent to the underworld, therefore a curse was put on Tartarus (where the people trapped in the underworld would be able to escape to Earth). She gave birth to a son, Alek, who is a warrior saving Tartarus and Earth by bringing people back to the underworld. Eva is a college student, descended from the great oracle Pythia, she gets into trouble and Alek has to save her before he can save Tartarus.
My favourite part was pretty much all of it, I was engrossed from the first word! It got me hooked the whole way through, I was completely guessing was going to happen and the pacing was great. It kept me going through all the emotions, there were several places where I was laughing, I was shocked, tense, sad, happy, pretty much everything.
Alek and Eva were probably my favourite characters, followed very quickly by Bridget and the Maiden. All the characters are so real. Alek is interesting as a character, as he is on a mission to save Tartarus, but at the same he has to find Eva, while only being able to spend a certain amount of time on Earth, this makes his scenes almost more tense. But as a character he is well developed and I think he will grow in further books. Eva is a great character, she is so relatable, especially as I was a college student a few years ago, so I kind of know what she is going through (up to a point), it draws you in so much more.
Amber Smoke did end on a cliffhanger, this is because it is the first book of a series that is in the process of being written and the second book (Scarlet Rain) has just come out (May 17th). I am now waiting to get it, as it seems that no UK bookstores stock it!
Amber Smoke is a book that is great for people who like mythology-fantasy fiction, but even though it is a young adult fiction book I think adults and teenagers will enjoy it. 5 out 5.