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Wicked Embers: A Souls of Fire Novel by Keri…
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Wicked Embers: A Souls of Fire Novel

by Keri Arthur

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Melbourne is still under threat from the spread of Crimson Death – the vampirism plague that is creating ever more monsters. The research for cure and treatment is becoming ever more in demand from various shadowy organisations all with their own purposes

And in the middle of it is Emberly, the Phoenix, who many people think has the hidden notes for the cure research. On top of that, she’s having prophetic dreams of a new monster in town.

As a private investigator I think Emberly and Jackson are also much more legitimately involved in the plot, especially since Emberly is targeted as well. While the last book she felt inserted clumsily, now she works as a much more central figure to the investigation.

And I do like that investigation. It’s a mystery with lots of questions and numerous factions and twisting plots involved. The central question is still the plague, the quasi-vampires and their terrible infections, possibly apocalyptic disease and any possible cure or vaccination that may exist. But there are so many factions looking for this cure and many motives between them – people trying to make a profit, the Sindicati, a vampire underworld organisation that is now riven in two – with both factions after the information. And being a major underworld organisation, they have their lackies and contacts who also have their own input into the story with their own agendas and organisation.

On top of that we have PIT, the surreptitious police force that challenges the supernatural with their own shady organisation complicated with Sam and his history with Emberley. There’s a lot of things going on and it works

In fact if I have any criticism of this story is that there are too many factions and independent figures. Sometimes a name will come up and I’ll have a blank moment because I can’t remember who they are, which faction they’re part of or what goal they have. There are a lot of characters here – so very many characters and I get more than a little lost occasionally.

Part of this is it actually makes the main plot line seem somewhat out of place. Why are we following this shifting creature that eats people? It’s not that it’s a bad story – it’s actually really fun and well written and interesting. It’s just that the meta is so huge that I don’t think it necessarily fits except, perhaps, to add some new shiny new creatures to the world.

I do wish we could see more competence from Emberly. Throughout the book and their investigations Jackson is the one with the ideas and the knowledge. He knows the city better, he has the contacts, he has the investigative skills. Which is fair enough in a way, she is the investigator. But she has lived for centuries upon centuries – so where is the skill set to back this up? It’s no that she’s weak or useless – far from it, she’s immensely powerful – but that power revolves around her woo-woo. She’s a phoenix and they are might, dangerous beings – and it is actually somewhat rare to see a female character be so overwhelmingly more powerful (and actively so) than her lover and partner – but I do think at times she slightly turns into a fire turret. At the same time, I quite like how she is a power. She’ facing off against all of these major, scary organisations because she is a scary person. Not overpowered and terrifying and certainly there is tension facing off against what these dangerous organisation – but still a sufficient force that they have to respect her.

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Aug 17, 2015 |
Two threads are followed in this second story about Emberly, a phoenix who is now working as a PI along with Jackson, a fire fae. They are still looking for the researchers’ notes in hopes of finding a cure for the failed experiment of isolating the enzyme believed to make vampires immortal. Most of these new vampires made from this virus are insane and their numbers are growing. Also looking for the notes are different factions of the sindicati who don’t want to believe that Em and Jackson don’t have them.

The other thread which introduces us to a bigger threat on the horizon, deals with a creature Em sees during prophetic dreams, hunting victims.

As always, we get a lot of detailed action scenes, the main characters are likeable and the threats faced are interesting. And we get more information about Sam, Em’s ex-lover, as well as why he was acting like such a jerk in the first book.

I’ve read every book this author has ever published, and that started long before the Riley Jensen series. But this is the first one where I kept losing interest in the story. It’s taken me days to get through this book as I kept putting it down and found other things to do. There were two reasons for that.

The first was a sense of repetition in the storyline. Yes, it does move along, but it’s like many of the same scenes are repeated in different places and scenarios, at least as far as how Em handles things. And yes, I do agree with others that this also has the feel of both Riley’s and Risa’s stories.

The other was I only vaguely remember the first book and kept getting lost with who is who when different characters are mentioned, especially ones that don’t make an appearance in this book for one reason or another. I’m sure my lack of keeping focus on this story just made this issue worse for me. ( )
  dearheart | Jul 12, 2015 |
I am so on the fence about how I feel about WICKED EMBERS. I really like the characters, but like other reviews have stated, they are a lot like Arthur's previous characters and it's really hard not to compare them or be a little bit bored by them and the situations they find themselves in.

The actual storyline of WICKED EMBERS was entertaining. The book starts off not long after the events of FIREBORN. There is a new serial killer case that Ember is working to solve with the help of her dreams and the redcloaks storyline continues on and the stakes get even higher. I really enjoyed learning more about the Phoenix's talents as well as their relationships with their life partners. We also get to meet some of Jackson's Fae friends which I hope to read more of in future books.

I think you would be very lost if you jumped into the Souls of Fire Series with WICKED EMBERS, so make sure you read FIREBORN before picking it up. I really enjoy Keri Arthur's writing so I don't see myself giving up on the series just yet.

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  STACYatUFI | Jul 1, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451419588, Mass Market Paperback)

Keri Arthur, New York Times bestselling author of Fireborn, presents the thrilling new Souls of Fire Novel featuring Emberly Pearson, a phoenix that can transform into a human—and is haunted by the ability to foresee death....

Crimson Death, the plague like virus spawned from a failed government experiment to isolate the enzymes that make vampires immortal, continues to spread. Emberly and her partner, Jackson Miller, are desperately seeking the stolen research for a cure before the virus becomes a pandemic.

But their mission is jeopardized by another threat uncovered in Emberly’s prophetic dreams. A creature of ash and shadow has been unleashed on a murdering spree. Now Emberly must summon all her gifts and investigative knowledge to put an end to this entity’s brutal rampage—even if it means placing herself in harm’s way....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:11 -0400)

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