Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the official blog tour for Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast! I'm so excited to be a part of this amazing tour!! Today I'll be sharing my review of the book - and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway! To follow the rest of the tour stops, click on the banner above.
Amber Smoke (The Escaped #1)
Author: Kristin Cast
Genre: New Adult Fantasy/Mythology/Romance
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Diversion BooksISBN: e-9781626815520 | p-9781626815537
Price: ebook - $9.99 | paperback - $14.99
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 when alive.
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 the 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.
"Amber Smoke is thrilling and funny with just the right amount of magic. Brilliant job, Kristin Cast!" —Kresley Cole, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"I love Kristin Cast! In Amber Smoke, Cast's wit, creativity and talent shine! I turned the pages at lightning speed, ready for more! What a tasty treat!" —Gena Showalter, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author
Amber Smoke is the electrifying first book in a New Adult fantasy romance series that will leave readers breathless and begging for more. It melds together Greek mythology and the present day in a truly unique story. I've always enjoyed reading mythology and the trend in the YA genre shows its popularity. This book deals a lot with the Furies - three sisters who watch over both Tartarus (the Underworld) and the Mortal Realm. They keep everything in order and will reign down justice when needed. They also help keep all of the damned souls trapped in the Underworld so they can't escape back into the Mortal Realm. The book opens with a short background on the different Greek myths - especially the Furies - and it also introduces us to Alek, one of the main characters in the book - and also an immortal son to the Furies. We learn that the evil beings trapped in the Underworld have escaped and are now wreaking havoc in the Mortal Realm. If it's not stopped, the curse that was created will destroy both Tartarus and Earth. Alek is trained his entire life to be the warrior whose destiny it is to break the curse and save both worlds. He learns that in order to win this war, he can't do it alone. He must work alongside a descendant of Pythia - the original Oracle of Delphi. He doesn't see how some human girl is going to battle by his side, but he must do as he's told. Eva is our other main character and, obviously, the descendant of Pythia that Alek must find. She has no idea about her heritage and her otherworldly powers are only awakened after she has died - only to be brought back to life by Alek. Once Eva begins to understand who she is, what is happening in both worlds, and what she and Alek must do to stop it - she dives in with a fierce determination. And so, their journey begins.
As I said, I loved reading up on the Greek mythology included in the book. It was fascinating and wasn't a topic that's been overdone. The entire plot was original and truly mesmerizing. It took me a little while to get immersed into the book, but once I was able to slip inside the author's worlds, I didn't come up for air until I had finished it. The pace starts off sort of slow with some background on the characters and the tale of how all of the terrible things began. Once the plot picks up speed - it doesn't slow back down. There's some suspense in the story that made things really thrilling and I was reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen. The two main characters - Alek and Eva - are wonderful and they complement each other in the best of ways. It's obvious when you read the description that there's going to be some romance going on - and it involves Eva and Alek. Even though I knew that it was going to happen at some point in the book, I still really enjoyed watching them meet for the first time and then seeing their relationship grow into something more than just friendship or camaraderie. Since this is a New Adult book, there were definitely some steamy scenes throughout the story - not that I'm complaining! They were hot and really showed the chemistry between Alek and Eva. It almost seemed like the whole steamy romance aspect was a bonus inside of the main plot - like a sexy surprise for the reader.
The plot was gripping and authentic - I've never really read anything like this before. It definitely brings a breath of fresh air into the mythology trend that's been happening lately. The writing was incredibly well done with acute attention to detail and vivid imagery - to the point where I could easily shut my eyes and see myself alongside the characters. Even though the book is written in the third person and the narration is divided between focusing on Eva and Alek, it was done in a way that didn't confuse me as a reader and allowed me to follow the story through each of the two characters. I always prefer first person point of view because it gives the reader such a more personal connection with the character(s), and I feel that it would have been sensational if the author had done the book in this style. That sort of held me back from really connecting and empathizing with the characters - because I wasn't able to get a look inside their minds at all the thoughts and emotions we don't normally get to see otherwise. The author did an incredible job of making the characters realistic. There's so much that happens throughout the book - several smaller story lines that finally merge into the main plot. It would take forever to touch on all of these, so I'll just say that all of the subplots come together effortlessly with the overarching story in a way that felt natural and seamless. I could continue talking and fangirling for a really long time, so I'll have to leave it at that. I'm so excited that this is just the first book in the series! I'm already dying to read the next installment to see where the author will take us and what will happen. I very highly recommend this book to fans of mythology, fantasy, and romance - along with readers who like suspense and action, as well as those who want a thoroughly riveting novel that brings fresh air into the genre.
Kristin Cast is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who teamed with her mother to write the wildly successful House of Night series. She has editorial credits, a thriving t-shirt line, and a passion for all things paranormal. When away from her writing desk, Kristin loves relaxing with her significant other and their dogs, and discovering new hobbies. This year she'll work on swimming, yoga, and adding to her Doctor Who collection.
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One winner will get: (1) signed copy of the book (print), $50 Nook gift card, temporary tattoo metallic (book inspired object). Open to US only!