Book Review: Wicked Embers by Keri Arthur

Posted May 22, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 6 Comments

Book Review: Wicked Embers by Keri Arthur

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wicked Embers by Keri Arthur
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Published by Signet Select on July 7, 2015
Pages: 357
Format: Paperback
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Fireborn, Flameout, Blood Kissed, Demon's Dance, Hell's Bell, Hunter Hunted, Wicked Wings, Deadly Vows, City of Light, Ashes Reborn, Magic Misled, Broken Bonds

Second in the Souls of Fire paranormal fantasy series and revolving around an almost-immortal phoenix. The story is set in Melbourne, Australia. It’s been five weeks since Fireborn, 1.

My Take

Very much a Keri Arthur tale of vampires, fae, and the unique paranormal. I do like Emberly and I certainly sympathize with her and Rory’s romantic situation. It must be nice to get a second chance with all your memories intact from a previous life, but how awful in terms of any other romantic entanglement.

Emberly has her angst over Sam and the love she has for him, and she and Rory continue their discussion of the virtues of lying versus not lying using the first-person protagonist point-of-view from Emberly’s perspective. Some forward progress is made in Em and Sam’s interactions.

Plot-wise, one of the bad guys gets in his villain speech; Em experiences some dream sequencing while occasional minor flashbacks fill us in on Rory’s past; that Aswang introduces a ticking clock scenario, unfortunately, that bit of foreshadowing Em has in Fireborn pans out, and naturally, there’s the mild cliffhanger ending.

Hmmm, I look back over this, and it feels a bit dull. It’s not. It’s an interesting story, and I am looking forward to reading Flameout to find out what happens next in the vampire internal wars, Em’s relationships with her men, how Sam will react to the news, and if they’ve made any progress on finding that cure.

The Story

Emberly and her Fae partner, Jackson Miller, are desperately seeking the stolen research for a cure before the red plague becomes a pandemic.

But their mission is jeopardized by the conflicting machinations of the sindicati and 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.

The Characters

Emberly Pearson is a phoenix, a spirit who can assume human form, foresee death, and dream. Rory is her life mate, another phoenix who works as a firefighter. Jody had been Rory’s fiancée before she was murdered.

Jackson Miller is fire Fae as well as Emberly’s lover and business partner. He runs a private investigation agency, Hellfire Investigations, located near a blacksmith’s. His mother lives near a national park and his father is a ranger in the high country. Adán is a fire Fae and Dmitri an earth Fae who are friends of Jackson’s.

Detective Sam Turner is Emberly’s ex, infected by the red plague but holding it together, and working under supervision for PIT. Luke is/ was his brother and killed by red cloaks.

The Paranormal Investigations Team (PIT) is…
…a specialist squad of humans and supernaturals that investigate paranormal crimes. Rozelle/Rochelle is Sam’s partner and his Fae lover. Adam is a vampire who works with Sam at night. Jack is a police officer.

The Chase Medical Research Institute is…
…where Emberly worked before her boss, Dr. Mark Baltimore, was murdered. The owner is Lady Harriet, Rosen’s vengeful ex. Professor Heaton was hired as Baltimore’s replacement — and was a vampire who had Lady Harriet under telepathic control.

Rosen Pharmaceuticals is…
…owned by Denny Rosen who has gambling issues and hired Jackson. Denny Joseph is his son. James Hamberly was Denny Junior’s lover. Professor James Wilson was the other scientist researching a cure for the red plague virus. Amanda Wilson is his wife and a telepath for hire.

The werewolves in Melbourne are…
…led by Scott Baker.

The sindicati are…
…the vampire equivalent of the Mafia and ruled by a council. Four generals have access to this council. Henry Moretti is one of the vampire generals until he is replaced by Frank Parella. Lee Rawlings is one of Moretti’s minions. Theodore Hunt is a werewolf-for-hire. Frederick. De Luca is a general who believes it’s time for a change. Matt is a guard.

Marcus Radcliffe III, a wererat, owns a string of secondhand stores that are a front for black market goods and information.

The Coalition of Nonhumans (CNH) is…
…an independent resource center for vampires and werewolves funded by member contributions. It allows them to exist outside the usual channels.

The Red Cloaks are…
…vampires infected by Crimson Death — a plague-like virus spawned from a failed government experiment to isolate the enzymes that make vampires immortal — that turns them into a hive mind, although some go insane.

Babaylan “Lan” is a blind Filipino medicine man. Aswang are monsters of ash and shadow that can shift from cat to bat to a dog with backward-facing feet who progress from old to young…people.

When they turn sixteen, phoenixes discover who their life mate is and rely on each other for rebirth when they die at 100. To stay alive in their life span, they must renew their energies with each other every few days.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a deep, deep purple background with a cityscape faintly in the background. What dominates the cover is Emberly aflame. Wearing a white tank top and jeans, her long red hair swaying in the currents of fire, she’s lunging to one side, one arm bent, the elbow angled up forming a line with her other arm pointed down, creating a sense of wings, flaming in the brilliant yellow of fire. More fire licks its way around her torso and around her knees. The author’s name is in a metallic gold at the top; the title spans Emberly’s thighs in a subtle gradation of white to a pale orange. The series information is below in the same pale orange with informational blurbs in white at top and bottom.

All I can think of for the title is that it’s about Emberly, a nickname of sorts for her Wicked Embers.

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6 responses to “Book Review: Wicked Embers by Keri Arthur

  1. I’m okay with a series not blowing me away with the first book. It takes time to build the world and familiarize myself with the characters. Love that cover.

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