By Carol Oates
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
When Candra Ember wakes up in hospital after a dangerous encounter with a red-haired woman, she is shocked to discover that seeing a winged boy wasn’t her imagination. Candra is exposed to a world of rivalry and sacrifice she never knew existed, and the aftermath of a war to save humanity thousands of years ago. Soon she finds herself relentlessly stalked by Sebastian, a beautiful and arrogant Watcher Angel and romantically pursued by his darkly seductive rival, Draven. Ultimately, dubious about her own goodness, Candra’s very existence compromises a tentative peace in the city of Acheron.--Goodreads
ReviewAngels seem to be the next big thing in YA paranormal. Much of the latest YA paranormals have been Nephilim based. Whether or not this emerging trend is a blessing or a curse is not a concern, but I have to say that this trend allows me to be thankful that a series like this one has come out. Ember and Iridescent together create a series that is rich in realistically conflicted characters and intricately woven writing.
Ember begins with Candra trapped in a conflict between angels and her relationship between her bodyguard, Sebastian, and acquaintance, Draven. The plot of Ember is somewhat mediocre, but the characters were so beautifully described and mysterious that I just couldn't look away. Each of the characters had his or her own secrets hidden from everyone else and those secrets were dark, disturbing, and helped the plot to be set apart from most others. Instead of being good vs. bad, everyone wasn't just black or white, they were all a variety of shades of gray.
In terms of plot, I felt Ember was flawed in its execution and presentation. For the first 100 or so pages, I was lost in this world of Nephilim. I had no idea what was going on, but as time went on, I was able to discern the the plot more easily and could along more easily with the events. If only the setting and world had been expanded on more, this book would've been more polished an exciting to read.
Meanwhile, Iridescent fared slightly better. Of course, the climatic buildup at the end slowed the book in the beginning. This time, the setting and conflict was already known, so I found it easier to following the events occurring. However, this does not mean that I found Iridescent an improvement over Ember. They still both had the shaky plots that drove me insane. Well, at least Irisdescent had a more realistic portrayal of romance. Ember was insta-love, as Iridescent was more like love development and trials.
The thing that struck me most when reading Ember and Iridescent though was the beauty of the author's writing. Carol Oates has a true gift in writing. Despite its disappointing plot, the book was able to flow because of Oates' inherent ability to write with a voice that is so vivid and descriptive. Even as I was confused over the events at the beginning, I just couldn't resist the dream-like quality that the book possessed that was absolutely enchanting.
Overall, Ember and Iridescent were fascinating retellings of the Nephilim. Regardless of its numerous flaws, I was thrilled as I dived into this Nephilim world. I do recommend for anyone to try Ember and Iridescent, they're just reads that will leave you as conflicted and emotional as the characters are.
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