Embers - Laura Bickle
Each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. - Edgar Allan Poe


Anya Kalinczyk is an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department during the day. when night falls, she assists the Detroit Area Ghost Researchers (DAGR). Anya is also a medium of the rarest type. she is a Lantern and has the uncommon ability to banish earth-bound spirits. together with the ghost hunters and her salamander familiar Sparky, Anya must stop a supernatural arsonist from summoning an ancient being into existence before the city of Detroit is forever reduced to ashes.
i find author Laura Bickle's debut novel unique - from its worldbuilding to its cast of characters. i loved how she was inspired by the element of fire and played with it in coming up with this narrative.
Anya's character is quite complex and she appears to be saddled with a lot of baggage. though she is involved in what she does and relates well with people, Anya still maintains a wall around her. this emotional barrier makes her both strong and frail that sometimes she makes mistakes with her choices. one such decision takes her on a course that could either lead to her destruction or redemption.
i was fascinated by this book's concept especially with one of its characters - Anya's salamander familiar. Sparky sounds so lovable and dangerous at the same time. Sparky and Anya share more than a partnership. he keeps Anya sane and on her toes. without him, Anya would be most vulnerable and lost. their mutual affection downplays the horror that Anya has to deal with everyday.
overall, i liked how the story went though i found the events that led to the conclusion a bit abrupt. i was really looking forward to the final confrontation between Anya and Sirrush. i was expecting more action, tension and drama and did not expect things to play out that way.
still, i am giving this book my vote and i welcome Ms. Bickle as a refreshing voice and talent in the world of dark urban fantasy.


Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a copy of Embers from the author herself. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.