Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 480 pages.
Embers & Echoes is the second book in the Wildefire trilogy by author Karsten Knight. The third book, Afterglow, is slated for release in 2013.
Ashline Wilde wanted nothing more than to leave Blackwood Academy behind and to escape the memories of everything that happened that May. But as she learned when she arrived at Blackwood, you can’t always run from your past.
It will follow you. And ignoring it can have devastating consequences. Consequences she’s still reeling from.
But when her end of year plans take a drastic turn, she decides to face what she’d been trying to avoid and heads to Miami to track down the sister she knows only from visions. Her six-year-old sister Rose.
With barely any information to go on, she only knows that she has to try. Because her latest visions reveal that Rose could be in even more danger than she was before. And returning to Scarsdale without her is not a future Ash is willing to accept.
Being a volcano goddess may have its perks, a fiery temper not always being one of them, but it also means that things can turn deadly. Fast.
So when the search for her sister lands her in the path of a group of gods and goddess that have a bloodthirsty agenda, Ash must decide whether saving her sister is enough or whether she will have to become a hero for all of humanity.
Embers & Echoes is the dynamic, riveting, wildly entertaining and action-packed follow-up to Karsten Knight’s powerhouse debut novel Wildefire. This sequel, that brings together gods and goddesses from around the globe, not only packs a punch, but has an easy flow that will make the pages fly.
The author doesn’t just continue this incredibly unique story. He broadens the setting, lengthens the timeline, enlarges the cast of characters and expands the world. And he does all this in a way that feels natural to the story, right for the characters and easy to follow for the reader.
Embers & Echoes picks up where it left off in the first book, just moments after Wildefire’s jaw-dropping conclusion. With no pause in the timeline, the story is able to continue at its break-neck pace and pull readers right back into Ash’s story.
Leaving Blackwood Academy behind her, Ashline Wilde sets off on a quest to find her younger sister. One that will introduce her to new friends and put her face-to-face with old enemies. One that holds the promise of a new love but will make her confront an old one. And one that will put her life at risk time and time again.
Author Karsten Knight has crafted a story that is inventive, exciting, shocking, heartbreaking and utterly spellbinding. With characters that don’t fit a stereotype or behave predictably and a plot that does the same, Embers & Echoes will keep readers on edge, continue to astound and leave them wondering just what happened.
With its beautiful and fluid writing that brings both crushing and heartrending losses and surprising and violent ends, this sequel allows readers to make a stronger emotional connection with the characters and story. It puts the heroine in more dangerous and challenging situations that force her to make difficult life and death decisions with consequences that she’ll have to live with. And it leaves the door open for a number of possible outcomes, many of which couldn’t possibly end happily.
Embers & Echoes is an absolute must read second book in this series for those who enjoy exquisitely crafted stories that have an incredibly strong heroine who never could be – or would allow herself to be – called a damsel in distress, stories that include a diverse mix of mythological gods and goddesses and stories that will transport them into a world that is dark, deadly and filled to the brim with action.
Reviewer gives this book…
Like In-N-Out Burger‘s infamous secret menu this one deserves my off-the-menu 6 star rating.
On a personal note:
If I could give this book as many stars as it would take to fill the night sky I would. Embers & Echoes was so utterly amazing. It grabbed me from the moment I read the start of the first line, “Ashline Wilde lay battered on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway…” and it didn’t let up for one single second.
This book was intense. It was action-packed. It was everything that Wildefire was, but so much more. Where Wildefire was wicked and kick-a** awesome, Embers & Echoes took it to the next level of awesome, the “Oh my gods, oh my goddesses did that just really bleeping happen?” kind of awesome.
I could not believe how packed full of everything this book was. There was nail-biting suspense. There was a lightning fast pace. There were peeks into another time. There were peeks into another place. There were gods and goddesses aplenty. There was romance. There were heaps upon heaps of danger. There were some of the most wicked fight scenes I’ve ever read in YA.
And there were moments of tenderness and heartbreak that stopped my heart from beating, stole my breath and left me utterly devastated. Yes, this author broke my heart in not one, but two centuries.
Oh and of course there was a good boy, a bad boy and a not-so-good girl that took center stage.
And yet it didn’t feel overstuffed. It didn’t feel over the top. It didn’t feel like some kind of superpower convention.
Every single character in this story was important. Every single character was fascinating and interesting and either detestable, lovable, a little bit of both, or just plain terrifying. Every moment was one I wanted to read. Every place that Ash went was one that I wanted to go along with her.
And every heartbreaking moment was one I felt to my very core. Especially with what happened to… No, I wasn’t really going to say who. Okay, maybe I did say who, but that’s what the backspace key is for.
There is so much I want to talk about that I can’t. I want to explain why my heart broke over certain words the author put down on the page. Words that are causing me to tear up again as I think back on them. I want to talk about just what happened to those gods and goddess and what it could mean for the other characters.
I want to talk about the past. I want to know what is going to happen next. I want to know why I am rooting for a character I probably shouldn’t be rooting for. I want to know why certain characters have certain motivations. I want to know whether I should be as terrified of a certain character as I am.
And I want to talk about a certain Hopi Trickster and what I really think about them. But I can’t do that either.
What I can say is that I loved this book both times I read it. That love is not even close to a strong enough word for what I feel about it. That I will be reading this book again and again. That it’s a book that I never will forget. That it’s a book that was able to transport me instantly to this author’s world when nothing else allowed me an escape. And that while there seemed to be so very many pages, the story ended all too quickly.
In the year since I’d first read Wildefire I forgot just a little bit how amazing this author truly is. I forgot how much I loved his writing. I forgot how captivated I was by his characters. I didn’t think it was possible that he could follow up that book with one that was even more spectacular, even more surprising, even more riveting, but he did. And I never expected for him to make me cry. But he did that too.
I never like to use words like “poignant” or “compelling” in my reviews as I feel like those words are above my pay grade and best left to those who do this for a living. But Embers & Echoes was compelling and at times poignant and the way the author crafted each sentence, each paragraph, each scene, each chapter was absolutely masterful.
So…um…yeah…. To say I liked this book just a little bit would be the understatement of the century.
I have a million-and-a-half favorite passages. Well, maybe not that many, but it’s close. Some were just so meaningful and relevant. Some were fun and snarky. Some were kick-a**. And some were heartbreaking.
After much internal debate I chose this one, in which I have eliminated one of the speaker’s names as it would be spoiler-y.
“Did we . . . Was there ever a happy ending for us?” she asked. “Any of the times?”
[He] wet his lips and gave her the smallest of smiles. “The odd thing about living forever is that the word ‘ending’ doesn’t apply to us. But just because there are no happy endings, doesn’t mean you can’t hope for a ‘happy-for-now.”
Then he was gone.
This review is based on an ARC I received from the author and contains my honest opinions about the book.Read More