The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck #bookreview #YA #fantasy

Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.

This cover is stunning, and initially what drew me to this book, and the title is very clever.  Once I started reading, the world-building enchanted and intrigued me and, along with Ember, I enjoyed learning about the Otherworld, its rules, and the creatures inhabiting it.

With his pumpkin and Headless Horseman  comparison, Jack is my favorite character in this book, but I have to admit, Dev is one of the most charming vampires I’ve come across in a while.  Del, Finney, Frank (you can probably guess what that’s short for) – all are wonderful characters, but it took me a while to warm up to Ember – probably because of my frustration with her actions early in the book.

While the world-building and characterization are strong points, the love square between Ember, Finney, Jack, and Dev grew a bit tiresome and takes up a chunk of the book.  I also had to backtrack numerous times when the POV changed abruptly during paragraphs – which happens a lot.

With the satisfying ending, I don’t see the author doing a sequel, and there’s no need for one.  It’s nice to read a standalone in a genre with so many series.  This is a perfect read to curl up with on a chilly fall evening – even better if it’s closer to Halloween.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

 

20 thoughts on “The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck #bookreview #YA #fantasy

  1. I appreciate this very mindful review, Teri. I would have been drawn to it right away. But the POV changes are a deal breaker for me. That’s one of the things that makes your reviews so valuable — especially to someone like me whose pleasure-reading time is so scarce. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

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