Ember X by Jessica Sorensen
Series: Death Collectors #1
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Published by CreateSpace on April 20, 2013
Purchase: Amazon • Barnes & Noble
*This book may be unsuitable for readers under 18 years of age due to one or more of the following: strong sexual content, language, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Loved the premise but was a little frustrated by the characters!
I’ll start my review by saying this is my first book by the author and I don’t really read too much of the New Adult or Young Adult genres, so bear with me if my review seems a little critical. EMBER X is a revamped and “uncut” NA version of the author’s original YA title. Had I realized this before reading it I would have prepared myself for some of the teenage angst and frustration that came along with the story. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate the book I was just expecting something different than what I read...especially with that sexy cover!
Ember is a nineteen year old girl who has the special ability of seeing someone’s death with just a simple touch. Her best friend Raven is the only one who knows the truth about her “curse.” Haunted by this ability she calls a curse, Ember spends her time writing in her journal and hanging out at a cemetery at night, the only place she can truly be at peace. Her life suddenly changes when two handsome and mysterious young men, Asher and Cameron move to her town. Ember is drawn to both, but her attraction to Asher is intense…especially when she realizes she can touch him without sensing death. Things seem too good to be true for Ember and she soon learns that Asher has some secrets of his own that will change her life forever.
EMBER X drew me in with the heroine’s somber tone, she gives the story a gothic feel with her love of Edgar Allan Poe and all the “raven” symbolism that I found intriguing. At first she seems like a smart, twenty-something college student in her junior year, but I was surprised to learn that she’s only nineteen when she mentions it more than once throughout the story…WTH?? (Okay, I can get past that little editing mistake?…moving on) While I get she’s had a hard life, some of her choices just seemed less than smart. She’s always giving in to her BFF Raven’s wishes to go out and party when she’d rather be home or at her favorite spot. I wouldn’t really mind it if said BFF was a true friend, but she came off as this hot and cold mean girl towards Ember even before the Grim Reapers came into play. There were moments where she was supportive and at the drop of a hat she’d turn into a total bitch, I didn’t understand Ember’s loyalty to her…she’s a poor excuse of a friend.
My second “tiff” with this book is the sexual activity..yes, I actually wrote this sentence in a review! To my knowledge Ember is a virgin which isn’t crazy, given her gift and age. It’s her behavior around the two male leads that confused me a bit, the whole OMG this guy looked at me I think I’m having an orgasm, she was like a cat in heat when these two guys came into her life. There’s a bit of insta-love or insta-lust with her and Asher that was a little hard to connect with, she meets him at a party and a few days later makes out with him in an art classroom and lets him suck on her ta-tas?! Whaaatttt?! Yeah, that was a new one for me and I read a lot of smut..LOL Then there’s the lake encounter with Cameron…a guy she isn’t really into, but still gives into his groping.
The author seems to have a boob fetish throughout this book or maybe her characters do, every sexual encounter included “boob play.” I’m not a prude by any means but there is one aspect of the book I did have a big problem with: when Ember decides to actually have sex with Asher for the first time, she doesn’t use protection. I don’t have an issue with this in adult PNR because human rules never apply in the supernatural world, but up to that scene we are led to believe she’s human. I just think it’s not such a smart message to send to young women, but maybe I’m just reading too much into it because as the story unfolds we learn otherwise.
Overall EMBER X is an engaging story with paranormal elements that I enjoyed, but just wished were explored further. I found the good vs. evil theme between the Grim Reapers and Angels of Death creative but hate that the author waited until the last fifty pages to reveal more about them and the impending war in Ember’s world. The so called “love triangle” is awkward but well executed, Ember is initially attracted to both Asher and Cameron but I was glad to see she followed her heart for the first time. She has the potential to be a great heroine as the series develops. I can’t say this story blew me away but the character development is solid and I found myself invested in the characters and their story. I think some of the “flaws” I mention in my review of this book could be easily avoided by just reading its original young adult version. That being said, I’ll be picking up the next installment in the series to see what awaits Ember, Asher and yes even Raven…call me a masochist but I have to read what happens!