Happy Saturday everyone! Today I’d like to change my Saturday Shorts feature to Weekend Reading. Why? Well I do read A LOT of short stories and those will still be featured, but I wanted to add some other fun reads for your weekend and not limit myself to only shorts. So that being said here’s my first pick for your weekend read. 😀
I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Collector, #1
Length: 458 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Zoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she is placed in her “last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around: her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Zoey will do anything to keep her safe. After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain: Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves.
But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this, the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want to destroy them.
When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey's whole world is turned upside down. The electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey, running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten their lives and those they love.
I have a love/hate relationship with City in Embers by Stacey Marie Brown. On one hand I LOVED the paranormal, urban fantasy feel of the book. Fae live among us and have declared war with an electric storm that basically wipes out Seattle (no spoilers in this review. I promise!). In the process Zoey Daniels, a collector for the DMG – think X-files section of the government, witnesses her partner being killed by a group of Fae and is then hit with a bolt of the magical lightening. This bolt of lightening transfers the powers of one Fae, the handsome and very intimidating Ryker, to Zoey. Now Zoey is stuck with Ryker until they can figure out how to get his powers back to him.
I really like Zoey. She is strong, fearless, and a bit snarky (I love snarky!). However she is also insecure. She is a foster kid who was never adopted and never really wanted. She bounced around from home to home finally sticking to one place at 12. Now 22, she’s in love with her partner, Daniel who happens to be 18 years her senior. This aspect bothered me a bit. I have nothing against age, but I felt Zoey was trying to force herself on this older man. Unfortunately (or thankfully depending on how you look at it), he dies early in the book, leaving our Zoey grieving and a bit on edge. This is when I really started to like her character.
Ryker is….I have no words for him. Zoey describes him as a Viking because of his intimidating size and overall hotness. He’s a bit of a jerk….no scratch that, he’s a BIG jerk to her. Basically he ties her to him and only seems to care about saving her to save his powers. He’s intimidating, demeaning, and hates…HATES humans and now he’s stuck with one.
Ok now to the actual storyline. I liked the concept and I really liked the urban fantasy/dystopian vibe of the plot. However, I felt like the relationship between Zoey and other characters could have been developed better. Zoey and Daniel are supposedly partners and have been for three years, Zoey claims to love him, but the relationship seems to be just at face value. It doesn’t go very deep, at least I didn’t think it did. It felt one-sided. Also the relationship between Zoey and Ryker bugged me. They go the entire book seemingly hating each other. Then after a few near-death experiences and fighting side-by-side, they open up a bit. A majority of the book is just Zoey’s imagination or reflections on the past. And THIS really bothered me!
There was a lot of room for character development and relationship building, heck even world building as really the only thing we know is this: Fae’s live among us and they aren’t easily killed. I felt like the author slacked a bit here and could have done a better job of explaining the DMG and the Fae.
Overall, I could go either way with this book. I enjoyed Zoey and the dystopian elements in the book, but at the same time it needed more paranormal and a little more character development. The ending however hooked me, and now I want to read book two of the series!
FYI, this book is NEW ADULT and has strong language, graphic violence, and some pretty intense sexual innuendos. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys contemporary paranormal romance.
Review in a Gif:
Final Conclusion: & 1/2
This book fulfills #12 of the COYER Scavenger Hunt.