Sep 3, 2018

ARC Review--The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck

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.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I've pretty much loved every single book by Colleen Houck and when I heard she was writing a standalone with a Halloween twist, I was immediately excited! The Lantern's Ember was a magical and delightful little read! It was rife with aspects of Halloween was pretty much perfect in that sense!

I'll admit though, I had a rough start, but that's also likely due to the timing of reading as well. I was very busy and the first two days of trying to read this I only read a chapter or two. Diving in was rough, but once I got to read more than a chapter at a time I was really getting into the story! We have Jack who is known as a lantern. He basically guides the doorways to the Otherworld which, as you can imagine is a world filled with supernatural beings. There's some history to it involved as well as Jack's situation and how he became to be a lantern that is revealed from the start which I really enjoyed instead of having to wait several chapters in order to get all this necessary background.

Ember is a witch that Jack has been keeping an eye on over the past few years. There aren't any witches in the Otherworld for reasons we will soon learn, but Ember is fascinated with the idea of the Otherworld and beseeches Jack to take her, but he refuses to do so for her own safety. It's not long before a vampire named Dev brings her over, as he was tasked to do so by a particular someone. When Jack finds out she's missing, he recruits her best friend, Finney, to help him track her down and bring her back to her world.

This was quite an adventurous read! In some ways, it was like an Alice in Wonderland story as Ember enters this new world that is so strange and different, and quite dangerous. Witches are a hot commodity in this world and Ember's life is pretty much in danger from the moment she enters, but Dev, her vampire/sort of kidnapper, but not, is determined to keep her safe. In fact, his plans to bring Ember to his employer has changed, because yes, he finds he's falling in love with her. Though naturally, we already sense that Ember and Jack have a growing connection, but let's also add in the fact that Finney, her longtime best friend, also loves her. It makes for quite the array of suitors.

The romance wasn't a huge role in the story as well, I  mean it was there throughout, as we had at least two of the characters trying to actively pursue Ember. I felt a little bad for Finney as he never really seemed to have a chance with Ember despite being the best friend and all.  I felt like Ember's choice was obvious from the getgo however.

When the Lord of the Otherworld gets wind that a new and powerful witch has entered his domain, he's determined to have her. The Otherworld is powered by witchlight and with a ned budding witch, he will continue to remain an all powerful deity.

I think my favorite thing about this book was truly all the Halloween lore that was incorporated. Jack is sort of the new Jack that gave the name to the jack-o-lantern, he was also involved with scaring a man named Ichabod away from one of the Otherworld gates. We get to see how other traditions of Halloween were born as well as the story moves along. It was really fascinating the ways Colleen brought these traditions to life! It was probably my favorite part of the story!

There was a great deal of tension in this one too! Everyone had their own plan for Ember, and she had her own plans for her life as well! Some rather interesting twists came about in the grand finale that I thought was pretty shocking! Though I do like how Colleen was able to wrap everything up! I am so used to her highly detailed stories that stretch for several books--and that I enjoy as well--so this standalone was pretty amazing for her to write as well! I almost think that standalones can be harder to write than a series, but that's just me!

The Lantern's Ember was a marvelous read indeed! It's the perfect read for lovers of Halloween lore! It's not a scary read by any means, though there's a great deal of tension and suspense to it. Lots of twists and turns and a healthy sprinkling of romance as well. This is easily making my list of best reads of the year as I've always enjoyed the different myths and lore that surround Halloween! Colleen Houck has done it again and written yet another superb book rich with mythology!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

The Lantern's Ember releases September 11, 2018

1 comment:

  1. I actually set this one aside because I got distracted. I'm happy you enjoyed it though!


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