Release Date: August 31st, 2012
Finished Date: October 7th, 2012
Publishers: Evolved Publishing
Source: ARC, For Review
The Review: The synopsis hits the nail on the head because this certainly is an exciting sequel!
We join Bryn in Asgard more or less straight after she allows Freya to take Aiden to Hel, in the effort to save his life following the poisonous stab wound he received from Loki. She’s down, she’s holding onto a lot of guilt but is determined again to do the right thing by Aiden and that means continuing with her training and trying to find a cure for him. Just as her training starts up again, things also take a turn for the worst with the escape of Loki and her foster brother’s disappearance which heralds even more misery for our friends as the einherjar become unobtainable, severely thinning out Odin’s supply of warriors. To make matters worse there is another who is afflicted by the same poison that holds Aiden in his state and unfortunately they hold Bryn responsible for the situation, leading them to give the ultimatum – find the cure…… or die! Things really can’t get any worse for Bryn right now right?....... wrong! Things can get way worse…………… and they do, leaving Bryn just as confused & feeling alone as ever, even when surrounded by people she would die for.
So, I really enjoyed Dead Embers – it took a little while to kick off but when it did you were hit with non-stop action. Bryn is a more than capable character that you can really get behind and route for, sometimes it confuses me just as much as Bryn that everyone seems to assume she knows everything about their world and the past because of her heritage but really she’s just learning about everything along with the reader. I really can empathise with her as she tries to shake off her ‘little girl lost’ persona to try and be the warrior Valkyrie that everyone wants her to be, she’s still struggling, still winging it and learning as she goes. We see that her need to belong and be a part of the ‘family’ dynamic at Asgard could also be her downfall but something seems to be clicking in her though, so hopefully there will be some breakthrough that will set her above everyone else. I’m not going to lie – Aiden was a big miss in this – I think Bryn was a bit more solemn because of it and I missed the romance, I did appreciate the bits we did get, especially the first visit with him because the depth of the feelings came across so well and I clung onto that.
The storyline was great, in this book it took on more of a fantasy feel than the first because the world has started to expand with her adventures/quests. In the first we met dragons and we meet them again in this but we also meet Dwarves and enter their realm which is quite an eye opener in the end. We also meet more of the gods – namely Thor & Tyra – we get a glimpse at just how organised Loki has actually been in his plans to bring about Ragnarok and to what lengths his followers will actually go to help. I like that it blends that world with our world so that the threats are felt from every direction and that the ‘bad guys’ aren’t predictable and most definitely think ‘outside of the box’ because It is filled with a good few twists and turns that no one sees coming and things that were forgotten about or thought concluded, actually aren't and bring with them some harsh surprises and realities. The ending is again most heinous but leaves me really excited for book three because a lot of threads have been opened up in this and I’m excited to see where they’re headed.
I’m still loving all of the Norse mythology and enjoying learning about it, I know how factual book one was, which really impressed me and I’m still impressed by this and have yet to find a book featuring it of the same calibre so I am definitely carrying on with this awesome series…..bring on book three! 4.5 stars!