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    • Man With No Name: A Nanashi Novella April 20, 2017
      Man With No Name Written by: Laird Barron Published by: Journal Stone (March 2016) Series: Nanashi Novella Paperback: 106 pages ISBN-10: 1942712863 ISBN-13: 978-1942712862 ASIN: B01ATOL62M Where to buy: Journalstone, Amazon.com (print), Amazon.com (e-book), and other fine book retailers. Publisher’s Comments: Nanashi was born into a life of violence. Delivered from the streets by the Heron Clan, he […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: The Follow-up Interview September 25, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, I know… it has been a while. This year has been a trying one for me and I have been dealing with some “real life” stuff…  scarier than anything I post here. I apologize for our absence. But it was brief this time. Now that “real life” is levelling out, we are […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Now available: The Lovecraft eZine 2014 Megapack! August 10, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, So for the brief week off. But I had a case of life. I was on a bit of a mission and it went quite swimmingly. But fear not wicked ones. I am still here to bring you the strange and spooky! Today we have some news from a wonderful ezine […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • A Conversation With Craig Yoe August 1, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Today I was fortunate enough to sit and have a chat with the wonderfully fascinating creative genius, Craig Yoe. Craig and I met at HeroesCon this summer when he accepted an award at The Inkwells on Steve Ditko‘s behalf (sort of). I was beyond thrilled when this incredible talent agreed to […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh —- The Review! July 29, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day seven of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: Interview (/Happy-Hour) With Actress Tara Walker July 28, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day six of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director –Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss – […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: An Interview With Director of Photography Ryan K. Johnson July 27, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day five of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin II – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – Zombies Need Love Too July 25, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day four of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and yesterday’s interview […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – An Interview With Documentarian and Location Manager Sean Strauss July 24, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day three of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film and yesterday’s article written by yours truly!  Today we will be talking with […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – Through The Eyes of the 2nd Assistant Director – Madness, Mayhem, and Love July 23, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Welcome to day two of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out yesterday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film.  Today you get to hear me ramble on about my time on the set. […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt

Embers

 

Embers 

Written by: Laura Bickle
Published by: Juno/Pocket
Page Count: 359
ISBN-10: 1439167656
ISBN-13: 978-1439167656
Where to buy:
Simon & Schuster, Amazon, and other fine book retailers 

Hello Ghouls and Boils, 

Today we present you with a phantastic paranormal tale set in Detroit. Embers, written by Laura Bickle, is a Dark Urban Fantasy — one I look forward to reading personally. *glares at her sadly neglected “read for fun” pile* But for now, I will let our Minion – Alanna Quinn – tell you all about it from her perspective. Enjoy, my fiends!

Abstrusely,
Sarah L. Covert 

I enjoy most books like some enjoy television or movies, insofar as I like to get wrapped up in dialogue that takes me very quickly into the scenery and action without having to look for any subtext. There are stories I prefer for their density and fullness of language and imagery, others that allow me the pleasure to be entertained without a lot of effort. This last category of stories is great for me to unwind with, and after a rough workday I appreciate the ease and the payoff. 

Embers by Laura Bickle is a fun read where dissecting character development and narrative is an unnecessary use of one’s time; almost immediately, the characters are assembled with enough background to allow them to evolve over the course of the story. Details of the cast, organizations and landmarks specific to the areas described give a fuller description for the reader to put up as background for Ms. Bickle to relay her story to her audience. 

The main character, Anya Kalinczyk, is an investigator for the Detroit Fire Department whose skills go further than following the trails of causes and accelerants. Primarily her role is as a Lantern, a person of paranormal abilities able to commune and consume (as needed) spirits of various types. This particular knack has Anya working, grudgingly at times, with the Detroit Area Ghost Researchers (D.A.G.R.) and the motley crew of specialists that make up the organization: Jules who handles tactics, a witch named Katie, Brian the computer genius, and Max the new recruit. The group’s interactions with Anya and her fire elemental Sparky make for some interesting moments for everyone involved. Now that I’ve mentioned him without any introduction, allow me to correct that. 

Sparky is a fire elemental in the shape of a salamander, housed in a torque worn around Anya’s neck. His behavior chagrins Anya, especially whenever the two of them are around any electronics. Then Sparky lives up to his name and wreaks havoc, however during Embers the reader sees Anya’s parental tone  in dealing with Sparky when he is feeling playful or being a force of nature. The two are inseparable; when the narrative reveals a supernatural element that causes fires to erupt through areas of Detroit, Anya and Sparky will be kept running trying to keep on top of the outbreaks of chaos that come up. What happens towards the end is surprising and visually intriguing. 

Final Thoughts:
This was a fun read and entertaining, a good example of the Urban Fantasy genre. There is an upcoming sequel to this called Sparks, and I look forward to seeing what Ms. Bickle has in store for her characters. I give this a 3.75 out of 5. 

Alanna Quinn, Minion(Reviewer) 

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