Ember of Night

by: Molly E. Lee

The premise of this book interested me. Especially as someone with a younger sibling that I would do anything for.

The book did not do anything for me. From the very beginning, I couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t get into the writing and I didn’t care about the main character.

There are warnings at the beginning of the book about some of the themes in the book and I will always appreciate that. It turns out that the thing I liked the most about the book, was those warnings.

To start, our main character has been abused her entire life and makes it her life’s mission to protect her baby half-sister from the abuse and the cruelty of the world. That’s something I could relate to instantly but that wasn’t enough to make me care about the character.

She consistently calls herself broken, weak, believes the things her abusive father says and, as someone who’s been through abuse, it was a flat reading. Harley became a one dimensional character defined by her abuse and her younger sister’s life and that was it.

Then there’s the fact that her father drinks enough to reek of alcohol and their trailer reeks of it no matter how much she cleans and yet no one notices it one her father. She’s planning to escape with her sister when she turns 18, wants to try to get rights over her sister but her father has a perfect record with society.

Her boss more or less “knows” what’s going on without the real specifics so he offers a safe haven for her and her sister but doesn’t do or say anything else. It was a bit aggravating but probably the most truthful bit of the book. People will be aware of child abuse and a lot of the time, do nothing.

The author used the same phrases so many times that every time I came across them, it took me out of the story. I was never immersed, never drawn in so that made it difficult to get through. Then there was the fact the author kept having the main character refer to real world existent IP projects and the way it was done pulled me out. Plus reading slang. It always dates a book and never reads the way I feel people think it does.

As far as the romance is concerned, I couldn’t get into it. I don’t want to just rag on the book, I’m sure there are people who will like it, I’m just not one of them. But it was just another book with no real diversity in it as far as the main character and romance options are concerned. And there’s no real excuse for that.

If there can be demons and a war between heaven and hell that relies on a teenager, then there can be different races and complexions in the story. There’s absolutely no reason for that to not happen especially in 2021.

I received this arc in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley and the publisher.


Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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