Sunday, 26 August 2012

Review of DEAD EMBERS by TG Ayer

Author: TG Ayer
Publication Date: August 31st 2012
Source: ARC from the author

"Valkyrie-in-training Bryn Halbrook just can't catch a break. With her boyfriend stuck in Hel and the taunting laughter of Loki still ringing in her ears, she struggles to concentrate on her training and duties in Odin's realm. The last thing she expects or wants is more adventure—but then treachery, a shocking abduction and a chilling discovery send her forth on another perilous, globe-hopping mission.

As the ultimate battle, Ragnarok, draws closer, it's a race against time for Bryn, Fenrir and their team to discover who kidnapped her foster brother from the halls of Asgard and what's causing the mysterious deaths of so many of Odin's chosen warriors.

In the exciting sequel to DEAD RADIANCE, Bryn encounters dwarfs and dragons, new friends and old foes—but worst enemy of all may be the person she trusts most!"

*I hereby award this book 5 wings*

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Dead Embers from the author, TG Ayer. I had previously read, reviewed and LOVED the first book in the series, Dead Radiance. So I was overjoyed to get this ARC and to find out what was happening with Bryn and Aidan.
In case you haven’t read Dead Radiance, but have come to read my review, I will try not to have any spoilers in my review. I do try not to spoil things for people anyway, but I am obviously a bit more aware that this is the second in the series.

So anyway, on with my review…

As Dead Radiance had ended quite sad, I was aware going into this book that it would be a sad beginning, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for the pang I felt in my gut and the sting in my eyes. Having previously mentioned about spoilers, I won’t tell you why I was sad because you may not have read the end of the first book yet. But believe me when I say, you need a box of tissues when you start this second book. Since it had been a few weeks or more previously that I had read Dead Radiance, I had… not forgotten, but put the pain of the ending to the back of my mind. So it was a bit of a gut-wrenching start.
This second installment in the series is a journey of discovery for Bryn. It’s definitely an action-packed adventure where she learns more about herself as a Valkyrie, amongst other things.
There are lessons to be learned, but not only by Bryn this time. I can’t tell you too much but what I can say is that right when I was looking the other way, someone betrays someone and it came as a total shock to me. Obviously I can’t say who betrays whom, but I can tell you it blew my mind; not only the betrayal itself, but the reasons behind it. I was left reeling from the fallout. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Bryn has to set off on a journey to find the cure for the poison that ails Aidan and the grand-daughter of a dragon [again, trying not to say too much here] Aidan was poisoned by the trickster God, Loki and it’s now a race to find a cure. There’s only one thing that will cure him and the answer lies in this journey to find a goblet. So Bryn sets off, with an invisibility blanket given to her by the God, Thor and [  insert name ] by her side.
It’s not easy for the two of them to find this goblet; it is after all, held by a Goblin Queen. It’s not easy to sneak past the goblin guards… unless you have a blanket that turns you invisible of course! But still, the twosome have to be careful, they have to remain under the blanket and out of sight, careful not to bump into anything or anyone on their way.

But this journey isn’t the only action in the book. As always Loki, is his usual trickster God self. Ugh. If only I could reach in and strangle him. Or use Thor’s hammer to render him unconscious long enough to tie him up, throw him in a cell and throw away the key. But I digress…

There’s also the fact that the retrievals the teams are on don’t go to plan. The Warriors they are sent to retrieve are covered in poisonous black goo and this extinguishes their glow, meaning they can’t be retrieved because they have met their true death. But what’s causing this poison to spread like wildfire? Why are the teams unable to get to them before they are all tainted?
So with the main storylines intersecting with each other, it comes as another shock that there is another twist in store for Bryn. I obviously can’t tell you what, but I really wasn’t expecting it. There are so many little twists and turns in this book. How so many things can go wrong in such a short space of time, I really do not know. But it does.
I’m really glad how Tee works it all out in the end. She obviously knew where she wanted it to end up, but as it was going along, I wasn’t too sure there would ever be a happy ending. Of course, I can’t tell you whether the ending is happy or sad, that’s something you need to experience for yourself. All I can tell you is that Tee doesn’t leave you hanging on the edge of a cliff. That’s one thing I am really grateful for. With all the ups and downs, twists and turns, I really didn’t want there to be a cliff-hanger ending.

As always, Tee’s writing is flawless. It seems to flow with such grace that you can’t help but be in awe of this woman. There is no reason why she shouldn’t become a best-selling author. I, for one, will be there every step of her journey as an author. I just hope she remembers the little people like me when she reaches stardom!
I love the story of Bryn. She’s such a feisty, headstrong young woman. She doesn’t know how to take things lying down and she refuses to let people walk all over her. That is what I love in a protagonist. It’s what I admire the most. I am probably most glad that as the story goes along, Bryn grows as a person as well as, as a Valkyrie. She has to fight some battles, most of which are internal, it is these that make her blossom and grow.
I love how Tee has developed the plotline of the story and the character that appear in it. One of my favourite characters other than Bryn and Aidan would have to be Odin. He might be some big, scary, bad-ass God, but he’s also a kind of father figure to Bryn. I don’t mean in the ‘All-Father’ kind of way, I mean in the way he cares about her and helps her whenever he can. He doesn’t chastise her just to make a point, he actually cares about what happens to her and what he can do to help her or turn a blind eye whenever he can. He’s the kind of guy I would like as my own father.
All in all, I think that Dead Embers is a wonderful book. Possibly better than Dead Radiance and that is saying something considering how much I truly loved that book!
Tee is one of those authors that like to weave the magical and the mystical and create something that truly is amazing to behold. I am just glad that she chose to share the ARC with me. I will always be grateful for that.
Thank you Tee, for creating such an amazing, awe-inspiring book. I am so glad you chose to set your stories within Asgard. I absolutely love things that have Loki and Thor in them and you haven’t failed to gain my love.
As a reviewer, I am always in awe of someone who can weave such magic with their words as you do.
Thank you also for giving me the ARC for review. I am eternally grateful.

Thank you everyone who came by today to read my review. I hope to see you all here again soon!

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