Title: Amber Smoke
Author: Kristin Cast
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology
There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.
Someone has opened the cage.
The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.
Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.
With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the House of Night series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.
Once again the great Kristin Cast throws us into another world. This time with furies, demons, and oracles. The balance of good and evil is put into jeopardy right away in the beginning of the novel. One of the three keepers of the underworld and a prisoner fall in love, but Tartarus, the furies home, should never see that emotion and all the evil that has been held in the underworld is set free in the mortal realm from a curse that slowly destroys Tartarus. The only thing that can reverse this curse is a child one of the furies if given. Mother, Maiden, and Crone raise the boy and train him to be the warrior he is destined to be.
This child whose name is Alek has the sole purpose of saving his home, but even an immortal warrior has his boundaries. Alek can’t remain in the mortal realm for long periods of time or he’ll lose his immortal powers and there’s the small fact that he can’t save his home alone. For him to succeed he needs to locate a descendent of Pythia. With the power within him he sets out to find the new oracle. However, he doesn’t know how to find her and she doesn’t know she’s this great powerful oracle. The tension grows thick as his time to find the oracle is running out. She’s been found by a great evil that escaped Tartarus. Alek needs to reach her and awaken the power within her before she’s murdered.
Not soon after learning that Tartarus and the mortal realm are in danger, we are introduced to Eva the new oracle that is to help Alek save the world. Her normal, carefree life soon comes to a halt when she visits a party at a local hotel. She talks to her crush, almost gets assaulted by him, to leave the hotel angry only to meet a stranger that’s waiting in the backseat of her car. She quickly learns that her abductor isn’t a stranger at all and he’s been looking for her for a long time. She also learns that he’s not quite human either.
Eva is put through the ringer, but thankfully comes out a survivor. But when she wakes up in the hospital three days later she realizes she isn’t the same Eva. Right in front of her eyes she heals a fresh wound on her hand. Not wanting to be put into the psych ward she ditches the hospital with her friend Bridget in tow. That’s when Eva and Alek are united. He fills her in on his purpose…on her new purpose. Bridget takes the new quite well, but part of it is that she’s attracted to the immortal warrior and would believe anything he said just because he’s gorgeous. Eva on the other hand knows something is different about her, but she doesn’t want to believe what he saying.
With her fleeing the hospital the police believe that Eva and Alek are responsible for the murder of the ‘real’ killer’s previous victim. Except the man that killed the other girl and kidnapped Eva is dead and he’s back in Tartarus thanks to Alek. Now running from unknown evil forces and the police, Eva and Alek have to come up with a game plan to stay safe.
The characters and plot lines are very well developed and quite realistic. I instantly fell in love with Eva and her best friend Bridget. They are so different, but are a perfect pairing. There is plenty of humor and suspense that will have you laughing and keep you on the edge of your seat. Not to mention the ending leaves you wanting more and screaming ‘OMG’!
It deserves more than five stars but that’s the highest the ratings go. If you’re a fan of House Of Night and want to be pulled back into the wonderful world that Kristen Cast if known for creating, Amber Smoke is a must read!