Title – Amber Smoke
Author – Kristin Cast
Publication Date – June 9, 2015
Series – The Escaped, #1
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.
I’ve been a huge fan of Kristin Cast ever since I had discovered the House of Night novels. When I learned that she would be venturing on her own to write a novel incorporating modern day settings and a twist on Greek mythology, I knew that I would be chomping at the bits to get it. Cast weaves an enchanting tale that gives readers a taste of what to expect in future novels of the series.
“Without you, our worlds are lost.”
Alek is a savior for Tartarus and when he is tasked with finding the new Oracle, his journey begins. I admired his ability to constantly ask for help. It showed the fine balance of learning to trust his gut and instincts, but also demonstrating that he wasn’t afraid to ask for guidance. In a sense, his character represents a moral compass being recalibrated, which fits his role quite appropriately. Eva was presented as a somewhat naïve, young female. However, she showed subtle hints of this strong, independent fighter yearning to break through. In a way, it worked for the story though because it made the turn of events she went through that much more believable. The magic of these characters shone through in those moments where these two had to interact. I’m not sure if it was intentional, but the characters seemed almost bland when separated, but in these times, they fit together so perfectly that their characters came to life.
“Your fates are intertwined. You must not deny your warrior’s heart.”
My issue with Amber Smoke was that it took a while for the story to actually get rolling. The beginning felt like a lot of expository writing without a lot of action, resulting in a lack of that “I must know what happens” type of feeling. That being said, once the plot started to move, I found myself mesmerized. I was intrigued by the mythological elements and absolutely loved seeing them weaved into modern day settings, as well as their intended surroundings.
“Wind carries the truth. Seek, listen, know with your soul. Look within, stay strong.”
Now that the storyline and intentions have been introduced, I am really curious to see if the pacing is different in the rest of the series. Amber Smoke was a wonderful first book, and I will be coming back to see how Eva and Alek are faring in the second book of The Escaped series. However, I think that the direction of the series will be better judged based on the next book, rather than basing my sole experience off of Amber Smoke.
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Don’t Miss the Other Books in the Series!
Scarlet Rain (The Escaped #2)
The Scent of Sand & Stone (An Escaped Novella)
Cerulean Sea (Escaped #3) – Releasing October 17, 2017!
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Kristin Cast is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who teamed with her mother to write the wildly successful House of Night series. She has editorial credits, a thriving t-shirt line, and a passion for all things paranormal. When away from her writing desk, Kristin loves relaxing with her significant other and their dogs, and discovering new hobbies. This year she’ll work on swimming, yoga, and adding to her Doctor Who collection.