Title: Stealing Embers
Author: Julie Hall
Pub. Date: September 22, 2020
A realm of monsters. A world of lies. She belongs to both.
My name is Emberly, and everything I’ve ever been told is a lie.
Monsters don’t exist. Wrong.
The nightmarish spectrum world is just my imagination. Wrong.
In a few months, I’ll finally be free. Wrong.
It takes being dragged to a secret training academy in the mountains to unravel the truth. My captors–an elite race of angel-born warriors called Nephilim.
The deadliest of them all is an arrogant shape shifter, Steel. He’s gorgeous, lethal, hot-headed . . . and convinced I’ll be the death of them all.
Maybe he’s right. As soon as I show up, the monsters that have haunted me my entire life breach the academy walls. My only hope of saving my new friends is learning how to control my powers, but when a stunning betrayal hurts someone I care about, I have an impossible choice.
Stay and fight for a place to belong . . . or decide once and for all that I’m better off alone.
This will be a spoiler free review.
I read this in basically one sitting. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. With Vampires coming back to YA, it’s only fair that Angels come back as well. This felt like a new, unique spin on angels, while still feeling familiar. It also gave me strong, Covenant Series, Vampire Academy, and Crave vibes, so if that’s your thing, pick this up immediately – you’ll enjoy it.
Emberly gave me Alex vibes from the Covenant Series – snarky, bad ass, able to survive just about anything with a mixture of luck and skill. She felt very real, like if you or I were suddenly thrust into a world where everything we knew was flipped on its head.
I love her friend’s – Ash, Greyson and Sterling. I mean, fuck I love the twin brothers. Absolutely love them. Ash is going to be loyal af, I can already tell, and I can’t wait to see their friendship progress. Greyson and Sterling are totally going to become the protective, annoying, big brother types and I’m here for it. They definitely give me Cassian and Azriel vibes.
Nova was surprising, and I’m kind of glad she wasn’t pigeonholed into the stereotypical role I expected. I’m hoping she and Emberly become really good friends, or even like, fighting partners.
Then there’s Steel. Let’s be real, I was gone before I even met the guy. I mean, he’s every broody, hot, fantastical male you can think of and I’m a fucking sucker. There’s also a bit of rivals to lovers, unexplainable attraction, I want to claw your eyes out tension/connection between him and Emberly, and have I mentioned I’m here for it? I mean, within the first 100 pages, there’s an altercation that draws blood, verbal fights because they can’t stand each other, and they are forced to spend time with each other in a cramped space made for 1 person.
Again, I was gone before I even started and then I was absolutely sunk.
As for the world building, it feels very Crave/Vampire Academy/Covenant Series-ish. Mainly takes place at an academy/boarding school. The book starts in the city and then moves to out to the wilderness. I found everything to be pretty vivid and easy to imagine. Between the real world and the spirit world. I liked the fresh take on Angels and how they’re classified. It felt reminiscent enough, but new enough that I wasn’t bored or didn’t know what to expect. The pacing was good, kept me engaged and flipping the pages – obviously since I read this in a handful of hours. I couldn’t put it down, and when I had to, I wasn’t happy about it. I do think there were a few instances where the plot grew weak, but overall it was pretty strong and made sense. Towards the end, things felt just a tad rushed, but I was left with the desperate need for the second book. Thank goodness it comes out in January which means I won’t have to wait too long.
I definitely recommend this book – if you’re a fan of JLA, SJM, Crave or Vampire Academy, or even just angels, then you should put this on your TBR. The cover is gorgeous, so hell, you could buy a physical copy to just display on your shelves! It’s a good, quick read that will have you simping over Steel, Greyson and Sterling (comparatively, Rhys, Azriel and Cassian) and you won’t know what to do with yourself lol.