Zoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she is placed in her “last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around: her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Zoey will do anything to keep her safe.
After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain: Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves.
But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this, the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want to destroy them.
When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey’s whole world is turned upside down. The electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey, running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten their lives and those they love.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and in participation with this blitz.
City of Embers is an unexpected thrill ride, packed with surprises that will throw and shock you into a serious adrenaline rush. Complete and utter captivation.
- Zoey is fierce. Her resilience is powerful and admirable. She’s daring and beautiful, she wields so much strength. She fights tooth and nail for her life and those she loves. Her past is full of bad decisions made to survive and horror story foster homes. It’s amazing how far she’s come and with such confidence in her ability. Emotions are volitile and when Zoey crashes, it’s brutal and hard. Zoey learns to trust and open her heart when she least expects it. Sarcastic, short-fused and prone to flying fists, Zoey is a take charge, risk-taker that shields her emotions with her words and dirty street fighting.
- Zoey and Ryker have killer chemistry. The violent, explosive kind that leaps off the pages and pushes the story forward in a series of lust and unfulfilled desire. The angst is a drug that will leave you feeling tipsy and dissatisfied but thirsting for more. They’re aggressive, angry, they throw punches and insults but the heat is constant. Despite a lifetime of learned hatred for their opposing species, their mutual loss and hardheaded tendencies bring them together.
- Sprig is hilarious. The pervy little sprite is energetic, daring and completely adorable with his honey addiction and off-kilter TV references. It’s easy to fall in love with his spirit and playfulness even though he’s a constant source of disruption that effectively blocks the culmination of Ryker and Zoey’s feelings. The frustration is INTENSE.
- The violence is extreme. The bloodshed is extensive and graphic, deaths come fast and action scenes escalate so quickly it’s hard to keep up. The story is fast-paced and moves even though here are lags the danger is ever-present.
- The story does contain triggers. Zoey’s past is dark, full of heartache and abuse but it is not really detailed, more suggestive than blunt. There are a few scenes that feature assault. I appreciated that the author included just enough without flashbacks.
- Variety of fae and powers was quirky and inventive. Each character, no matter how small or fleeting has unique features and dominant traits. They’re all memorable and that’s quite a feat.
- Relationships and love, whether it be sisterly or sexual were a huge part of what made Zoey tick and yet, the back story was abrupt and felt insignificant to grasp their connection. Yes, you could feel the love and longing but it wasn’t as poignant as it could have been.
- Zoey’s life as a collector and what they do as an organization was missing its history for most of the plot. When it was revealed it was a rapid-fire info session and the climax was like a slap in the face revelation.
She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. She volunteers helping animals and is eco-friendly. She feels all animals, people, and environment should be treated kindly.
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