Title: The Lantern’s Ember
Author: Colleen Houck
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication date: September 11th, 2018
Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.
Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.
Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.
“It comforted him to see his ember’s glow in the pumpkin’s expression. The light warmed him, giving him hope that somehow, somewhere, there was a spark of freedom waiting for him, even if it was at the end of a very long, weary road.”
I was so excited to read this book because it seemed like the perfect spooky book for the fall season or Halloween, and the premise sounded super interesting, but I was so disappointed with the story and the character that I ended up being mad. There was hardly anything that I enjoyed about The Lantern’s Ember, and I was so sad about that.
I found the story and the narrative so juvenile to be a young adult book. The characters were very naïve and childish, and overall the tone wasn’t what I hoped it would be. I was expecting a dark, eerie book, and there was nothing spooky about it whatsoever. It was a very lineal and plain story, and though I wanted to DNF it multiple times while reading it, because I wasn’t enjoying it, I wanted to do a review about it, so I kept reading The Lantern’s Ember with hopes that the ending would redeemed the book a bit for me, but that wasn’t the case.
The story had a nice start. We learnt a bit what was going on and about the characters, but from then on it went downhill. It hardly had a plot and some things were super inconsistent, and I didn’t really understand the character’s behavior. It was fast paced and it took me not long to finish it, but it was one of those stories where the concept was super intriguing but the development wasn’t that great or remarkable.
“Sometimes he’d point her in the right direction of various flora, and, in exchange, he accepted her offerings of fresh loaves of bread or small baskets filled with berries.”
The characters weren’t my favorites. They were so simple and plain and like every other characters I’ve read in other previous books. Their interactions were super cringy sometimes, and their interactions and dynamics were a bit forced and rushed. There was a love triangle that basically came out of nowhere, and because I wasn’t the biggest fan of Jack or Ember, I didn’t particularly care about their relationship throughout the story.
I feel the romance was quite insta lovey and unrealistic, and some of the things the characters did throughout the story didn’t relate to the characters’ personalities, and were a bit weird and odd to me. The ending was just so strange and had hardly anything to do with the rest of the story, and I hated it.
As much as I didn’t like the characters, I was hoping to learn more about the Otherworld and magic and world systems in general, but they weren’t addressed in the book, which left me quite confused. It’s like the author threw us into this magical world and expected us to know what was going on, and I was hoping to see a much complex world, after the characters and the plot being so weak to me.
Overall, I was super disappointed with this book. I had such high hopes and the synopsis sounded so unique and cool, but it ended up being such an unremarkable story, with very plain characters that had almost no evolution, and relationships that were cringy and juvenile.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
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