January 30, 2015

ARC Review: City in Embers (Collector #1) by Stacey Marie Brown

Release Date: February 4th, 2015
Rating: 4 stars

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


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 Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review*

I hadn't read too many books about fae in the past, but City in Embers was definitely a great introduction to that world! The mystery behind DMG intrigued me, the romance had my stomach fluttering, and the end had me worried for what is yet to come! When The Barrier Between (Collector #2) comes out, you can bet I'm going to get my hands on it ASAP!

What I enjoyed:

Ryker. (spoilers ahead) In all honestly, I was pleased after reading the passage that would end Zoey and Daniel's relationship. I'm sorry but a 22 year old madly in love with a 40 year old-- it was a little awkward for me. Little did I know, the best part of that romance ending was the introduction of Ryker. *Swoon. Ryker, sigh. At first, I remember thinking "he sounds like a caveman on steroids". Silly me. Stacey Marie Brown, must be some kind of wonderful because by the end, I was thinking "good lord, Ryker is perfection".

The steaminess. The sexual tension between Zoey and Ryker had me giggling like a giddy little schoolgirl. There was something so satisfying in picturing myself as Zoey, curled up against a rugged, muscular man with my head perfectly fitting in the crook of his arm. Sigh, bliss.

No insta-love. In City in Embers there is no love lost between humans and fae. Sure enough, when Zoey and Ryker first met, they spent most of their time insulting each other. With time, conversations were had, secrets and pasts were shared, and you could see the walls coming down. I enjoyed the slow progression of their relationship. It was a nice change from the various insta-romances I have read in the past.

Sprig. Who wouldn't love a narcoleptic, honey fiending, comic relief providing half-monkey, half-sprite?

The plot twist. I don't want to give anything away, so let me just say I read that particular passage with my mouth wide open in shock. I really hope they find a way around this!

What could have been a bit better:

The beginning. I'm not sure if it's just me, but I had to read a few pages before I became used to the writing style. I read the first page, felt confused as to what I had just read, and had to reread the page again. The first few pages are very action-packed, however, so this may have a lot to do with it.

Lexie & Daniel. (spoilers ahead) I feel a little regret in saying that I felt nothing in their deaths. I don't want to feel this way! I want to care! I want to shed a tear or two! It was just difficult to care for characters whose time in the book was so short-lived because of the storm. I do understand, though. There was a lot of story to tell after the storm.

Overall, an enjoyable read! I'm looking forward to book two and I will be searching through Goodreads soon for another fae book to read in the meantime!

Happy Reading!

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