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Tuesday, 17 April 2012


First in Ember
by Madison Daniel 

Love never dies...but it can kill.

Ember is the story of Max Valentine, a teenager with secret abilities and many inner demons. His life revolves around music and his love for it. When his father dies he seeks answers with his last living relative, his fathers brother Frank. Frank lives on the island of Maui and eagerly takes Max in as his own. Max soon learns that healing his past will be more difficult than he could have ever believed. Two major complications will tempt and torment him as he tries to make sense of his abilities.

The first temptation comes in the form of a mysterious island girl. Asia Lyn Michaels is rich, spoiled, angry and beautiful. Her path crosses with Max on the beach one afternoon, forever changing both of their lives. Max saves her life and she discovers his secret. From that moment on they are connected, no matter how much they fight it.

The second temptation will test Max’s very soul. Samantha Ann Summers is sweet, artistic, smart and confident. She will help Max find his smile again and maybe even heal his past mistakes. She is possibly his soul mate and Max will fight that with every fiber of his being.

Max’s temper and indecision with the girls will send in motion events that will cost him dearly. He will test the limits of his powers and the new relationship with his protective uncle. He will gain a powerful love and lose another.


I don't, to be honest, recommend this book, unless you are really, really okay with a lot of editing and proofreading errors, and have an infinite joy of reading about nothing but love triangles.

I must preempt this by saying I wanted to like this book. First of all, I mean - look at that cover! And second of all, I thought the idea of two girls fighting over a guy (instead of, you know, two guys fighting over one girl) is actually more true to life. My greatest mistake was in assuming this book was not a romance novel. I mean, I know it would have romance strewn in it, and a love triangle was bound to be involved and a major part of the book, but I was expecting there to be a plot besides bouncing between girls.

I won't dwell long on my unfulfilled expectations. Let's assume I was aware this was a 100% romance-dedicated story. Let's assume I love romance-dedicated stories.

Before I get to the plot, let me just get my beef out. Editing, people. There was none. I can see that other reviewers have been kind in their willingness to let this issue slide, but it simply did not sit well with me.

1) Missing apostrophes
His hair was light brown like my fathers (…)
The dogs twisted torso tumbled through the air behind me.

2) Wrong words
His body lied broken and bloody.
He laughed hearty at his joke.
I was sure it wasn’t aloud but from the seclusion of the beach, I didn’t think anyone would throw too big of a fit.
She ignored the polite jester and hopped to her feet (…)
I’d like you to meet are savior (…)

3) Missing commas
“Sounds like a plan,” I said excited.

4) Narrative
Image and video hosting by TinyPicThe book was told in first-person perspective, through Max’s eyes … but we’d have scenes where he knew what Sam and Asia were doing and saying, even though he was nowhere near them.

But anyway. Onto the content.

Our protagonist, Madison "Max" Valentine, lands in the tropical island of Maui, to live with his uncle Frank. It is only moments before he meets the enticing, sultry, mysterious Asia, and the beautiful, sweet little doe that is Samantha. Of course, Max falls instantly for both of the girls, and after healing Asia from a terrible accident, develops an inexplicable connection with her.

What we have next is 388 pages or so of Max jumping to and fro between the two girls like the asshole he is; utterly convinced that he is in love with both of them, and too selfish to come up straight with a decision and putting his foot down.

First of all, the “love” was too quick and too … sappy.

You are my kryptonite

When we hold each other and kiss each other … my heart screams

Who talks like that?

Asia falling for Max was just sighworthy for me. And not the good type of sigh. She was this unattainable, pseudo-lesbian hot mess, who stared down every guy wanting to get in her pants – and that façade was all ripped to shreds in a few, short days.

Second of all, the characters.
Sam. Let me tell you why I hated Sam. Why she had no self-respect. It was damn obvious who Max chose from the outset. He was head-over-heels in lust with Asia. He turned down Sam, saying parties were not his thing (or something to that effect) and then had the gall to show up with Asia. He was kind of dating Sam, and then he spent his nights willingly kidnapped by Asia. He was kissing her in the morning and making out with Asia just the next day. He literally shouted at Sam to leave, while Asia was clinging onto his arm like a leech … and throughout all this, Sam was still there, forgiving him, dead set on “not giving up on us”, throwing herself onto him, begging him to give them another chance – I just …

If a guy shut me down like that – if he rejected me even once, after everything I did for him – If he told me he loved me but also loved another girl and outright admitted he had a “connection” with this other girl … I would … boy, I would be so fucking offended. I’d probably fume over a bowl of ice cream and then move right on.

You do not love him, Sam. You only just met him. You’re probably only eighteen. Good fucking grief.

I didn’t like Asia, but my distaste for her does not deserve any further mention. It’s Max we must focus on here. This … bastard hiding beneath a mask of gentlemanly manners. No one who respects a girl would treat them the way he did. He was shallow and selfish, and with a supposed “temper” that sounded a lot more to me like wangst than anything else.

That is all I have to say about the characters, really. There was no depth to them except for the surface clichés of troubled past, secrets galore … Sam was just bland and accepting, like the perfect poster wife a man longs for. Asia was the rich heiress, the seductress every man wants to see greeting them in lingerie.

Basically, this is what it was all about:

But Aniston was strong enough to let that ship sail.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more!

  2. I agree with you that 2 girls fighting over a guy is more realistic. I am tempted to give it a try but I really hate romance!

    Well, I might just get it from the library; that way, if I hate the book at least I won't be screaming for my money back :-)

    1. Ha yes, borrowing it will be a very wise decision! Well if you hate romance I doubt you would enjoy this book at all though. Perhaps it's wiser to just read another book entirely :P