Review – An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I enjoyed this book – I didn’t love it quite as much as all the hype, but it was an ok read. I liked the rich world that had been created, even if a little too much was packed into the first book. There were a lot of references to the other cultures and mythical creatures that were unneeded for a book that essentially takes place with a few square miles.
What stopped it getting that final star was a few issues with the writing and characterisation. While Laia was a change from the badass teen that we normally see in these books, and gets a lot of character development, there was just something about here that didn’t gel with me. That may have been the actual writing – the book did read very much like a third person, even though it was a first person perspective.
I actually enjoyed reading Elias more, as I felt he had more depth to him, until (view spoiler)[ started being a dick to Helene (hide spoiler)]. But the love square was stupid. Not every main character needs to be torn between two love interests. How often does that happen in real life? Also, people in life threatening situations don’t think about relationships that much. The relationship between the MCs also seemed a little weak – their only attraction was it was forbidden and they were hawt.
Did anyone else think the repeated references to rape were a little gratuitous? It is certainly historically accurate, but it just seemed to be mentioned so often it seemed like I was reading Game of Throne lite.
I think Helene would make a brilliant main character and would read on if she was in it more. I don’t know if I would seek out the next one to read, but if it was on sale in the bookstore, I’d definitely pick it up.