Title: Raining Embers
Author: Jessica Dall
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Palmer Tash always follows the path of least resistance. He has an unusual disability involving his hearing. But in theocratic Latysia, being different isn’t a good thing, so he conceals his problem. Brier Chastain’s malady is even more debilitating, and she often must take to her bed for long periods. Her days are spent in meaningless pursuits as she awaits an arranged marriage. When Palmer and Brier are kidnapped on the same night, they meet and discover that their so-called disabilities are actually budding powers. They are the incarnations of Order and Chaos. With their country on the brink of war, the two must step into their predestined roles and learn to take control of their own destinies.
Amazon | Goodreads | Red Adept Publishing
Jessica Dall finished her first novel at the age of fifteen and has been hooked on writing ever since. In the past few years, she has published two novels, The Copper Witch and The Porcelain Child, along with a number of short stories that have appeared in both magazines and anthologies. In college, Jessica interned at a publishing house, where her “writing hobby” slowly turned into a variety of writing careers. She currently works as both as an editor and creative writing teacher in Washington, DC. When not busy editing, writing, or teaching, Jessica enjoys crafting and piano, and spending time with her friends and family. She can most often be found at her home in Maryland with a notebook and her much-loved, sometimes-neglected husband.
I was asked by Jessica, to take part on the Blog Tour and review her book which she and Red Adept Publishing provided a free copy for. This in no way has influenced my review.
I’m a big fan of fantasy, especially Young Adult so I was excited for this book even if I wasn’t so sure about the blurb I had high hopes for it. The book in itself has a lot of potential but I feel like it didn’t live up to it in many ways.
The World: The world Jessica has created is fascinating and has so much potential. The book… It’s just too short, you don’t get a good feel for it. So many things are glossed over and not fully explained that it was a bit of a let down. It’s like being handed a cake but only then being able to eat a small bit of it. There’s just so much left that I was left wanting. Perhaps as the series progress we’ll find out more about the world that the story takes place in
Plot: The plot is certainly unique and intriguing. I admit that the blurb left me slightly confused in what it had to do with the story. The idea of two characters being Order and Chaos, of having abilities relating to each of them is fascinating and was an interesting twist. What confused me was the disabilities. As I read the book I actually forgot that Tash was supposed to have hearing problems, it just didn’t come across well for me in the book and Brier’s ‘disability’ just confused me. I didn’t see the point of it. Though I think it could have been explored more as I believe it had something to do with how she developed her powers but to me it wasn’t all that clear.
What happened while they were kidnapped was certainly interesting though as was the aftermath and the conclusion of the book.
Despite that, I found the plot to be slow going and it took awhile for it to build up to a conclusion. While I understand in fantasy it is necessary to develop the world alongside the plot I felt that the plot could have moved a lot faster in places, especially the beginning. Though I understand why she did it the way she did, I had to force myself to read it. Partly though I just wanted to learn as much about the world of Raining Embers as possible. The introduction of Rosette was certainly interesting though and I quite liked her as a character.
The Characters Perhaps because it is a YA and a fairly short one at that coming in at just under 300 pages, I felt like we didn’t get a good feel for the characters. Like the world building there is so much potential in regards to what is known for the characters. While we did learn a lot about them towards the end of the book it felt that for the rest of the book there were only small snippets given here and there. As I mentioned before, the disabilities that play such a large role in the blurb confused me as it didn’t really impact the story a part from them being the powers.
I feel like Jessica could have handled this in a different way, made the powers manifest themselves another way or played up these disabilities more during the book. Then again, Brier confused me at times. At the same time her interaction with Tash seemed forced and awkward. While, a lot of this comes from the two of them being forced together in a situation where they rarely know one another I do think that she just took advantage of him and treated him rather poorly at times. That wasn’t to say that he wasn’t perfect in their behaviour either… Then again they are teenagers! Rosette on the other hand, for a minor character was really quite interesting. I loved reading her scenes and want to know more about her.
Overall, I believe that Raining Embers has a lot of potential but could have done well with being a longer book than it actually was. At the length it is, it teased us, gave us a lot of snippets about the world and the characters but wasn’t all that fulfilling. Despite that, I did enjoy the end of the book and thought it was an interesting way of handling things. I’m looking forward to seeing book two and hopefully some more development of the world.
★ ★ ★ / 5