Dying Embers tells the story of Drake McCarty; a sixteen year old boy with more than a few challenges in his life. As if it wasn’t enough that he had begun seeing creatures that no one else could, he is suddenly thrust into the position of liaison to an alien race. He was just coming to understand that part of his life when he finds himself pronounced father to three Larian infants; embers. They are injured, frightened, and carrying a pathogen with the capacity to destroy any technology it contaminates. Bole and the rest of the mature aliens are of limited help; exiled from their home-world following a bloody civil war, they arrived on Earth in a burned out spaceship just as the Cold War began, and for over half a century the military kept them a closely guarded, rather boring, and ultimately unproductive secret. But when the other half of the conflict arrives, bent on continuing the war here on Earth Bole has no choice but to defend his new home and the family he has built here, leaving Drake to tend to the embers on his own. But Drake has other allies; a family with roots that stretch back into antiquity, and a reach that spans the world. They in turn know beings native to Earth, but far more alien than any of the Larians; creatures that hold no love for the species that they see as invaders, but might hold the key to his children’s very survival.
I want to begin by apologizing to the author of this novel, Betty Adams, for not completing her book which I had agreed to give my honest review about. Holding up my end of the deal, this review will be by thoughts and opinions on the first half of the book as I only managed to read up to page 127 / 276.
This book originally captured my attention with the adorable cover art – it is nothing completely amazing or spectacular, but it hit me as being very genuine and beautiful, and thus, I decided to read this novel.
To be completely honest, I didn’t enjoy this book. Not to say that the story is terrible, but I found this book to be very one dimensional, which resulted in me having absolutely no emotional connection with the characters or story. There were obvious attempts by the author to build on backstories of the characters, which just fail to work. These attemps to build backstories were dispersed throughout the novel in, what I assume, is to allow the reader’s connection with the characters slowly change and mature. Unfortunately I found that this attempted method of connection made the story very boring, as we really don’t know all that much about the characters at any given point in time.
My second issue with the characters, is with the aliens and their many names. The protagonist aliens in this book are mostly introduced within the first few chapters – and there are a decent number of aliens to introduce! The problem is that each alien has several different names (formal, informal, and sometimes nicknames), which caused me to really struggle to remember who was who. Needless to say this caused a huge lack of connection between me and the alien characters.
Lastly, I found the story line to be quite boring, considering this is a sci-fi genre book. I was very underwhelmed. During the first half of the book, which is all I read, there really is not much epic action as would be expected with an alien book. The story mainly based around a brother – sister relationship developing more trust, of which the alien babies are just a means of.
Though I’ve been trying for two weeks to finish reading this novel, my lack of connection with the characters and lack of interest in the story line, made Dying Embers too unbearable to finish.
Keep in mind that this is only my opinion of the first half of the book, and that my opinion may, in no way, reflect that of the entire novel – for all I know, it could have had a spectacular ending.