Amber Smoke (The Escaped #1)

Author: Kristin Cast
Published: June 9, 2015
Pages: 275

Stars: 3 out of 5

There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has opened the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.

Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.

With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the House of Night series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.


The story starts off with the tail of Maiden, Mother, and Crone in the underworld. The prologue spins a tail of forbidden love and the curse to follow. A curse that sends the underworlds protective walls crashing down and a need for a warrior to bring those who escaped back down. Alek, being that warrior, is young and naïve to the human world.  He is slightly cocky but also full of self doubt. The way he perceives the world is at times awkward but mostly strange and he just seems out of place.

Eva is a smart young woman with a good head on her shoulders. But there are things she does in this book that are completely reckless and sometimes irritating. For someone who is educated and smart, she sure has a difficult time making common sense decisions and taking life threatening situations seriously. For most of the book, I really enjoyed her character. I liked how she was shy when it comes to her crush and how sweet and nice she was.

The author does a fantastic job describing what a serial killer/stalker would be like. Everything from the calm in his voice to the violent mood swings, it all sucks you into the story. And when it comes to describing the demon within him, talk about nightmare material. Especially the ending, that was a little disturbing. If you are one of those readers with a vivid imagination, picturing the plot unfold in detail in your head, then there are scenes in this book that are high in the creepy sense.

This book is told through multiple perspectives. It took me a while to figure out why the author introduced Detective James. In fact, it took mostly the book to understand why his point of view was needed or what it added. And to be honest, I’m not 100% sure I understand his role. The author uses the detectives working Eva’s kidnapping case to create havoc and stress. Their jump of viewing Eva as a victim to her being the primary suspect isn’t realistic and doesn’t make much sense.

The story line goes from dragging at times to an intense scene that is either disturbing, frightening, or bizarre. The author ends the book on a cliff hanger and not much is really solved but you are left with wanting more. The writing is well done and the description is great.

One thing I noticed was how the synopsis doesn’t really align with the book. I didn’t catch onto the secrets Eva was surrounded by. Maybe someone could point those out for me?? And she doesn’t really become the Hunter. Yes, Alek help her become reborn but she doesn’t go hunting demons. Again, maybe I missed something here?? And I didn’t really notice how they discovered their limits to their powers. This, added with some unrealistic plot lines and the slightly slow moving pace, made this book a three star instead of five. I am interested to see where the author is taking this series and will be wanting to read the next book.

If this book interests you, click on the link- Amber Smoke: The Escaped – Book One (The Escaped Series) – for more information.



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