Thursday, October 25, 2018

REVIEW: The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck - Erin

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM
The Lantern's Ember
The Lantern's Ember
by Colleen Houck
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Delacorte Press
ISBN3: 9780399555725

Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare.

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos. (GoodReads)


I really did like this book. It’s the rushed ending that forces me to only give this book 3 stars. I really thought this book was going to have a sequel…. but no…. the last 20-30 pages just rushes to an end that just wasn’t fulfilling. Sure all the characters’ stories have an end of some sort… but I wanted more. I really wanted an epic battle. Or at least more to the main story that made sense. It was like the author ran into a page limit and was just like “Ok I guess I’ll just smash something that could be a hundred pages into twenty”. This book could have been so amazing!

Despite the bad ending, the rest of the book was fun and entertaining. As a HUGE Halloween fan, it was great to see so many spooky character and places connections. Jack is a lantern (Get it? Jack O’Lantern!) and he guards a covered bridge and has a creepy ghostly horse and he likes to ride around with a lit pumpkin to scare people…. Does that description remind you of Sleepy Hollow at all? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. He guards a gate to the monster world. There were many gates that he’s helped protect in the past including one in Salem, Sleepy Hollow, and Roanoke (three “spooky” towns!!!). In the monster world we have vampires who stories connect to Transylvania, a man made monster who resembles Frankenstein, a mad scientist who owns an island like the island of Dr. Monroe and so many great connections.

Main character wise…. I loved our little witch, Ember, though she did act very naive sometimes. Jack was an interesting guardian, though I feel like his romance was a little too easy.  Finny was a good overall sidekick, but nothing super special. Dev was a decent vampire though his longing for Ember got tiresome. The love quadrilateral (yes there were four people instead of our usual three) was kind of odd and a bit pointless. I feel like it was rushed and in some ways just didn’t make sense. Many of the other characters in the book we interesting and cool as well, but I feel like they didn’t get enough attention. I blame part of that problem yet again on the rushed ending.

Overall, this was a fun quick read especially for the Fall/Halloween season. It’s a “clean” read so young tweens and teens of all ages can enjoy it. Give it to someone who’s a fan of horror connections. 

Image result for halloweentown meme


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