Embers (Foresight #1)
by Amy Keen
Summary: Scarlett Roth loves nothing more than to immerse herself in a good book. So, the tale of a modern-day witch hunt and a sinister adversary threatening to irrevocably alter a young girl’s life forever should be the perfect story in which to lose herself. Unfortunately for her; she’s the girl, the threat is real and she will unearth one of the modern world’s greatest secrets – the witch trials are not over, they have evolved.
Scarlett’s life is thrown upside down when she starts having terrifying visions. Her only comfort in a strange new town comes in the form of enticing and popular Jake; but the more she learns about her ‘power’, the more she realizes her interest in him is drawing unwanted attention of the darkest kind.
I loved this book! I am always partial to books that deal with the Salem witch trials because I find the whole thing absolutely fascinating and I’m happy to see a great story woven around it. I also love YA novels dealing with the fantastic and supernatural, with characters growing into themselves and searching for their place in the world. Embers was a glorious mixture of both and it was the perfect recipe for me. Fortunately, it was also well executed.
Scarlett moved to Salem, MA after her mom got a job offer. She left her father and her friends behind in Washington state and had to learn how to fit in at a new school. She hit it off with two girls and attracted the attention of a gorgeous and popular guy, Jake. I really liked Scarlett and the way she looked at the world. She was logical, self conscious, and awkward, which was an interesting mix. She seemed like such an ordinary teenager dealing with ordinary problems, like how to fit in and what to do about Jake. And then the visions start plaguing her and Scarlett juggled her ordinary problems with her new supernatural abilities.
Scarlett had no mentor and no direction to help her figure out what was happening to her and she settled for looking for clues in the library. I loved this aspect of the book because it showed how determined Scarlett was and she was forced to struggle alone. There was no one to help her out or tell her what was going on or lead her in the right direction.
It took a little bit for the story to really pick up. It wasn’t until about halfway through that the plot thickens and becomes much more serious and the focus shifts more from Scarlett’s ordinary life to her search for answers to the extraordinary aspects of it. The book wasn’t slow in the beginning at all, it just took awhile for the true action and grit to show up. I enjoyed the first half, if only to watch Scarlett and Jake develop!
Embers was a well crafted story. I didn’t find it predictable and I thought the plot was incredibly interesting. It didn’t seem to follow any typical pattern, so I never knew what to expect. I enjoyed the way the focus shifted throughout the book, despite enjoying the last half of it more than the first. The only reason I didn’t rate this a full 5 stars is because I noticed a need for editing in various places. There were a few spelling errors and strangely worded sentences that I tripped over. In a couple areas, I felt like I was being hauled into a totally different scene without much of a transition. All of the issues were minor and didn’t severely impact my enjoyment of the book.
I would definitely recommend this book to others and I will definitely pick up the second book in the series.