Published by Delacorte Press on September 11, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
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.
The Lantern’s Ember is a standalone young adult novel by Colleen Houck. I don’t normally mention a book’s cover, but I have to talk for a moment about just how stunning the cover of The Lantern’s Ember is. I think it is the perfect cover for this story, and it helped to set the mood of the story for me. I really, really love it. And speaking of love, I thought this novel was the perfect read to get you into the Halloween spirit. I think this is a great read for young adult readers (even some on the younger end that are ok with a romance) . The characters are age appropriate and the novel has a wonderful magical atmosphere that will draw you in.
The Lantern’s Ember gave me HalloweenTown vibes. In a strange way, because the setting is not really like Halloween Town but the concept of journeying into another magical world with a guide of sorts. Plus, while the atmosphere was totally spooky and had a hint of a darker vibe, the overall feel of the story was not overly scary. But I kind of enjoyed that about the story. It gave me a chance to get to know the characters and feel a part of the world. Ember is our main character, and I think she was a very age appropriate young lady. (or should I say young witch…) She is someone that grew on me. She starts out a bit too trusting and naive, but we get to see her grow as the novel progresses, which is fantastic in a standalone novel. (I love seeing characters grow over the course of a series, but I always find it really impressive when an author can depict that type of growth in a standalone novel as well.) Despite Jack’s warnings, Ember crosses over to the otherworld, which in turn makes Jack follow her, and off we go on Ember’s adventure.
I also really enjoyed Jack and Ember’s friend Finney. Jack is Ember’s guide to the Otherworld- he is a gatekeeper of sorts for the otherworld. I would personally like to see more of Jack’s time as a portal guardian. And Finney is my favorite (but I love a nerd, so this should be a surprise to no one…)
If you are looking for a really scary, dark novel, this might not be your best bet. But if you are looking for a fantastic atmospheric Halloween read that still manages to be creepy, yet lighthearted, I think this will be the perfect novel for you. I think it will be perfect for the younger, young adult audience as well as anyone looking for a fun Halloween read with other world magic and some romance.
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