An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

Rating: 2/5 stars

My Thoughts:

Do you ever have the feeling that you read a different book than everyone else? I’m having that feeling right now.

I really thought going into this book, that it would be a new favorite. It wasn’t.

My main problem with An Ember in the Ashes was how boring I found it. I thought the characters were bland, I thought the trials were lame, and I hated the love square with a bunch of almost kisses and almost feelings told.

“All the beauty of the stars means nothing when life here on earth is so ugly.”

I couldn’t connect to the characters- at all. I found Elias to be more bearable than Laia, (I thought she was super weak and kind of bad at being a rebel). Elias was still meh to me though, he just kept going back to the same thoughts (how hot Laia and Helene were, but oh no! Helene is just my best friend, what are these feelings! Oh no, this is a terrible time for Helene to “act like a girl”. Oh- nevermind I don’t actually like her like that?) Also lots of thoughts about his terrible mother and how much she hated him. Just got fed up of him.

Another thing was, certain elements of this book reminded me of books that I didn’t like. I got a The Winner’s Curse vibe from the slavery bit (a book I dropped) and the rebel/older-brother-rebel and a class being treated badly over a more powerful one, was Red Queen, which I hated. I know it’s not fair, I know this book isn’t really like them at it’s core but still, I kept thinking about it.

“You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”

And another thing, the wraiths, jinns, and ghuls. What? They were never really explained, mentioned only a few times and then they disappeared again, until at around 80% when someone finally decided to talk about them again. And of course no explanation of magical singing healing powers or the overly powerful and all knowing Augurs.

One thing I did enjoy was how absolute brutal this book got and didn’t shy away from. But while I understood how all the threats of rape fit into the setting, after about halfway through the book, I was just tired of them.

I did really like Helene and how badass she was. I think if she was the one and only main character, I would have liked this book better but who knows.

I just knew, when I was struggling to pick up this book at all, that it just wasn’t for me and for that, I am bummed.

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