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Flames to Embers {October 2014}

Flames to Embers

I’m not able to get to all the books I receive for review consideration, so to reduce stress and start with a clean slate each month, I feature the ones that I didn’t get to read in Flames to Embers. All the books I request start out as flames in my heart, but for various reasons, some of them burn down to embers and I lose desire or time to read them. I hope that you find something that draws your interest though and feel free to encourage me to give something another try!

I’m pretty sure it isn’t allowed to be November yet, shouldn’t I have had to approve that?? October appears to have been the month of me wanting to give some unknowns a try and then hearing not great things from reading buddies and losing steam on them (hehe, flame to steam :-P). I do also get the impression that a number of them are fast and fun if nothing else, so I may come back to those when in the mood for such :D.

Chasing Power The Fire Artist Exquisite Captive Loop Lailah

Chasing Power

Chasing Power

Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla’s life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive… or survive.

I was incredibly intrigued by this cover mostly because I really wanted to know wtf was going on there, haha. It sounds from reviews I’ve seen that it is fast and fluffy, but perhaps not all that epic or mind-blowing, so I haven’t felt compelled to pick it up yet. How heavy would you say the romance element is? I see that heart in the lightbulb!

The Fire Artist

The Fire Artist

Aria is an elemental artist—she creates fire from her hands. But her power is not natural. She steals it from lightning. It’s dangerous and illegal in her world. When she’s recruited to perform, she seizes the chance to get away from her family. But her power is fading too fast to keep stealing from the sky. She has no choice but to turn to a Granter—a modern day genie. She gets one wish at an extremely high price. Aria’s willing to take a chance, but then she falls in love with the Granter . . . and he wants his freedom. Aria must decide what she’s willing to bargain and how much her own heart, body, and soul are worth.

I’ll be honest, I was totally into the fire-element trend this summer, but I’ve also gotten burned (haha) too often on YA books advertising the awesome romance in the blurb. That just makes me leery to trust that it’ll be a romance I’ll be able to tolerate for some reason ;-). Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about that here though!

Exquisite Captive

Exquisite Captive

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

I almost didn’t download this one from Edelweiss to be honest since I’m so heavily against the idea of a female MC being captive and falling for and teaming up with someone involved in her enslavement. I saw a couple of red flags in DNF reviews that further made me cautious. However, I then got convinced at Epic Reads and bought a copy, so now I have a personalized copy that I might as well read eventually?



At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.

After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.

Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.

But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

I hear those gasps! How could I even think this would be a safe Anya book?? There is a pink heart framed by kissing on the cover, wtf Anya??? Definitely an impulse click there, plus the whole time travel thing. AND I hear from one trusty source (*coughShaecough*) that it is actually pretty fun, so I might try it as a gym book in the future :).



The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

I originally was going to pass this one by because it just didn’t seem like a me book for various reasons (one being those creepy darn hands!). However, I then saw gushing on Twitter and figured I should download the eARC and see for myself. And then I just never got to it after see very polarized reviews so now I just don’t know what to think! Maybe if the second book is loved and has a less creepy cover? >.> Advice from you who know my reading tastes??

So those are the books I considered for review and passed by in October! At least it wasn’t quite as shameful of a list as September ;-). I have to say though, I’m so happy to get the chance to discuss these “ember” books with you all though since it helps me a lot to know for sure whether a book is likely to make me happy, hehe.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -Anya

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Pass by Exquisite Captive, IMO. I had a really hard time finishing it. The jinni aspect was really the only cool part of the book.
    Leeanna @ recently posted…Book Review: Star Wars: Tarkin by James LucenoMy Profile

    • Sounds good! It’ll just be a pretty signed book on my shelf, sigh. This is why I shouldn’t go to author events if I’m not already decided!

  2. I’m curious about Chasing Power and Loop! I’ve heard Loop is actually pretty good.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Review of Princess of Thorns by Stacey JayMy Profile

    • Yes! I remember reading Shae’s review saying it was actually a lot of fun, so I think I’ll have to at least buy a pretty copy :D

  3. I had a similar experience with Exquisite Captive and Lailah. I don’t have Exquisite Captive – but I stared off super intrigued by it and then as I saw DNFs and less than stellar reviews, it dropped on my list. Lailah wasn’t on my radar until I went to an author event with Marissa Meyer and three other authors (that’s what I knew when I went – pretty clear who I wanted to see?). Nikki (I think that’s the author of Lailah) was there and she was so funny and so sweet. And I had to pass by her to get to Marissa… So I bought her book, figuring it was in my genre if choice. So I have a signed, personalized copy. Literally two days after getting the book I read three reviews giving it between 1 and 3 stars. So I’m bummed.

    BTW – I got The Darkest Part of the Forest Monday. Thanks so much, I’m enjoying it! I think I’ll finish by Friday:)
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…A Month of Giving Thanks Day 12My Profile

    • Haha, that’s like exactly what happened with Exquisite Captive for me! I was convinced at an author event and now have a personalized copy that I’m not sure I’m ever going to read after seeing reviews, sigh…. oh well, it looks pretty on the shelf!


  4. A lot of these are on TBR list but I’m also waiting for when I’m in the mood for something light/fun as they’re all very different from my usual stuff. I’m most excited about Exquisite Captive. I was a little worried about it for a while but several blogs I trust rated it favorably and I’m curious about it’s take on abusive relationships.

    • That’s good to hear for you about Exquisite Captive, I have to admit I’m nervous about that abusive relationships factor since I tend to really dislike dynamics like that, but I’ll be curious to hear how you like it!

  5. There were a lot of books that looked really good, but then got not so great reviews this month.

    Chasing Power sounds good, but I heard the same thing, it wasn’t stupendous.

    I have Exquisite Captive, but I haven’t gotten to it yet either. (I’m a little scared because I’ve seen really mixed reviews)
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…BookBlogWriMo Week 2My Profile

    • Yeah, it does seem to be one of those publishing months, huh, weird. Agreed on both of those, and I think I’ve decided I won’t get back to them, but I’ll be curious if you do!

  6. Chasing Power is the only one here that I was REALLY looking forward to, but like you my excitement has diminished a great deal since I first heard about it. I’ve heard the same things about Exquisite Captive so that one was knocked down on my list a lot pretty early. :/
    Emily @ Books & Cleverness recently posted…Review: The Diviners by Libba BrayMy Profile

  7. Can’t help you since I haven’t read any of them. But I did see a lot of negative reviews about ‘Lailah’. I think on Cuddlebuggery reviewer said that her cat tried to eat it and she almost let him. LOL
    Dragana recently posted…Book Review & Favorite Quotes: The Last Changeling by Chelsea PitcherMy Profile

  8. I picked up Exquisite Captive last month, and haven’t gotten to it yet. The summary sounded interesting, but I wasn’t sure if it would actually be good or not. Which is one reason why I still haven’t started it yet! You saying you saw a lot of DNF posts about it makes me leery now though. Hate when books that sound promising end up being ones you want to throw across the room instead.
    Silvara recently posted…Vampire Academy (book 1) by Richelle Mead (review)My Profile

  9. Chasing Power: the romance is forced, fluffy, and crush-turned-insta-lovey. (That kind of rhymed, right?)

    If it makes you feel any better, I remember hearing some fun things about Loop, too. I may pick it up if it hits the library. :)
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Discussion: Reading for Fun v. WorkMy Profile

    • It totally rhymed :D And I’m thinking Chasing Power won’t be one really worth me fitting in later, oh well!

      Loop seems like a good library book for sure, oh maybe if there is an audiobook with a decent narrator, that could be fun too.

  10. It is definitely NOT allowed to be November yet!! :) I’ve actually not heard of any of these, but Lailah sounds like it could be good.
    Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…What the ….?? Cliffhangers. Love or hate them?My Profile

  11. I love the idea of this post. I’ve got a huge backlog on novels and comics…
    Tattoogirl recently posted…REVIEW: Dead Body Road by by Justin Jordan, Matteo Scalera, & Moreno DinisioMy Profile

  12. I did read Lailah but I almost passed it up because of the cover too. It really creeped me out even when I got my Arc.
    Jen recently posted…Hear Me by Viv Daniels #CoverRevealMy Profile

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