City in Embers (Collector #1) by Stacey Marie Brown

23531413What a pleasant surprise this book was in the end. It has all I’ve wanted: I spunky female lead, a ferocious fae warrior, an apocalyptical setting in today’s USA, a fast moving plot with some surprising turns and an adorable fae familiar in the guise of a monkey. The little guy made my day, every fucking time. And take a closer look at the cover! Aint’t it beautiful? Better as some covers that I have seen lately with male nippels in the center.

Oh and the romance was brilliant. Even though they are not even kissing there were several moments when you could feel the heat coming of the pages. What I love most about this book? There is no insta-love, not even an instant attraction. They are both standing on opposite sides: Zoey is like the fae equivalent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and La Femme Nikita. Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG) to find and collect fae in Seattle because of her special talent: She is one of the few humans who can actually see through the glamour. Ryker is the fae warrior she is paired up with, a freak mix somewhere between V’lane from the Fever series, Merle Dixon from The Walking Dead and Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in The Vikings. Zoe hates fae and Ryker hates the humans. Unfortunately for both, they have no other choice but to work together. Bit by bit their prejudices and hate for each other vanish and there is a growing respect and a fragile friendship blooming instead. I am so much looking forward to see how this will ripen in the next book.

The only thing that I have to criticize is the bumpy beginning. I almost gave up reading the book to be honest. There was just so much info-dumping in the first few chapters! The first person narration did not help in that moment either and there were so many confusing bits and pieces: Daniel her instructor with whom Zoey has fallen in love, her sister who is disabled and sick, the crazy professor from DMG, Zoeys backstory a foster kid… On and on it went this telling and not showing, recounting past events. I felt breathless alone from reading it. I feel like a different approach to telling the background history and kind of starting the book a little bit later might have been better. But 15% into the story the action really takes off and makes for an enjoyable, suspenseful read.

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