Embers Book Review

Author: Harrison Alexander Webster @h.webster_books

Two siblings, Ellen and Simon, travel to Northern Sweden with rather dull expectations for their holiday. However, after their discovery of a circle of twelve reindeer heads in a glade in the forest, they are led down a path of discovery they could never have expected.

I was super excited to read this novel, so as soon as I was able, I bought a copy from Amazon and dived straight in.

When I read the blurb of the book I thought why would anyone want to kill a reindeer. I have read many books where people get killed – and in particularly unpleasant ways too – but it is so shocking and intriguing to read of animals killed merely for killing’s sake. It’s odd, we eat animals often and think very little of how that piece of meat ended up on our plates. But I think it is universally felt throughout society that the killing of animals merely for the sake of killing them is incredibly unsettling.

Greenland has done a phenomenal job of creating a a book that is well balanced, the characters are incredibly well developed, including the supporting roles and minor characters. They all feel so real, the setting is described with such beautiful detail that you can imagine yourself transported to this little mining town in the northernmost part of Sweden; and the pacing is great, the climax of the novel went at such a great speed, I couldn’t put the book down. So often you read crime or mystery novels that are heavily weighted in favour of the plot ad spend little effort in developing characters or creating an evocative and beautiful setting. Greenland does not make the mistake of putting all of her eggs in one basket.

The character that stands out to me the most is Simon. Simon has Aspergers and so immediately becomes fixated on solving the case. He is smart, funny, intuitive and courageous; a really fun character who is written so thoughtfully; he is brilliant!

I am so excited to see what Josephine writes next. If this is the quality of her debut, thenI’m expecting huge things to come!

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