**Embers was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Random Things Tours for having me on the tour.**
Two siblings, one crime. One long-buried secret.
17-year old Ellen never wanted a holiday. What is there to do in a mining town in the northernmost corner of the country, with no one but her brother Simon – a boy with Asperger’s and obsessed with detective stories – for company?
Nothing, until they stumble upon a horrifying crime scene that brings them into a generations-long conflict between the townspeople and the native Sami. When the police dismiss Simon’s findings, he decides to track down the perpetrator himself. Ellen reluctantly helps, drawn in by a link between the crime and the siblings’ own past. What started off as a tedious holiday soon escalates into a dangerous journey through hatred, lies, and self-discovery that makes Ellen question not only the relationship with her parents but also her own identity.
Embers is a dark, and twisted tale that follows a brother and sister team that is desperate to find the answers to a horrific crime.
Firstly, I really appreciated the bond between brother and sister being shown in this book. When they’re sent to Svartjokk, Ellen has no option but to look after Simon. Due to his Asperger’s, it’s suggested that he lacks an emotional response to things that are happening around him. When they begin questioning people, he is brash and to the point and has no fear of being direct to get the answers he wants. Ellen tries other methods to get the truth out of the townspeople that reflect more of her emotional response to the situation they’re thrust into. I thought the siblings had a beautiful bond and would always stick together through everything. Ellen was the only one who could ever understand and get through to Simon when he had meltdowns. I felt they were both fiery and determined once the mystery of what happened to the Reindeer began to unravel. I’d pin some of their needs to investigate down to typical teen spirit and rebelliousness. When the police told them to stop, they kept looking for the answers they felt the Sami people deserved.
I found it a little difficult to believe that two teenagers could find out all this information independently. It never felt as if they were in any real danger, which for a thriller was strange. I felt this element needed more development and they needed to be in more danger at some point for it to be believable. But it was only ever eluded to that they were putting themselves in harm’s way rather than it happening.
I was pleased when answers to pressing questions were finally revealed because it felt as if they were starting to go around in circles with the same information for a while. Unfortunately, the family was so used to lying to one another that it took a big life-altering event – for the teens at least – for the truth to finally be told.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would rate it 4/5 stars. There were moments it felt a little lackluster but I didn’t lose interest in reading it at any point.