City in Embers: Collector, Book 1 by Stacey Marie Brown

Title: City in Embers
Author: Stacey Marie Brown
Genre: NA, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audio
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Description (Source: Amazon):

Zoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she is placed in her “last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around: her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Zoey will do anything to keep her safe.

After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain: Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves.

But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this, the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want to destroy them.

When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey’s whole world is turned upside down. The electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey, running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten their lives and those they love.

Overall Assessment:
Y’all. I am in love with this series. I’ve actually owned this audiobook for over a year because I bought it on impulse, but never got around to reading/listening to it.  I’ve been reading a little more romance lately and wanted something that wasn’t quite YA, and not quite PNR either. I read the reviews on this one and it seemed to be a happy medium. 

The description pretty much tells what the plot is without me having to further delve into it.  Overall, the story moves quick. The audiobook is about 11 hours long and not once did I get bored. The first chapter draws you in as you meet our main protagonist, Zoey, and get introduced to her world. 

About Zoey – she is tough, and not the kind of tough where the author just tells you about it, but you never see any evidence of it in the story. Zoey is not only a formidable fighter, but she also possesses a mental hardiness and resilience that she acquired from bouncing around foster homes the better part of her life. 

And Ryker—sighs dreamily. He is described as a Viking, so naturally I just picture Ragnar from the TV show Vikings. 

Excuse me while I wipe up my drool. Ryker starts out as kind of an asshole, but you can tell there is a squishy center under all the brooding. I know, this sounds like another case of the “bad guy becomes good” trope, but it is done really well. It’s a very slow transition for him, and he’s not quite a “good” guy, just complex. 

The chemistry between Ryker and Zoey is great. It’s definitely going to turn into a romance in the following books, but it’s a verrrrryyyy slow burn. They pretty much bicker the majority of this book, but it’s laugh out loud funny at times. I found myself grinning like a fool several times while listening. 



What I liked:
– Strong female protagonist! 
– The build up to an epic romance between Zoey and Ryker.
– Sprig, the lovable little monkey sprite. There were times i wanted to ring his adorable little neck because of the “moments” he accidentally broke up, but he adds some extra comedy to a sometimes dark story. 
– Brown does a great job at getting you attached very early to supporting characters. I won’t say anything else about that because of spoilers, but lets just say I may or may not have been crying by chapter 3. 

What I didn’t like:
– I really can’t think of anything I didn’t like. 

Final Thoughts:
– It ends on kind of a cliffhanger, but you learn a major plot development point right before the end. Plus the next book is already out, so quit complaining about it 😉 

Published by ChandaReads

. wife . mom . navy veteran . bookworm . potterhead . ravenclaw . gym rat . mountain girl . whimsical . romantic . dreamer . wanderer . thrill seeker .

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