Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Book review - Ember Fury by Cathy Brett

Ember Fury releases in the UK tomorrow (the 6th August)
From the back cover because I couldn't seem to manage to write my own summary for this one:
'Having celebrity parents isn’t as hot as it sounds. Yes, there’s money to burn, fame and some totally smoking guys... but when your dad’s more interested in blazing a trail to the top of the charts than why you got kicked out of school, again, it can make you seriously angry. And if there’s one thing Ember Fury knows, it’s that the smallest spark of anger can ignite a whole heap of trouble.'

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book – I didn’t even know what the plot was about. I read it because I heard that it’s an interesting blend of text and image. I don’t read graphic novels, I just don’t find that the medium works for me. But half graphic novel and half plain ordinary novel? That idea appealed to me because potentially you have the best of both. Ember Fury lives up to that potential.

You may notice the use of fire metaphors in the blurb. That would be because Ember is a pyromaniac – a fire starter. She’s been kicked out of several schools and recently landed in rehab due to her tendency to set light to things when she’s upset. At the start of the book Ember is quite a naive yet confident character – the stereotypical problem child of celebrity parents. As the story progresses, her insecurities and loneliness justify most of her actions. She’s a reluctant teenager thrust into the spotlight whenever she stays with her dad in America, but this time she’s just been kicked out of another school, she has a new step-mum to meet, and her dad hasn’t bothered turning up to see her. She has to face other people judging her and using her just because of who her dad is. Despite this she’s quite funny and very overdramatic. The graphic side picks up on this characteristic beautifully, showing images of how she feels as well as what’s happening.

There’s also a paranormal element to the book, though it’s never fully explained whether her invisible friend Ned is a ghost or just completely imaginary. Ember Fury is a good book that will have younger teens hooked. Because of the approachableness of Ember’s character and the way the text is broken up between graphic segments, it’s a great book for reluctant readers but unlike many other such books it doesn’t exclude confident readers either. Because of the maturity level of the character I would say it’s more suited to younger teens, who I think will really enjoy this fun but also deep book.


  1. Great review!! I can't wait to read this!

    And I got Lipgloss Jungle today too :) The postman came to the door with it and I was all 'yay, a parcel!'. I'm pleased though, because I was looking at The Ashleys in Borders. Although it's not the first in the series, it doesn't seem like you NEED to have read the other books so far (I'm reading it atm).

  2. Maybe we can compare reviews :) I've got others to read before I can get to Lipgloss Jungle though.

  3. shhhh don't tell anyone but he's a ghost!! aaaah :L

  4. He's a ghost? Is he?

    I'm up to about 50, and enjoying it so far! Nice review H :) Oh, and I got Lipgloss Jungle too!

  5. Awesome review. I've wanted to read this for a little while now. It sounds fun.


  6. I need to read more graphic novels. I like the sound of the story...Excellent review!

  7. ember fury has to be one of the best books ever made i got it from my friends and i wont stop reading it icant wait for the next book scarlet deed to come ot i have got lipgloss jungle to