Calling all fans of the Ember in the Ashes series! As we all await the final novel in the series (releasing in December), this story is a great snack to hold us over until dinner. Now, if you have never read this popular YA series by Sabba Tahir, fear not, because this is a prequel to the first and bestselling book, An Ember in the Ashes. And for those of you not familiar with this series, let me give you a quick pitch.
Ansel lives in a fairytale world, full of gnomes and trolls, giants and dragons. Every year, each person turning 18 chooses a magical quest, where they strike out into the world to seek their fortune—and find themselves. Ansel’s not like the other 18-year-olds, though. Instead of the traditional fairytale garb, he wears a suit and a tie. He tinkers with bizarre magical devices, such as wristwatches and cigarette lighters. And for his quest, he wants to journey to a strange and unknown land of towering glass buildings, horseless carriages, and flying machines—the domain of the legendary Folklords.
Quick recap: With Merlin playing matchmaker, Beowulf and King Arthur had their macho meet-cute, complete with beating up on each other, and then - like all rom-coms - they made nice and teamed up against the evil monster and her hellspawn… or y’know, the monster-slaying grandma with a shady past and her very well-built grandson.
In an alternate near future, the United States has walled itself off from the rest of the world. Known as the “Sealing,” no one outside the walls had heard a word from inside the USA until thirty years later when a pandemic called Sky rages across the globe. Two political entities, Alliance Euro-Afrique (AEA) and the Pan-Asian Prosperity Zone, pick up a message from a Dr. Sam Elgin, inviting them to America to help them deal with the plague. A team is assembled consisting of two diplomats, a journalist (Valentina Sadoval), an epidemiologist (Charlotte Graves), her brother, Major Graves, a Col. Bukowski, and an American History specialist (Dr. Kenyatta). Their mission is to fly a pre-approved path to Colorado to meet with Dr. Elgin who was once part of a project called Aurora.
Quick recap of “New Sheriff in the ‘Verse” so far: While Mal is still playing Sheriff in the ‘Verse, he’s still looking out for his own. It’s becoming obvious that the killer is out to cause him hurt, and it would appear that he has his sights set on Mal’s closest and dearest. Inara learns from a high-ranking Blue Sun contact that the threat may actually be coming from within Blue Sun, which seems fairly obvious given the killer’s arsenal and tech.