17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is.
They take her to a small Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death.
As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together.
First, this cover! I mean, who wouldn’t check the book out with a cover like this?! Second, the premise of the book promises lots of supernatural and ghouls alike! I mean, duh! YES, PLEASE! I have not read a story like this before. It definitely takes the paranormal world to a new level. This story is hilarious, witty and a bit on the morbid side in a fantastical way. Ember is just a teenage girl who is trying to get through life. She has had a terrible childhood and when her alcoholic father dies her world really does turn upside down. Her life goes from complicated to unrecognizable. There is a huge amount of characters ranging from our softies to the baddies. Most have a supernatural ability. And when they are all put together the story explodes! Naturally we have many secrets that are going through the process to be revealed but most truths come with more questions. Ember is really just trying to figure herself out and when she finally finds where she is supposed to be she isn’t sure if she can live up to what everyone expects her to be. She is drawn to the dead, like a moth to a flame, and she has no idea why. What I love about this book is how the story comes to life. The author does an incredible job with bringing all of the characters into play and giving them all a voice. We get to experience the monsters, illusions, redemption, fear, doubt, jealousy….just all the feels! This is absolutely one of my new favorite books. In fact, when I finished the book I went right out and purchased the second because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! And I was not let down in the slightest. Trust me, you need to read this!
Martina McAtee is a USA Today Bestselling author and the winner of the 2016 Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal for her first book, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. She lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughters, her best friend, two attack Chihuahuas, and two shady looking cats. By day she is a registered nurse, but by night she writes young adult books about reapers, zombies, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. She wrote her first story when she was five with an orange crayon on a legal pad she stole from her mom’s office. She’s been writing ever since.
Her influences include Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Joss Whedon, L.J. Smith, and even J.K. Rowling. Living in South Florida provides her with plenty of material for the weird worlds she writes about. When she isn’t working, teaching, or writing, she’s reading or watching shows involving reapers, zombies, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures.
Her novels, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things and Dark Dreams and Dead Things are on sale now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million. Her third book, Loving You with Teeth and Claws, a Dead Things Prequel, is due out in April, 2017. She is currently working on the fourth book in the ‘Dead Things’ series, Sinister Souls and Dead Things due to release in Summer of 2017.