I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Rouge #2
Published by Self Publish on May 11, 2014
Length: 293 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Everyone is wrong about hell.
Vulnerable and weak after her battle with her guardian Joshua, Hunter is snatched up by the Agents who work for a ruthless and cold institution called ICE. There, Hunter is imprisoned with other mutants of different ages and abilities, forced into a nightmare of constant experiments and brutality.
Joshua is a mess. Frantically trying to fix the mistakes he made, Joshua embarks on a quest across the country to find Hunter and rescue her. But the company he keeps is continuously distracting him, and Joshua can’t control the strange feelings of love and comfort that begin to boil inside his cold, icy heart.
Will Hunter escape and find her fire again, or will Joshua and his mistakes find her first?
Embers & Ice by Isabella Modra is book two of Rouge and picks up about two months after the end of book one. Hunter has been captured by the Agents and is now at the ICE facility for testing. There she finds other kids like her with special powers. Grieving Eli moves to the back of her mind as she begins a fight to free herself and the others like her from ICE. Joshua has gone mad and is trying to fix his mistakes so that he can save Hunter.
I do believe I have found a new favorite series! Hunter is a mess this book. She is heart-broken and grieving Eli, but also her relationship with Joshua. She’s angry and has a hard time controlling her rage at her former guardian. When she is captured by the Agents and taken to the ICE facility, she doesn’t put up much of a fight. But once there, she sees others like her. They are slowly starving and tortured on a daily basis. This puts Hunter over the edge. She pushes her feelings aside and becomes determined to find a way to escape for herself and the others that are prisoners there.
In book one I couldn’t figure Joshua out. I thought he was a loving, yet awkward guardian. Then you find out he injected himself with the feucotetanus to try and replicate Hunter’s abilities before she was born and instead wound up with the powers of controlling ice. Like Hunter, he hears the ice voice in his head. Unlike Hunter, he lets it control him and doesn’t know how to stop it. At the end of book one, he is shocked when she controls the fire and wants to desperately know how she does it. During this book, we see Joshua in a whole new light. In fact, I’m a little in love with him. Yes he is one bad dude, but it’s because he can’t control the ice. Everything he does and has done is for Hunter, to protect her, to let her live a normal life. He is so sick with worry that he lets the “iceman” overwhelm him. View Spoiler » In a nice little twist, the author brings back Eli and Miss Smart. Joshua froze them and using cryonics brings them back to help him find Hunter. Unfortunately for Joshua, Eli’s revival doesn’t go as smooth as Jenny Smart’s does. Jenny is fine and remembers everything up to the point she was frozen and even remembers some vague feelings while being frozen. Eli however does not. His last memory is of the night that Joshua received his reward, meaning that he doesn’t remember Hunter or his relationship with her. Big uh-oh for Joshua! « Hide Spoiler
There are some new characters that I love. Will is the immortal boy at ICE and he has an air of mystery about him, especially where Hunter is concerned. He becomes her friend and confidant. Fearne is a young girl with a truly horrid power of mind control. She’s a little scary, but because of the means to keep her from using her powers, Hunter and her become fast friends. Then there’s Dr. Wolfe, the head psychopath of ICE facility. He’s evil incarnate and his intentions for researching Hunter and her new friends are just plain wrong. He makes an excellent villain 😀
There’s really two separate plots this book. One that follows Joshua and the other to follow Hunter. Joshua’s main goal is to save Hunter from Dr. Wolfe and he enlists some unusual help to get it. He also is learning to overpower and control the “iceman” inside him. Though he has a long way to go! Hunter as I’ve already said is determined to escape ICE facility and take her new friends with her, but also she must overcome her grief. This book is fast-paced, with a lot more action and suspense than the first installment.
Overall I highly enjoyed this book and read it in one sitting, staying up to the wee hours of the morning to finish it. A lovely mix of sci-fi and fantasy with lots of actions, the author keeps you on the edge of your seat. FYI: there is some graphic violence and strong language so I would recommend this for mature audiences only. If you enjoy sci-fi, action and lots of suspense, then I believe you will enjoy this book. I highly recommend if you haven’t read book one yet, that you do so first! Otherwise you will be lost.