Friday 24 June 2011

Ember Fury By Cathy Brett

Pages - 232
Book published by Headline in 2009
Book - My Own Copy

It was a tiny tongue at first, then it spread like a rippling, orange blanket over the floorboards and poured itself up the walls. My heart was pounding and there was a kinda buzzing in my head. I couldn't breath. I couldn't move. Then I gasped.
Ember Fury is a force to be reckoned with. She is the daughter of a legendary rockstar who barely has time to speak her name, let alone spend some quality time with her. Her mother Amica, who was a famous artist, died when she was very young and since then she has been shipped about from one exclusive boarding school to another, with a little rehab in the middle for her addiction. You see Ember has a bit of a bad habit. She likes to set fire to things. Big things. 

After spending time in rehab again, she finally gets shipped off to the glamorous world of Hollywood to be baby sat by her extremely young and famous step mother. Ember does think she will enjoy her time in Hollywood until she meets Finn. For awhile he makes her happy and she feels safe. However when things go wrong, she turns to the only thing that soothes her. A flame.

Before I beginning reviewing the plot of Ember Fury, I have to mention Cathy Brett's exceptional illustrations throughout the book. There is no doubt that the author is also a talented artist and she brings this book alive with her animations. It was a joy to read and I loved the way each double page looked completely different. This book is partly a graphic novel and will sit quite nicely in between the younger reader and the teenage market. It would be an excellent read for those reluctant readers who are still looking for a super cool book. 

I loved Ember straight away. She has that whole Avril Levine thing going on. Sassy, sarcastic and definitely an original. She really does light up the book like a flame bringing vibrant colours to the story. She shows how difficult being a teenager really is and deals with all the ups and downs the only way she knows how - by starting a fire.

Ember is a girl crying out for some affection and in desperate need of attention from her father. It takes him a long time to realise that he is actually missing out on his child growing up. Working through the most important years of her life. It takes something huge, for him to remove the blind spots from in front of his eyes. 

Within the book, Ember has an imaginary friend called Ned, who lived with his family in London during World War II. Now this is the only part of the story I struggled to understand. As Ember appeared to go back and forth in time to spend precious moments with Ned and his family, I found I wasn't sure whether he was real or not. Was he a dream, an imaginary friend, a ghost or real? It left me a little confused and I really would love some clarification in case I missed something within the book.

Apart from that, I really do think this is an extremely funky book. I felt that Cathy Brett really captured the teenage angst extremely well. At times the book and the illustrations brought humour to the story, which would otherwise be a rather poignant read about a young girl starved of love.  This book will keep you highly entertained and I look forward to reading the authors second book ' Scarlett Dead' soon. 


  1. I shall be pushing this one up my MG pile and handing it to the girls then. Thank you so much for the insightful review

  2. Nice review Vivienne :)
    Perhaps not for me but I do like that she is sassy and sarcastic

  3. Well done to Cathy - it is not that many authors who do their own illustrations.

  4. Hi Vivienne, I'm afraid I did intend Ned to be an ambiguous character. Quite simply, he is Em's most consistent friend (real, ghost, alter-ego or imaginary) because she invented him. Cx

  5. Wow! this sounds awesome. Totally my type of book! Thank you for adding to my wishlist yet again! x

  6. This does sound like a funky read, I like that there are illustrations within. Nice review.

  7. If the cover is any indication of the rest of the illustrations, they must be incredible! Great review :D

  8. This book sounds like so much fun and I've heard Scarlett Dead is really good too - I'm moving them up my to buy list. Great review :D


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