Ember Cole, Book #1
By Craig Hansen
ISBN# 1466355506
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Angie


If you could speak to the dead, anyone at all, who would it be? When Jeni Taylor asked this question, Shada Emery figured it was a joke. After all, no one can speak to the dead … not really. So both she and Willow Cosgrove joined in the fun, naming their favorite dead celebrities. And then, there was Ember Cole. Enduring more tragedy than any fourteen-year-old should have to bear, all Ember wants is one more talk with her Grandpa Normie, whose death a year ago started it all. So when Jeni suggests a camping trip into the dense woods of northwestern Wisconsin, in order to hold a seance where they are sure not to be disturbed, Shada and Willow put off their misgivings and agree for the sake of their friend. Ember hopes to find the answers she seeks among the dead. Unfortunately for these four girls, sometimes the dead have their own agenda. (Amazon)


This novella was a great quick-read. It is written from the perspective of a 14 year old girl and includes many timely references to Twilight, Facebook, Twitter and Harry Potter. But where other adults fail miserably at trying to capture the young culture, Hansen blends these references in seamlessly.

This story was promoted as a young girl’s quest to speak with her dead grandfather, but it was so much more. It’s about that unique bond that we feel with childhood best-friends and we’re sure that it will never be broken by time or distance.

I really enjoyed the book, but just when I felt that I was going to get a little deeper explanation of a character or an event it was off on to something else. I had to continually remind myself that this was a YA novella. I was left a little flat at the end of the story. The entire book had been leading up to the seance to communicate with  Ember’s grandfather, and that was wrapped up in just a few paragraphs. This is the only reason I rated it a 3 star rather than a 4.

There were several ‘threads’ that could certainly be explored in the second book in the series, Ember, the most mysterious of which would be the sudden and unexplained disappearance of Willow. I look forward to reading the next installment.