Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Third Book of Ore: Blaze of Embers by Cam Baity & Benny Zelkowicz

Title: Blaze of Embers
Author: Cam Baity & Benny Zelkowicz
Genre: Scifi Fantasy
Series: The Books of Ore #3

E-book, 313 Pages
Publication: April 11, 2017 by Disney Hyperion

Source: I received a review copy from Saichek Publicity/Publisher in exchange for a honest review.

Phoebe Plumm and Micah Tanner are no longer the spoiled heiress and naïve servant boy who first stumbled upon the fiercely beautiful world of living metal known as Mehk. They have rallied to aid the mehkans and risked their lives fighting the relentless greed of the Foundry, a corporation that harvests the metal creatures to sell as products back home in Meridian. But the kids' mission to retrieve a mysterious relic ended in devastating tragedy and with Micah as a prisoner of the enemy. Shattered, he can only watch as an unthinkable new power rises in Mehk and international war erupts in Meridian. Trapped between the Foundry and this staggering mehkan threat, Micah has no choice but to work with dangerous humans and mehkans alike, each with their own agenda. As the path of destruction spreads and hope fades, Micah leads his unlikely allies in a desperate race back to Meridian, where the two worlds are about to clash. A terrible reckoning is underway, and this time, everything is at stake.

It’s as if I’ve never left the city of Mehk and Albright, jumping into a Blaze of Embers felt like coming home after a long vacation and everything just felt right and familiar. In the third and final installment of The Books of Ore series, we find Micah as a prisoner of the Foundry being interrogated by Goodwin and his goons until chaos erupts in Albright City during The President’s speech. A missile struck the heart of the city and everything went up in a plume of smoke and flames; igniting a war that’s been brewing since the discovery of Mehk between the humans and machines.

Before I get to the gist of the story, it’s important to remember a crucial character died at the end of book two and this is where I warn those who haven’t read it to stop reading the review! If anyone is reading beyond the explanation point, it’s all on you. So, for those that follow the series knows that Phoebe died by Goodwin’s hand after being betrayed by Mr. Pynch. However, hearing tales of The Shroud, Makina’s home, and where the Mehkans go after death Micah escapes during the explosion and makes the strenuous journey in search of the fabled place. To his amazement, not only was the place real, the inhabitants, Uaxtu were able to bring Phoebe back to life with their magical seed/essence of The Shroud. Together again, Micah and Phoebe set out to save their city and Mehk, the city they’ve come to love.

This is definitely my favorite installment of the series, there was an abundance of action and surprise at every corner. Good guys turned out to be the bad guys. And the people we thought were villains didn’t seem as malevolent when the truth came out. Although this is a Middle Grade novel, I felt that an aspect of the novel was eerily relevant to the world right now. Whether the authors intended it or not, I saw it that way. The action of the few, the Foundry leaders and Ona, as the Makina’s voice and prophet dictated the consequences of the many. The humans in Albright and Meridan, especially who were clueless to the Mehkan’s existent did not want war. The Mehkans didn’t want war, just that their world be left alone. However, The Foundry wanted only what benefited them. Which was War. War, because it was profitable. It didn’t matter who died or got caught in the crossfire. As for the Ona, she was full of hate and wanted revenge on all humans and used Makina as a Slave, a puppet, to rile up the Mehkans to do her bidding under false pretense. Thus the attack on Albright City and it’s citizens. Doesn’t this sound like something happening now? I certainly think so. Many Children novels deal with real, serious issues but I think this is the only second time I’ve read something along these lines (1% vs. 99%, War happens only for profit) in Tween/Teen novels. Which is pretty cool. Fortunately, in books there are happy ending and by finding a commonality between the humans and the Mehkans; they were able to work together to fight the real baddies and bring peace to both of their people.

I loved seeing how everyone’ bond grew over the course of the books. Between Micah and Phoebe, who used to be default employer and employee by their parents. Between the children and the Mehkan. And even between Mehkans who normally wouldn’t associate with one another. Everyone has came a long, long way. My favorite part in the book was the reunion! I’m not ashamed to say that I got teary when Dollop, Mr. Pynch, The Associates and the children reunited. It was such a sweet moment. Their new Mehkan friend and ally Fritz also turned out to be a great addition to the gang!

This final installment was bitter-sweet, while it ended on a happy note…there were a couple of casualties that shocked me. The Books of Ore series was one heck of a Journey from a small house in Meridian to the wilds of the city of Mehk. I thought Blaze of Embers was the perfect and most fitting conclusion to an amazing series. I highly recommend this Middle Grade series, pick it up you won’t be sorry that you did. If you enjoy fantasy, alternative worlds, steampunk, and strong friendship bonds then you’ll enjoy Blaze of Embers!

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