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The Alchemist of Souls (Night's Masque, #1)
Anne Lyle
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Smoulder - Brenna Yovanoff Known in the US as ‘The Space Between’, Smoulder is The Replacement author Brenna Yovanoff’s second novel. I picked it up after reading this great review by my critique partner, and I wasn’t disappointedIn Smoulder, Hell goes up in flames every night when the furnace at the heart of the city opens. Everything is made to withstand the fire: metal gardens filed with iron flowers, museums with blast-proof vault doors to protect Earth items, and the nearly indestructible demons themselves.The story had me hooked from the very first chapter, where we meet Lilith: bold, defiant, and unapologetically female, the Prologue shows her rejection by Adam and her exit from Eden, to the night-time beach where she first meets Lucifer. Chapter 1 cuts us to the future, where we meet Daphne: one of Lilith’s many daughters, with the metal teeth and Lucifer’s blood in her veins.Daphne and Truman are chalk and cheese: Daphne’s detached and withdrawn, reacting very little to some of the horrific things she witnesses. Truman is a damaged, self-destructive young guy, but he's powerfully open in his reactions. I absolutely love how Yovanoff brought this suicidal, alcoholic chain-smoker to life without watering down his issues.And there are plenty of other interesting characters hiding in Smoulder’s world: a soul-collecting demon with a red mohawk, the suave and charming Lord of the Flies Beelzebub, and the angelic servant and demon killer Dark Dreadful -- a monstrous woman built to kill the almost unkillable.This was a unique, dark read with an expertly crafted world. If you like dark, fast-paced YA be sure to pick it up.