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Friday, January 29, 2010:
Embrace the Night Eternal by Joss Ware (2010)
Everything they knew is gone.

From the raging fires, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers. They must learn how to survive this dark, ravaged world . . . but they cannot do it alone.

Simon Japp will never forget his violent past. But when civilization is all but destroyed, he sees his chance for redemption. Blessed with a strange "gift," he's determined to help the resistance against the Strangers, the mysterious force that stalks them at every turn. He can't afford to get distracted, even by the stunning, soft-spoken woman fighting by his side . . . Sage Corrigan has learned to be careful where she places her trust. But she sees something good in Simon, even if he can't see it in himself. Posing as lovers to infiltrate a group key to their fight, they find that their staged affection soon develops into a desire that will leave them fighting for their lives in the night eternal . . .

This is book #2 in Joss Ware's Awakening Heroes series, and so far it's my favorite story. But I'll get into that in a bit. Let me give you some background.

Simon Japp is one of five men who were buried in a cave in Sedona, Arizona in 2010, only to reemerge 50 years later looking exactly the same. Only now some of them seem to have extraordinary abilities. The world that exists now is nothing like it was in the early 21st century. The luxuries and conveniences are all gone, and essentially people have had to start over from scratch. These five men, as well as several others, including two brothers who also survived the Change, believe it was the act of the Strangers that destroyed the world they remembered, and they are in search of the one man who may hold the key to what happened.

From the beginning, Simon has been drawn to smart and lovely Sage, a young woman with a gift for research and finding out information on their current version of the world wide web. But he's not the only one. Besides, considering his bloody and violent past, he knows he's not worthy of such a good woman, so he steers clear of her as best he can. However fate has other ideas when the man they are all looking for may be found in a nearby colony called Falling Creek. Sage is from FC, and because of the way the townspeople lives their lives, the best way to "settle" into FC is for Sage to return as a married woman. And of course the best man for the job is Simon.

Posing as a married couple proves to be more difficult than either originally thought, as they are constantly thrown into intimate situations. However because of Simon's unique gift, they are able to do some investigating of the compound and still manage to appear as if they are settling in to their new life in Falling Creek. But things get really complicated - and dangerous - when someone from Simon's past appears and decides they don't want to let Simon go....

My thoughts:

As I mentioned already, this is my favorite book in the series so far. I think there was a lot of world-building that needed to get done in the first book, so I wasn't quite as engaged by it, but this one seems to have found its footing, and I enjoyed it very much.

I like how we see more of the group interacting with each other this time, and make decisions together. Gives us a chance to visit with some of the other characters a bit. I loved how Simon saw past Sage's quiet nature to the brave, intelligent woman that she was, and didn't try to coddle her or treat her like a child. That didn't mean he didn't look for for her, because he did, but he also held himself back from overprotecting her. He found her completely beautiful in a natural, pure way, and yeah, I'm a sucker for a bad boy who falls for the brainy, sweet girl. Simon just didn't realize that she was feeling the exact same way, which makes the revelation that much more satisfying.

If I have any complaint, it's that because of the urgency to discover the truth and the day to day dangers they were facing, there wasn't a whole lot of Simon/Sage time. I did like that they had to pose as a married couple because the situation ensured they'd have to spend their nights (or afternoons) together. And sure, the sexual tension between them was kept as a constant enticing simmer, just waiting to boil over, but at the same time, I wanted more of just the two of them getting to know each other, preferrably nekkid but not required. Rather impossible in this kind of story, I'm afraid. But then again, I always want more of the hero and heroine together.

The landscape continues to capture my attention, considering the mass destruction and the "artifacts" that managed to survive after more than 50 years. There are still a lot of unanswered questions, which is part of what keeps me coming back for more. Just how are the Strangers living so long and what exactly happened to the five men in that cave? Why, what, where????

I'm most anxiously awaiting the 3rd book in the series, Abandon the Night, and hoping beyond all hope that there will be more stories to tell, because the more I get, the more I want. And Quent and Zoe have been really, REALLY hot together so far. I'm seriously hooked now, and am not ready to leave this world quite yet. Come on Joss, tell us there will be more books to enjoy!

Rating: ***** out of *****



  1. Oooh! I'm SO looking forward to this one! :o) She borrowed my blog name for it.

    I'm going to download it to my fancy new eReader, I think.

    I kind of skimmed your review because I want to be unspoiled for it. But like you, I liked the first one, but the world building was extensive. So I'm really looking forward to this one, where hopefully there's more romance.

    Can't WAIT for Quent, Joss has promised me a UATW scene. Heh!

  2. I really need to get my reading mojo back because this novel is ordered and I still have to read book 1 Beyond The Night! I want to meet those men with their new powers *sigh* Sounds so good...

  3. You definitely got me interested in this series!

  4. Hi Stacy :)
    Thank you for the cover, synopsis, link and thoughtful review. I'm looking forward to reading this series!
    All the best,

  5. Yes, there will be more Envy books. :-)

    I'm working on #4 right now, and am also contracted for #5 and #6.

    So glad you enjoyed Simon's story. Did I mention that in my mind, Simon looks just like Johnny Depp in WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE?


  6. Great review and I have added these to my TBR pile. I have been wanting to read them since I've first seen them previewed!

    Glad to see there are going to be more in the future!

  7. Hi Stacy:

    Great review as always. I have the first book ordered. It doesn't release until Tuesday here - GF..

    I'll read book 1 and then see if I'm going to take the full plunge. This one sounds really good though.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    Have a great weekend

  8. I really like the premise of this series! I have to add this one to my TBB list :)
    OMG Johnny Depp! *melt*
    Thanks for the wonderful review!

  9. Oh, I saw book one at Target yesterday! Darn!!! I should have bought it. 5 stars for the second, means this must be a series worth reading. Thanks great review.

  10. Apologies for skimming the review Stacy, but I haven't read the first book yet. I haven't read many post-apocalyptic books, but it does sound intereting.

    She borrowed my blog name for it.

    Kati - she did? WOW!

  11. Adding this one to my TBR list. Hoping to get to the bookstore tomorrow to buy some new books. The snow in Nashville has pretty much shut the city down. Hope the roads are better tomorrow. Only made it to Walmart today, and mine has a horrible books selection.

  12. Stacy I agree with your review! I also gave it a 5 out of 5. I loved how Simon & Sage had to fake baby making! LOL the build up to the real thing was worth the wait. I have lingering ?s too. What did the Strangers do with the girls from FC? How are they really controlling the gangas?

    Did you read the Gardella series? If so didn't Florita remind you of Lilith?

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