Remember Pompeii

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Pub Date 30 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 9 May 2024

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She's lived 200 lifetimes. And never turned 17.

Kali Brewster isn’t like other teenage girls. She can’t be because her qi, her immortal soul, is 3623 years old. It’s what makes her a wanshiqi, part of an immortal race who can reincarnate into any form. But Kali’s different, even among her kind.

She’s serving her sentence for what happened in Pompeii. As punishment, she and her family are forced to reincarnate into human bodies, shackling their existence to one life form.

Reaching her 17th human birthday will end her sentence and return her family to their full wanshiqi existence. Once that happens, all her ties to them will be broken. She will come of age. Nothing will ever be like it was again.

Her one goal for the past 200 lifetimes? To die before her 17th human birthday. She has yet to fail. The trick is making her family think her death is an accident. Because none of them are pleased to be a part of her punishment and all of them want it to be over. But it’s not up to them. It’s up to her.

She doesn’t want everything to change. She doesn’t want to lose who she is. She doesn’t want to let go of her family. She’s about to learn that this is the lifetime where every decision counts. And living might be the only way to protect what really matters to her.

Remember Pompeii is a YA contemporary fantasy that is sure to delight fans of Shereen Vedam’s Outside the Circle Mysteries with its complicated heroine, buried secrets, and mythical beings. This book has all of the family drama and historical moments of The Originals with none of the blood drinking.

She's lived 200 lifetimes. And never turned 17.

Kali Brewster isn’t like other teenage girls. She can’t be because her qi, her immortal soul, is 3623 years old. It’s what makes her a wanshiqi, part of...

Advance Praise

“You won’t want to put Remember Pompeii down as the plot keeps you hooked. Suitable for young adults and fans of fantasy, Remember Pompeii is a must-read! I look forward to the next book.”~Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Review by Ronél Steyn 

“In the exciting series-opening fantasy novel Remember Pompeii, a powerful teenager resists coming of age through multiple reincarnations for reasons that she keeps secret from those she loves.”~Foreword Clarion Reviews

"An intriguing and complex but slow-burning read."~Kirkus Reviews

“You won’t want to put Remember Pompeii down as the plot keeps you hooked. Suitable for young adults and fans of fantasy, Remember Pompeii is a must-read! I look forward to the next book.”~Readers’...

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Available Editions

ISBN 9781943024094
PRICE 3.99

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Average rating from 76 members

Featured Reviews

Thanks to netgalley for providing an ARC so that I could give an honest review for this upcoming title.

I enjoyed this story (would rate 3.5 if I could) and it's exploration of qi and an immortal race called wanshiqi. The main character, Kali, is an almost seventeen year old girl who has to stay alive until her birthday in order to break a generations long curse. Easier said than done.

I was a little disappointed that this book did not have more resolution. Certain details were held back and a sneak peek indicates that the story will continue in additional books.

Give it a read if you like teen angst, reincarnation, and reimaginings of history.

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This book was just want I wanted. The setting was well done and I ate it up. I loved the romance and banter. I would recommend this book if you love fantasy with a historical twist.

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Finally finished my first read of 2024. And I'm glad it was this one.
Incredibly unique with a mandarin stylised magic and belief system. Incredible folklore, believable characters and plot, with lots of twists and turns that you won't see coming.
I can't wait for book two!

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I gave this 3.5 stars

I'll start by saying u don't think I'm the target audience for this book in that I would've loved it when I was a teenager and most my gripes are probably from me being in my late twenties.

The MC came across quite selfish and immature. I liked the explanation of thousand year old being trapped in a human teenagers body but it didn't go the whole way to excusing for me. I think because I have amazing grandparents who stepped up I felt a bit sad that the MC didn't recognize this for most the book.

The structure was a little confusing. Half the book doesn't seem to have a villain then theirs loads of different ones thrown at you at once which was a bit confusing. There's also a lot of info given to you all at once.

A personal one but I find it hard to connect with romance thats very pre established so if you also find that it might not be for you.

The premise was really interesting and I liked the balance between high school drama and fantasy.

Despite all of the above I found the book gripping and find myself desperate for the sequel. I can't put my finger on it but it has a magical quality.

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Remembering Pompeii by #KikaEmers was quite an enjoyable read! It’s story about ancient supernatural beings had me fully engaged, not wanting to put the book down! I quickly began rooting for Kali as her story unfolded! Can’t wait to read the other two in the trilogy! Thanks to @netgalley for the opportunity to read this great book!

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"Remember Pompeii," is the debut contemporary fantasy of Kika Emers Wanshiqi Trilogy. Focused on main character Kali, a wanshiqi heroine serving her sentence for what happened in Pompeii and reincarnated as a human teenager who resists coming of age.. but coming of age may be the only way to save the ones she loves.

The story introduces us to characters like Grams & Gramps, who bring a familial warmth, and the beautiful Hunter, who I really think deserves more of the spotlight! 💝 There were also some characters I just didn’t care for 🤷🏽‍♀️

One aspect that I slightly struggled with was the intricacies of the Wanshiqi realm, at times leaving me slightly confused.. despite this, the overall plot was captivating.

I will definitely be reading the sequels and can’t wait to delve deeper into this world!

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Special thanks to Netgalley allowing me to read this.
I give this book four stars, I really enjoy this book! I loved some Mystery in this and learned a lot. It toke me some days because I make sure i understood the book.

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I could not put this book down and can’t wait to read what comes next. The twist and turns made you feel for everyone. I was transported into Kali’s life and felt what she felt. It made you want to see if she was powerful enough to want to know more yet made you feel how scared one could be to know how powerful they could be, and if that would bring balance or not.
I’m looking forward to see what happens to everyone next. The pacing was perfect and the hubby is glad I’ve finished it since it took two nights away from him, it is this great.

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The plot is so good, it has a ton of layers. If you enjoy a book where you can’t tell hero from villain this is the book for you. The fmc is being punished for causing the fall of Pompeii and imprisoning another immortal within it. The characters were introduced at the perfect pace.. The different parts of the magic system and world building were introduced throughout, as the main character developed more trusting relationships. Which in turn reveals more to you the reader. I was able to keep characters, relations, and their powers in order. I loved the character development. The way the mystery of what happened in Pompeii and why was interesting enough to keep you reading but didn’t leave you on a complete cliff hanger. The romance is fade to black, but it does have romance. I was a little sad with some of the choices she was making knowing she had a soulmate, but I think it just added to a more realistic and rounded fmc. The story was very plot driven and has so many layers to it. I can’t wait to see where the trilogy goes. Loved that the sneak peak into book two was included.

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fun fantasy opening, it had very pre-set romance buut the whole thing was fun and the qi worked well. thanks for the arc.

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This has been an amazing story. Haven’t read nothing by this author before but I haven’t been disappointed, the character development was amazing and it was nice to see a story set somewhere with so much history attached to it. Absolutely makes you want to go there. I can’t wait for the next book.

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I loved this book so much I read it one sitting!!

I think Kali is such a relatable character who you just can't help but fall in love with throughout. Im such a fan of characters, especially in fantasy books, that have really accessible teenage problems because it always helps me envision myself in their shoes.

I did struggle slightly with the world building but I am super excited to see what happens in the next book in the series. For sure one that Ill be purchasing and re reading once its released!!

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This was the strong start to the wanshiqi trilogy series. I was hooked from the cover and the description. I enjoyed that it had an immortality element to it. And I thought the characters were really well written. It worked for the young adult genre. And I love the fantasy elements to this book. It does a great job in bringing you to the world, and making you want to know more about the drama and historical moments in it. Kika Emers has a great writing style for this type of book and left me wanting to read the next book in the series.

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This was a pretty good read. It starts off slower with the world building, but it quickly speeds up at about the halfway mark. I wasn't loving it at first because of the slowness, but then once I found out more and it sped up, I loved it. I became very invested in the FMC and can not wait until the next book comes out.

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This is a YA novel. It is for a younger audience, but I really liked it. I enjoyed the growth Kali went through. She went from a very immature teenager to a girl who had to learn through a lot of trials how to mature. She went through a lot of painful situations. I'm excited to see what the next installment holds!

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Thank you to NetGalley for sending me this eARC.

Kali is a 3623 years old immortal soul, living in a teenager body that needs to turn 17 to break a curse that’s been put on her and on her family.
I was hooked from the first page all the way to the end of the book, I just couldn’t stop reading . An amazing story with a plot full of turns and twists. If your a fan of fantasy and history then this book is for you.
I definitely recommend this book.
I cannot wait to read the next books.

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This was an interesting novel, involving mythology I wasn't familiar with, largely inspired by Chinese mythology. Kali (short for Kalifornia) is an immortal being, who, as a teen, caused the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that led to the destruction of Pompeii - which isn't actually what she is being punished for; the deaths of human beings are not relevant to the immortal race she belongs to. What is relevant is that another immortal vanished during the destruction, which was a misuse of her powers. The ruling council determined that she was immature in her actions, and sentenced her to be reborn over and over again, until she matures enough to be trusted with the full powers of an adult, obtained after one's 17th birthday - and since teaching her the necessary maturity is her parents' responsibility, they are reborn with her every time she fails to reach her 17th birthday. Several thousand years later, she still hasn't made it to that all-important birthday.

Kali has been sabotaging her atonement since it began. Her reasons are complex, and not fully known to those involved - her parents, her grandparents, the council, and her tonggan, her partner. Unlike her parents, who are required to participate in her punishment, Kali's grandparents and her tonggan participate voluntarily, and each knows part of what happened, but not all. This novel uses an unusual premise to explore the complex relationships that exist between family members, as well as those between friends. The story was interesting and engaging, and I look forward to the sequel I hope the author will write. Recommended for teen and adult readers.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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"Remember Pompeii" by Kika Emers is an exceptional book that I absolutely loved. The characters, especially Wanshiqi, were remarkable, and the angst portrayed in the story was captivating. The plot follows Kali, who is living as a human in one of her multiple lives as a punishment for something that happened in Pompeii. Her parents were forced to join her, but her grandparents, Grams and Gramps, who were my favourite characters in the book, and her Tonggan Hunter chose to join her in her punishment. However, Kali can never make it past her 17th birthday.

The book sets up the series beautifully, and I am eagerly waiting for the second one to come out. One of the things that make the book so special is the compassion that Kali shows towards those in her life.

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Thank you @netgalley and Kika Emers
Although I hate cliffhangers , and Rainbow eyes girl suffered bullying from her classmates and it was a bit triggering …it still was a great book

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This book was a surprise!

I would almost have scrolled by it because if the book cover, but the title intruiged me - as well as the description.

I'm mostly positively surprised by this book! It is a very unusual plot that was refreshing and exciting to read. There is not a lot of hand-holding and explaining of the fantasy part of the story - when I started reading I had so many questions I wanted to mention in this review, but a lot of them slowly got answered. On one hand, I liked that as it felt very natural and authentic.

On the other hand, the "normal" and "not fantasy" part of the story is very Young Adult with teen drama, misunderstandings and even the hint of a triangle lovestory (luckily not all too much). Sometimes I felt the vastness of the washinqi world clashed with the young adult theme. As if too complicated a concept was tried to be explained by a too simple language. Actually a quite good representation of the vibe of the book.

Some of the washinqi lore still feels a bit loopholey to me. Like how they look down on humans but many of their ways are very human-based (taking hand, lowering yourself, etc). Also, how are all the important figures in families with each other?

The language is pretty easy, some of the topics are tough, though. There is a lot of emotional tomult going on that got a bit frustrating in the end.
The least enjoyable part in my eyes was the main characters' relationship to her parents and the relationship among them - that felt too chaotic and like wanting too much. However, this was apparently only a first book in the series so maybe that will get explained better.

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wow this was so good!! i read this in a day because i simply could not put this book down and couldn't wait to read what comes next. kali is such an interesting character - she is living as a human in one of her multiple lives as a punishment for something that happened in Pompeii. at times i struggled with details of the Wanshiqi, but overall it's such a fun and unique book!! i'd never heard of a plot like this, and was pleasantly surprised. i'll definitely be looking forward to book 2!!

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Thank you Beckett Publishing Group and NetGalley for allowing me to read the ARC of this book.

The first book in the Wanshiki trilogy - Kika Emers takes us on a harrowing journey of Kali, a "young" Wanshiki who is serving punishment in the human world until she proves she is worthy of redemption.

First things first, I appreciated the glossary of terms and pronunciations- not being familiar with the Mandarin Chinese, it was incredibly helpful not to have to work out how to pronounce everything on my own.

The plot moved fluidly with meaningful conflict and character development. I did not find the main character, Kali, to be likeable, but I think that's intentional and leaves room for improvement in the next two books of the series. She comes off as very self-centered, but it does seem more understandable as the story progresses.

This book is very heavy with metaphors and similes, most of which are enjoyable, however, some were lost on me.

Emers does a good job of creating a fantastical world that encompasses the real emotion and struggles of adolescence. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to book two.

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4.5 Rounded Up

I’m so glad I received this ARC. I loved everything about the book even though I didn’t pronounce half of the words correctly🤣.

Kali(Liv) was quite immature, but she had her own mature qualities; she just didn’t always handle situations correctly. She HAS to live through/to her seventeenth birthday. Hunter is one of my favorites. Grams and Gramps just add the family aspect that every wants and that Kali longs for.

I couldn’t decide which characters I could trust tbh, but that’s what kept me even more intrigued.

I will definitely be continuing this series! I can’t wait for book 2!!!

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I had an incredible time reading this book. The plot itself was so fresh and unique and the magic/power system was so unlike any others that I’ve read before. I also really enjoyed the way Kika described emotions - it was visceral and I could perfectly picture and understand the emotions she was trying to convey.

I particularly liked Kali. She is a very well written character who has such a bleeding heart for her loved ones and will do anything to keep them safe. At the same time, she is able to make very difficult decisions without a care for the impact it has on her own soul.

I am very excited to read the next book as I can’t wait to see where this story goes! I am especially excited to see what this means for Kali and Tav’s relationship (as I honestly had a big soft spot for him) and what that means for Kali and Hunter’s relationship, this may actually be one of the first times in a while I’m a bit excited for a love triangle.

*Thank you to NetGalley who made it possible for me
to read and review an ARC of this book!

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(Many thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this work.)

Spoilers after synopsis.

Kali is an eternal being punished to living a human life to age 17 so she can atone for the tragedy that is the eruption of Mt Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii. Her parents and grandparents are serving the punishment with her. The only problem is, for reasons she can’t reveal, Kali doesn’t want the punishment to end. She makes sure to die before age 17 every lifetime forcing her family to wait for her to be reborn and start the 17 year cycle all over again.

I’d rate it a 3.5 to solid 4. The story was entertaining and I was invested in the outcome. I read most of this in one sitting. I see a lot of opportunity for amazing storytelling in the subsequent books in the series.

The reasons I didn’t give a 5 was mainly due to character development. Mandy fell flat to me. I understand she was a side character, but she felt one-dimensional. I wanted more than she was a nice cheerleader. I also couldn’t get past Mandy making it out of a burning building moments before numerous people were burned alive and it seemed to not phase her whatsoever.

And Bess having a single dream and just accepting Kali was eternal was like, “Wait. What?” Feels like she would need more than that to just accept there are eternal beings that can put cancer in remission and her son’s new friend happens to be one.

I did love Gram & Gramps. Low-key wanted her with Tav over Hunter. Tav just felt more real. Maybe I just identify with humans more.

All in all, I’d gladly read the rest of the series.

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As an elder millennial (birth year 19xx 😳), I didn’t identify as the target reader for this YA fantasy book - BUT I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a very unique story with many relatable undercurrents despite my being decades older than this protagonist. 

The story was well paced, written with beautiful imagery and easy to follow. It’s a fun coincidence that it’s set in San Diego, CA where I reside. The first half was foundational for the subsequent action.

There were universal themes which facilitated empathy with the main character, Kali, as an immortal teen destined to reincarnate as human until she learns to control her powers – But of course, there’s more to the story. A millennia of mind games, secrets, and alliances are exposed. 

Her duality and fear of change as she comes of age really resonated with me as a newish mother. She fears experiencing change, an uncertain future, and becoming like her parents. Same girl, same.

I was delighted the lore of this world deviated from overworked Eurocentric mythology. This is the first book in a series and I look forward to reading more. 

💫Themes I enjoyed:

✏Duality of the female main character (human and eternal)

✏Longing for a loving family bond

✏Conquering your emotions (anger, anxiety, love, fear) 

✏Ignoring Generational trauma maintaining it irresolvable 

✏Conflict within relationships (parents, friends, SO)

✏Trust issues

✏Fear of life changes/uncertain future

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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I just finished this book after starting it in 2023. The only negative thing I have to say about Remember Pompeii is that it did take me awhile to finish it because I did end up losing interest about halfway through but I pushed on and was glad that I did. I'm now looking forward to reading the sequel. The story around our protaginist is a sad and compelling story. It talks of betrayl, heartache and determination to fix something broken so long ago. I wish the story was a little faster paced but overall it was a great read and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel.

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Kali's story isn't normal by any definition. This book draws the reader in with learning of Kali's past and, hopefully, her future.

Personally, I thought it was a great adventure; at times it was a little slow, but still easy to push through to the end. I laughed, I cried, and I was angry right along Kali. There are some great twists and turns, but still feels like a connected story. Thankfully the first book had a Sneak Peek of book 2; the ending is a great conclusion to this story, but there are so many parts of the story that needs to be expanded. I will definitely be looking forward to the next book.

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kali must die to protect her family and has many lifetimes over. During her most recent life a betrayal makes her think things could be different. She also has human friends she want to protect she about to take the biggest chance of her 3600+ lives.
Interesting read. I was intrigued by the multiple lifetimes and hope that as the series goes on we’ll learn more about them.

Thank you #NetGalley #BeckettPublishingGroup #RememberPompeii for this ARC

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Remember Pompeii
Kika Emers

This was a great surpise! I read this ebook via #netgalley and I have to say that it was a great read. The writing sucked me in and the story was a rollercoaster with a lot of twists and turns I did not see coming. I love Kali and her humanness in a sort of mythical world. Which I really liked, never read anything like it! I'm rooting for Kali and really would like to know how the story continues in the next book!

#rememberpompeii #netgalley

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I have not read a book like this in a long time. The high school drama was on point. The other worldly stuff was very worldly. It really gives what family means. The not forgiving unforgivable people was amazing. Her parents could have done better. I was I could read it again for the first time.

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I absolutely loved this book! I can't wait to read more by Kika. I was immediately pulled right into the story. I found the plot fascinating, and the characters interesting. The set up of the plot was intriguing, All around great fantasy novel, with a premise I haven't seen before.

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Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book as an ARC reader. This is a young adult book that has a roller coaster of emotions throughout the book. Kali is a complicated with complicated family issues and secrets. I found it an enjoyable read and can't wait to see what comes next from this triology. If you love fantasy and history with mythology then this book is for you. #KikiEmers #Netgalley #rememberpompeii

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Pretty good book, finished it pretty quickly and the story was very well written. I am not sure if its my cup of tea if that makes sense, but I am happy I gave it a chance.

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3.75 stars rounded up to 4 Stars. “Remember Pompeii" by Kika Emers is an exciting beginning of a new series. It opens up with our main girl Kali hurrying home to appease her grandparents and mother and morphs into an intriguing fantasy adventure. Kali is growing up in our modern world, but it isn't her first life, she has lived several, and yet never makes it past 17. She is cursed to continue cycling through life as a human with her parents and grandparents until she can control her magic to make it past 17.

As readers we get to journey along with Kali as she navigates her upcoming birthday and if she will make it to 17 or even if she actually wants to. This writer weaves a complex story with a unique magic system and slowly opens up the story of political intrigue going on in the background that is affected by Kali's choices. We get to watch Kali grow and learn and make utterly human mistakes as she tries to navigate her own desires and what is best for those around her.

If you love modern fantasy's with complicated romantic relationships and intriguing plotlines I would highly recommend you picking this up. It was a great start to a new series and I will definitely be reading book two when it comes out.

Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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So much fantasy! You have to have the right headspace for understanding this, so many similar names and things involved in the book. I love the love between Kali and Hunter: they are soulmates to the ends of the Earth.

The family dynamics were so manipulative. In the end, the only ones who made Kali feel loved were who she truly cared for.

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This was a decent fantasy, and it reminded me a bit of Fallen by Lauren Kate, so naturally I did like this story. It was well done, and entertaining. I just found the first half was a little slow, but it did pick up in the second half. I also thought that the high school drama was well written and not cringy or annoying. I liked Kali as a character. She had good growth, and after finishing this book, it makes me want to read the next one in the series. Overall, well done!

Thank you NetGalley and Beckett Publishing Group for the ARC!

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This was a great start to a new series.  This book was pretty different from most of the books I read. I enjoyed learning about Wanshiqi.  I loved all the main characters (except Kali's parents. They were just mean) but especially Grams and Gramps.  They just reminded me of my own grandparents that I miss so much. I liked the Hunter and Kali romance, but I also liked what she had with Tav. I was a little confused about the whole concept of how their Qi worked, but I trust the process. I'm excited to see where the next book takes us.

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Remember Pompeii by Kika Emers was an exciting book about a new type of immortal, the Wanshiqi. It focuses around Kali who is being punished for what happened in Pompeii and forced to be reincarnated over and over until she can reach the age of 17. However, she has a bit of a temper and keeps cursing those around her, which drains her lifeforce and causes her to die.

I really enjoyed this story as it was different than expected, however I did find Kali to be a bit whiny at times and definitely self-absorbed. Her boyfriend (and tonggan aka life partner) is trying to support her while living both his human and Wanshiqi lives until she can finally join him forever once she reaches qifa (like adulthood).

This book definitely touches on some deeper family issues and trauma and the author did a good job keeping the reader from spiraling with Kali. Part of that is the YA aspect, but also just the life experiences Kali has had over the past lifetimes she has lived. I am looking forward to reading more from this series in the future.

Special thanks to Beckett Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing me with this Advanced Reader Copy. These opinions are mine and and all thoughts my own.

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Remembering Pompeii by Kika Emers is an absolute must-read! This gripping story introduces a new breed of supernatural beings that will keep you engrossed from start to finish. Kali's character development is so compelling, As you follow her journey, you'll discover yourself cheering for her at every hurdle she faces. The other two books in the trilogy are sure to be just as amazing, and you won't want to miss them! A massive thank you to Netgalley for providing me with the chance to read this incredible book!

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Remember Pompeii is a great read it has so many family secrets and you never know who is on Kali’s side. She does not know who to trust. This boo keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is a great read

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Remember Pompeii by Kika Emers offers up a new and exciting version of immortality and reincarnation. Centered around the main character Kali, who is part of an immortal race called the wanshiqi. Kali has lived over 200 lifetimes but has never made it to 17.

I found this book to be a very interesting concept and a gripping read. I found Kali’s character development riveting. Following her journey and cheering her on at every hurdle she faces. I’m looking forward to the next books in the series

Thank you to Netgalley and Beckett Publishing Group for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

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This. Book. Oh my goodness!! I started it, and life kept getting in the way, so it took me over a month to read it. BUT. Every time I picked it back up, I was drawn back in just as fast as the first chapter. Kali is such an amazing character to follow. Her emotions are so strong, yet frustrating at the same time because she is ALWAYS trying to fix things on her own. When she is finally willing and able to allow other in, you almost cry from relief! He parents….Well. Her parents are the worst. Her grandparents more than make up for it. I loved this book and I was so sad when it was over! I’m really looking forward to book two!

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This book was a little slow and confusing in the beginning but I am so glad I stuck through it!! I love how Kali struggles with her humanity even as we see how loving she is with her friends. And I felt her angst and her sadness when it came to her family. Towards the middle I couldn’t put it down and now I can’t wait for the second book in the trilogy!!!

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“In the exciting series-opening fantasy novel Remember Pompeii, a powerful teenager resists coming of age through multiple reincarnations for reasons that she keeps secret from those she loves.”

I thought this book had an extremely interesting premise. Kali has been punished for her actions at Pompeii and she has been cursed to reincarnate over and over until she can learn to control her magic and make it past her 17th birthday. The fantasy aspect and the reincarnation aspect held me very interested. The story was slow in the beginning and I know that this was due to a lot of character/world building since this will be a serious. The story built quickly in the last half of the story and It set us up for the fact that this will be a series.

My main critique of the book was that for someone who was reincarnated and remembered her past lives Kali came across as very immature. Her character felt off putting. I feel like the author wanted us to remember that she was not really a 16 year old girl and that she was very mature etc like being annoyed at her first conversation with Mandi over "High School Drama". Then her character did a complete 180 and hurt someone who had been cruel to her. I felt like the character was trying to hard to seem like an immortal and better than the human body she was stuck in. I am hoping that the author makes her character feel more developed in the next book.

Overall I did enjoy my experience reading this

I am interested to see what occurs in the rest of the series.

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Let me start by saying that as an Indian, I'm so happy that the MC's name is Kali and there are a number of references to Goddess Kali, a Hindu Goddess whose name signifies the color black and 'kala' or time as she is associated with destruction. With this in mind, this book being about Kali's reincarnation, and her living less than 17 years every time she is reborn fits together really well.

This is only the second fantasy novel I'm reading after a fantasy series I absolutely loved. So I'm still new to this genre and don't understand much yet found this novel really short (compared to others in the genre which is great because most are very long) and the writing was easy to read. Emers didn't waste much time on elaborate world building, rather explains it as we go on, and I really appreciate it being set in the contemporary world, because it makes the story easy to understand. if you're like me and struggle with visualizing vivid, unfamiliar settings, this fantasy book is a good place to start.

I loved the family dynamics explored in this novel, along with the fact that Kali has a soulmate. Kali's perspective was quite compelling as we see her past trauma, physical enduring, and desire for the relationships in human families. The fantastical concepts in the world building are fairly simple, so I understood what was happening. For all those years of living and memories through reincarnations, I felt that Kali was pretty immature and should've been wiser and more aware by then.

With all that said, I don't think this book will have a lasting impact on me though it was an engaging read. I'm definitely reading the following books in the series

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To be honest I made an assumption, based off the cover, that this was going to be some popcorn quick romantasy type read... Please do NOT sleep on this book! I thoroughly enjoyed so much about this book. The Mandarin words/lore was new to me and really interesting, coupled with the reincarnation aspect, which I haven't read much of, I found this story truly riveting. There is some romance, of course, but it didn't feel over bearing. I loved the friends, heart ache, loss, drama, and love represented here.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review.
I was sold by the description, but the book was AMAZING! Absolutely loved the concept of the story and haven’t read something like this! Immortals reincarnated as humans that cause catastrophic events oohhh I was hooked from the start! A great way to start the series. I loved the characters and learning their histories. Can’t wait to see more of this series!

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I really love this book! You never really knew what was coming next. From beginning to end it was just like this ultimate mystery and when you figure it out, something else comes and make sure rethink again like you really felt like you were in her head trying to put this all together feeling the emotions, the feelings of uncertainty lurking around every corner. Then the aspect of humanity and wanting to care for everyone around you and how even the most genuine things can have a bad reaction. I’m so excited for Next book.

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CW: death, cancer, possession. Closed door (implied sex)

Kali is a wanshiqi, an immortal being, punished to live as a human until she passes her 17th (human) birthday and atones for her crimes against another wanshiqi in Pompeii. Due to the events of Pompeii, which tore her family apart, Kali refuses to turn 17, and commits instead to die over and over again until her family unit is restored. This time, though, is her last human lifetime, as events are spinning outside of her control and require her to make a decision - live and return to life as a wanshiqi and all that entails, or die as a human and be imprisoned for eternity.

This is a complicated story. It starts off slow, but soon picks up the pace as we explore the many lives of Kali, what happened to her in Pompeii and the complex hierarchies of the Wanshiqi. Set very much in the human world, but full of mythology and features a MC character very much torn between her destiny and her humanity.

We have teen angst, we have highschool dramas, we have the ancients possessing people because they can, we have secrets that span across the aeons, and much much more. It does start out slowly, but from the last quarter of the book I couldn't put it down.

The mythology has its roots in Mandarin, and there is a pronunciation guide/glossary at the end of the book for those unfamiliar with the language. (Note: I cannot say how authentic the language/mythology is).

There were plot holes, yes, and I didn't care for the character of Hunter, Kali's destined soul mate (or tongguan) or the romance aspect, but overall this was a solid, readable upper-YA fantasy that is *different* to the rest of the offerings out there.

~Many thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review~

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I really enjoyed this book. Kika Emers creates an intriguing world and something very unique. I haven't seen this mythology outside of Asian-based stories and loved the mix with the present-day United States. Emers harkens back to history that brings in enough true-life touchstones to make the book even seem real. I liked the main character a lot. She's complex going through a range of human emotions which really gets down to how hard it is to be a teenager.
The ending is abrupt and doesn't give me enough resolution to the story. I realize this is a series (and I want to read more) but I needed a little more to feel complete about the story.

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An interesting book centred around a mythology that I’m not very familiar with. I think this is a good start to a new series. The plot was fluid and engaging. I would say if you’re an adult as opposed to a teen, you need to try and read it from a teen mindset to be able to properly engage with the characters.

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