In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.
Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.
Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…
Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series, and the upcoming Broken Destiny series. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.
The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
New Adult from Jeaniene Frost!! Count me in! Yes, that was my initial reaction when I heard about this new series. I’m a huge fan of her Night Huntress series so I knew I was going to give this a try, and I’m glad I did.
Ivy has always had strange visions… she never thought they were anything but hallucinations. But when her sister goes missing, she finds that everything she thought was true, really isn’t, and now her sister is trapped in a parallel demon realm and she will do anything to save her.
Even learn to trust the one person who actually believes her … and just happens to be bound the one person who is destined to betray her. Adrian certainly doesn’t support the people who raised and trained him, but he’s convinced that the past will repeat itself with him betraying Ivy in a devastating way. But for now, they have to work together to find a relic that will save her sister. But along the way, feelings become entwined and the fight to stay away from each other becomes even harder.
Plus… Ivy has her own destiny and eventually it will have them on opposite sides of a war that could doom the world as we know it.
I have to say that while I enjoyed this first book, I didn’t love it for a couple of reasons. That’s not to say that won’t read on… in fact, I’m actually looking forward to book 2 a bit more now because most of the groundwork is laid here in the first, and I think (I hope!) that many of the issues between Adrian and Ivy are now out in the open and we’ll see them work through them going forward.
So my hangups… I really, really struggled with the information withholding on Adrian’s part. He knew the full story, but refuses to answer Ivy’s questions or give her any clue as to the full picture of what is really happening. The best example I can give is the mirrors, and when you read this, you’ll know why. And yes, I get that that is part of moving the plot along, but I think it really just frustrated me. That’s not to say that the pacing on the plot is off… On the contrary, I thought the storyline was paced really well, and I never really felt a lag while reading. Instead, I think it was used in a way that made me feel as lost as Ivy, and I don’t think it was necessary, mostly because I had guessed what happened with the mirrors along the way.
The worldbuilding was a little flimsy for me too. I felt like from the very beginning of the story, we’re thrust into the action of the story, without much to build on and the small details we get along the way really weren’t sufficient. The head Angel who comes and goes never really felt like much of a character to me and I never really connected with our main characters either. I liked Ivy and Adrian… but I didn’t love them. I didn’t get that connection that pulls me into their story and makes me cheer and cringe and cry for them and for the most part when I read, I need that.
My review makes this sound like it was all bad, but you can see by my rating that it wasn’t. The story itself is filled with action and somewhat interesting to me… and yes, we even get a bit of steam here in book 1. I am definitely going to be reading book 2 when it arrives so definitely check this one out and let me know what you thought once you’re done!
Thank you to Harlequin for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.