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The Beautiful Ashes
Series: Broken Destiny #1
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Published on: August 26, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: 304 pages, eARC
Provided by: NetGalley
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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…
Reading this book was a foregone conclusion for me because, well, it’s Jeaniene Frost, and that pretty much says it all in my opinion. I even skimmed the blurb which I NEVER do because New Adult isn’t really my genre, and I wanted to make sure that I knew what I was getting in to. Unfortunately the synopsis is rather vague, and I didn’t realize that this story was actually about Heaven & Hell until I had reached the point of no return. Angels are by far my least favourite supe, so THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES’ saving grace was the fact that it revolved mostly around demons, and again… it’s Jeaniene Frost. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s a NA version of SUPERNATURAL—the protagonists are driving around in a black car (’68 Challenger) with an arsenal of weapons in the trunk searching for a special Colt slingshot. Now, I’m not claiming that Adrian is hotter than Dean Winchester because that would be a bold faced lie, but the world, characters, and writing were excellent, as always because, yup—Jeaniene Frost.
The very foundation of the BROKEN DESTINY universe is in itself somewhat of a spoiler, and although I’m sure that there will be plenty of reviewers who’ll spill the beans, I won’t be one of them. So, please excuse my vagueness, but I loved how the author selected a specific religious story, and built her mythology around it. One of my main problems with ‘angel books’ is the whole Heaven vs. Hell plot line; it doesn’t matter if it’s vampires, werewolves, or witches because in the end it always comes down to good fighting evil. And, don’t get me wrong, that is ultimately what THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES is about, but the story is also more personal because Frost has upped the stakes. Meet Adrian, a reformed Demon prince who’s destined to screw up (anti-hero fan girls, REJOICE!!).
Ivy was an interesting character who I can see growing on me over time; she’s young and naive, but if you can see past her rookie mistakes you’ll notice that she’s also tenacious, and tough as nails. Ten days ago this girl was living a typical twenty year olds life, then her sister goes missing, her parents are killed, and no, she’s not crazy. Demon realms exist. All things considering, I think she did pretty darned good! This book isn’t entirely angel-free, but Zach didn’t really make an impression on me either way. At least he wasn’t preachy (my #1 ‘angel book’ pet peeve). I liked Costa well-enough however, I’m not overly confident of his chances at survival, so I tried not to get too attached. Demetrius was convincing as this series’ big bad, and I look forward to him and Ivy eventually butting heads.
The ending was predictable and rushed; betrayal and Ivy having to hunt down the other Demon killing weapons were foregone conclusions. THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES was sometimes gory, rarely sweet, and 100% Jeaniene Frost!
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