The Beautiful Ashes, Broken Destiny Book 1
by Jeaniene Frost
narrated by Tavia Gilbert
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, Adrian on the other, and nothing but ashes in between...
I'm a huge fan of the Night Huntress series. It's one of the main reasons Jeaniene Frost is an auto-buy author for me. There are some things that she, as an author, does extremely well. She can craft a world that is both fantastic and realistic, setting very multi-dimensional characters in it and generating great story and dialogue to keep a reader captivated page after page. This story is no exception - the multidimensional world that only Ivy can see, the battle between Archon (angels) and Demons for control of mankind's domain, the development of Ivy's powers and her attraction to Adrian - all of it was very well done. The narration by Tavia Gilbert was stellar - her style of reading is compelling, capturing the youthfulness of Ivy with just the right amounts of fear, frustration and passion. I will definitely continue to look for books she reads.
That being said, there were elements of this book that bothered me. Perhaps most importantly is the need to categorize it as New Adult. Yes, Ivy meets the requisite 20-something of the NA category. Much in the same was MacKayla Lane of Karen Marie Moning's Fever series was a 20-something, which is categorized more as urban fantasy or paranormal romance, I would probably place this in those categories first, NA second. NA is a hot commodity these days and for those who don't normally read it, I am afraid that the NA label will dissuade readers who might otherwise love this story.
Ivy was an interesting character that took some time to grown on me. Watching her navigate the Demon realms, battle side by side with experienced warriors and searching for the mythical Demon killing weapons is just plain cool. Add in Frost's trade mark Anti-hero incarnation, and you have a winner. Adrian has all the tortured angst of a younger warrior which makes him perfect for the quite naive Ivy, but shows his strength and age as events progress. Demetrius felt very much like a Big Bad from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and that makes for a lot of "stay tuned" at the end of this installment.
All in all, THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES was a promising start to another stellar creation by the fab Jeaniene Frost.
RATING: Four Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. Many thanks.