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…
I have been a long-time fan of Jeaniene Frost. Her Night Huntress books are one of my all-time favorite series. When I learned that Frost was writing a New Adult series, I immediately expected a well-developed cast of characters, fast pace, outstanding imagery, and sizzling chemistry. Frost delivered all that and more with The Beautiful Ashes.
It's no secret here at I'd So Rather Be Reading that angel books are not for me. I think it started with the fact that I utterly despised the first angel book I ever read. Based on the summary, I was a little concerned that The Beautiful Ashes would have the angel element and I would be turned off by it. I'm happy to say that The Beautiful Ashes' paranormal element was perfectly developed and balanced, and that I really enjoyed that part of the book.
I love it when the reader is in the dark right along with the main character. When authors keep me guessing as to why a certain character is special, it makes figuring out the main character's powers/abilities/specialness fun for me. Frost takes it one step further, leaving us in the dark as to Adrian's background as well. Finding out his history was really neat: I had an "aha" moment right before Ivy did.
I loved that The Beautiful Ashes had a historical feel. It's set in modern times, but is based on historical events, which gave it added depth. There was one aspect of the historical part of this book that I really appreciated. I won't go into details, so I don't spoil the surprise, but it was an unexpected and appreciated deviation from the norm in paranormal fiction. Frost is a risk-taker with her writing, and the way she set the world up in The Beautiful Ashes makes this book different from all the others in the NA paranormal genre.
I mentioned before that The Beautiful Ashes had a great pace. Boy, did it ever: I read this book in an afternoon, finding it impossible to put down. I was hooked from the first page, and Frost kept the action, suspense, and drama going for the entire read. I loved the way she developed the love story. It was full of chemistry without the characters "going too far," if you know what I mean. It was perfectly New Adult, and I appreciated that. The characters were so real, and the emotions practically jumped off the page. I found myself tearing up a couple of times, from the depth of Ivy's emotions (I think that first person narratives are the best at imparting deep emotions in the reader, don't you?).
I can't say enough good things about The Beautiful Ashes. I loved every single thing about this book, and can't wait for book two!