Title: The Beautiful Ashes
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Broken Destiny, book 1
Genre: NA Paranormal
Publisher: Harlequin – August 26th
Source: Review copy from publisher
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 haven’t starting writing this review and I already know it’s going to be one of the hard ones to write. Why? Because I love Jeaniene Frost, I love her Night Huntress series and her Night Huntress World books; I love those series so much I really wanted to love this book too. Sadly, I couldn’t. I don’t know if I had too high expectations, I don’t know what it was, but I had problems getting into and liking The Beautiful Ashes.
As the blurb says, since she can remember Ivy has suffered from hallucinations, but after her sister goes missing she learns she is not seeing hallucinations, she’s seeing parallel realms inhabited by demons. This is confirmed by Adrian; a handsome guy who possesses very similar abilities to Ivy and who offers his help in finding Ivy’s sister. Ivy knows she is running out of time and without another option she accepts Adrian’s help.
Adrian introduces Ivy to Zach, an angel that will assist her in a small capacity in her search. A search that will take her to different realms swarmed with demons, where any little mishap could cost her life.
Even though he tells her over and over that he’s not trustworthy, trusting Adrian is the only way Ivy has to find her sister. What Ivy didn’t know was that finding her sister will mean losing her heart.
As I said before, I really wanted to like this book and really wanted to like Ivy and Adrian, sadly I couldn’t.
Ivy is a very difficult to like character. She suffers from bursts of TSTL moments and has a contradictory personality. Those are trails I don’t appreciate in a heroine.
On the first pages she is suffering because of her sister’s disappearance and the death of her parents, whose funeral is supposed to be the following day; but after couple of pages her focus changes completely and it’s not after weeks have passed that she thinks again about her parents and the funeral she didn’t go. Not once she felt guilty or regretful for not been able to assist to their funeral.
Ivy wanted to know things about Adrian, but at the same time she preferred not to ask him in case he close up to her. She was like: He doesn’t want to tell me, ok, no problem, I will still follow him around and do everything he tells me to do… But after he is honest and tells her the truths “she wanted to know” she runs for the hills and does things that put her life, her sister’s life and everybody’s lives around her in danger. She betrayed Adrian’s trust in the worst possible way, but the best part is at the end when Adrian says something to her he hadn’t told her (because he knew she will freak-out) and she acts as the betrayed party. Really? What she did to him was 10 times worse.
Adrian is another character that it was difficult to like. He is broody, secretive, but hot. The problem is that he acts nicely one moment and then he’s a dick. He suffers from a serious case of bipolarity. He is fighting his destiny and his past weighs heavy on him, making him do regrettable things. He’s abusive towards Ivy, he does it to “help” her, but it doesn’t matter how you see it or the reasons behind it, abuse is abuse.
Ivy and Adrian suffer from insta-attraction than transforms into insta-love. Because of their natures I can believe in the insta-attraction, but I don’t believe in the insta-love, especially after Ivy’s betrayal. If she was in love why she behaved the way she did. It didn’t make sense.
That’s another problem I had with this book, the incongruences. Another one of those is that at the beginning of the book it says that Ivy’s sister went missing with her boyfriend. But after those first mentions of the boyfriend he’s never mention again. At the end of the book we don’t know what happened to him. Was he killed? Was he one of the demons? Was he lost in one of the demons’ realm? Nada!
Another problem I had with The Beautiful Ashes is one of my pet peeves and that is the incorrect use of Spanish. If you are going to use another language in a book make sure what you are writing is correct. Spanish is not only my native language, I also teach Spanish, so every time I see a butchered version of Spanish in a book I can’t help, but cringe. It’s Spanish, not Sanskrit. It’s very easy to find native speakers to ask for assistance, I’m pretty sure many fans, including me would be more than happy to help an author translating couple of phrases.
No all was bad with The Beautiful Ashes. I liked the world building. I liked the idea of different realms governed by different demons. I liked how the realms were all different according to their location and the story about how each realm was formed.
The story is not original, I have seen many versions of good vs. evil war, but Mrs. Frost adds some touches to make it feel fresh. She adds some history and legends to make it in a way original.
I just wish there had been fewer secrets and less “you cannot know that” moments, I think that would have made this book less frustrating. I also wish the end would have been less rushed and anticlimactic.
Will I read second book in this series? Yes, I will. Why? Because I have faith in Mrs. Frost and I’m sure (hope) second book won’t suffer from the problems this first book did.
My Verdict: 3 Paws
Other reviews Goodreads