Release date: August 26, 2014
Published by: Harlequin HQN
Source: ARC won in giveaway
Author Links: Site | FB | Twitter
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...
You could tell me that Jeaniene Frost didn't write this story and I would believe you despite the fact that her name is plastered across the cover. I could easily be convinced because this author didn't have her knack for writing clever, witty dialogue and creating genuinely entertaining characters with a lot of personality. But this was Jeaniene and I'm left feeling a bit disappointed. (I still love you though, Mrs. Frost. I really, really do.)
I wasn't impressed at all with the female lead, Ivy. She was a very bland character who blends in with all of the others in the genre. Adrian was slightly more interesting, but he was the typical dark, mysterious, brooding love interest. It felt as if little originality went into the making of his character. And I've already forgotten the names of nearly all of the secondary men and women, so I think that sums up my feelings without the need for further explanation.
Although The Beautiful Ashes is labeled as new adult, there isn't a healthy dose of self discovery or a large focus on the protagonist's experiences with independently transitioning into the adult world. I think age alone was the deciding factor and not these experiences that typically separate a new adult story from an adult one.
I gave this debut a solid three stars because I was able to finish it quickly and the story line was interesting (although it did remind me of another series that I'm going to avoid mentioning because it might make this review spoilery).
I haven't decided if I'm going to pick up the sequel when it releases but I also can't say that I wouldn't recommend this. I would definitely suggest reading several more reviews before deciding to purchase The Beautiful Ashes.