****Review copy received for an honest review.****
The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny, book 1) by Jeaniene Frost
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…
Part of me likes to believe that if I hadn't read The Dark World by Cara Lynn Shultz, or any of the other-world-with-demon books, I would have loved The Beautiful Ashes more. The reality is, it's just boring and quite honestly it does not bring more then two new things to the angel/demon genre. First was Frost's signature wit. The second thing is the mythology, while it's not 100% unique the bloodlines part is fun and I enjoyed Frost's interpretation and alternate view on all that biblical mythology. (And you'll want to have a certain Lady Gaga song handy.)
While I was excited that Ivy would be a different kind of lead for Frost, I soon realized that if Ivy was put in a line up with many other YA/NA characters out there I couldn't pick her out. Maybe if she cracked a joke, but other then that she doesn't stand out. Even with things I love such as bravery, loyalty, and perseverance to put her on my good side. Ivy isn't a bad character, and if anything it's nice to have a smart and strong lead. The genre needs them! What hurt my connection to Ivy is that there isn't much development and then at page 11 the male lead enters. He just happens to have broken in to her hotel and is waiting for Ivy, who just got attacked. She isn't worried, nope she instead thinks this:
I knew I should turn around, open the door and run, preferably while screaming. That was the only logical response, but I stood there, somehow unafraid of my intruder. Great. My survival instincts must've secretly made a suicide pact.
No Ivy dear. What you're survival instincts are suffering from is what I like to call the plague of storytelling: Instalove.
Even after being kidnapped by this stranger, AKA love interest Adrian, nothing. Stop it authors!!! Stop it. Love isn't easy and I don't want that in my books! Make it epic, passionate, and totally worth the wait. Not wham or you're being tugged by some magical connection, but you're love transcends that connection. That's telling and the easy way out. The fact is I know Frost can bring the heat!!!
Besides my eye rolling over the romance, and my resignation that I would not be joining the swooning I'm sure other readers will feel, I still had hope for the world. Yet, that didn't deliver despite the cool mythology. Everything was predictable and the demon realms have been done quite a few times, so if you're going to add to the genre blow me away! The plot was also predictable. Once the core of the mythology was introduced at page 32 and who Ivy is descent of it all becomes transparent. In the blink of an eye I knew who Adrian was descended from, and the drag out of that mystery was too much. (Which is lucky because jamming out to a certain Gaga song made my reading enjoyment spike!)
The plot of withholding information from the lead and then slowly revealing it didn't work, because if you're a reader of the genre you know the drill. Especially coming from the male lead who is “doing it to protect” Ivy’s fragile mind, and leads to her almost getting killed(s). So when the big twist, or the “betrayal”, came a long I didn't even bat an eye lid. In fact, the twist was given away within only a few pages of 32.
What I do believe could have saved this book was if it had read like a New Adult, and not Young Adult. Besides Ivy being of college age, there is nothing NA about this book. Nothing. Yes, I've come to expect that New Adult titles can have range from content level of Young Adult, to Adult, and even risqué matter such as erotica. For me I was hoping that Frost had chosen NA to bring the maturity of an adult title to the fun of the Young Adult genre, with a heavy dose of dark grit for the demon world. As said before some are going to find this pretty dark, however if you’re bread and butter is dark fantasy it’s like the kiddy pool.
In the end I think this is a promising start. The mythology is there, and I do want to see if the next book can step things up now that all of that the first book stuff is out of the way. Especially in the character development, there's hope for Ivy. But Adrian is just another male heart throb I'm just supposed to be swooning over. Still I believe many Frost fans will be happy with this, and Frost newbies. If you're a long time reader and good at predicting plots, and rely mainly on the characters to get you through, this might not hit the spot.
Sexual Content: Some mild talk of rape and torture, mild sexual content and plenty of humor.
2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out.
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