Book Review: Ashes Reborn by Keri Arthur

Posted September 16, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Ashes Reborn by Keri Arthur

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ashes Reborn by Keri Arthur
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy
Published by Berkley on September 5, 2017
Pages: 382
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Fireborn, Wicked Embers, Flameout, Blood Kissed, Demon's Dance, Hell's Bell, Hunter Hunted, Wicked Wings, Deadly Vows, City of Light, Magic Misled, Broken Bonds

Fourth in the Souls of Fire paranormal fantasy series and revolving around a phoenix who is a private detective, Emberly Pearson, in Melbourne, Australia.

My Take

Ooh, that Arthur is mean. She keeps us off-balance with how much power Rinaldo actually has, De Luca’s loose vampires desperate for security, Sam’s thawing attitude, and all those conflicting scientists-turned-vampires who are working on the formula. Then there are the various shifter packs who work to undermine each other.

She also stirs the pot with all those conflicting loyalties that are thrown about. Who is Frederick loyal to? What does Sam really want?

Arthur uses a first person protagonist point-of-view from Emberly’s perspective, so everything we know is what she experiences and thinks.

It’s a convoluted story that confuses the heck out of me what with all the twists and turns and the multitude of characters who do their own twisting and turning.

In Ashes Reborn, there is quite a bit in the process of being born again. The promise of the phoenix’s resurrection (as well as its threat). Those condemned vampires from De Luca’s den and the man, vampire, to whom they pledge their allegiance. Which side Baker or Radcliffe will decide their bread is better buttered on. The fate awaiting Jackson. And Sam’s desperation at the end.

And Arthur is making me wait for #5 in the series…dagnabbit…

The Story

It’s vampire culture that’s playing against Emberly and PIT, as no one but Rinaldo is willing to take in De Luca’s now-leaderless den. A group that is stubbornly determined to destroy Emberly and Jackson.

It’s blackmail Rinaldo threatens, claiming he controls the red cloaks. Vampires who could spread a deadly plague throughout Melbourne, throughout the world.

Emberly and Jackson’s mission is plagued by leaks and ambushes, right and left. Someone has betrayed them…and now a final battle looms.

The Characters

Emberly Pearson is a phoenix, partnered forever with Rory Jones, another phoenix, one who died in Flameout, 3. The mother is earth, a being worshipped by phoenixes and to whom they eventually return.

Jackson Miller is an infected fire fae who owns Hellfire Investigations, a private investigations agency, with Emberly. He’s struggling to contain the flaming ability he got from Emberly. Adán and Dmitri are earth fae who are friends of Jackson’s and who have helped out before. Makani, an air fae who has stepped away from reading the wind, is another, ahem, friend of Jackson’s. She’s volunteering to play secretary. Her son, Hava, is in training to become a fiosaiche.

Paranormal Investigations Team is…
…the paranormal policing unit, a specialist squad of humans and supernaturals to solve paranormal crimes. Chief Inspector Henrietta Richmond, Sam’s boss, seems trustworthy.

Detective Sam Turner is one of PIT’s top investigators. Rochelle, another dark fae, had been Sam’s partner. Adam, a vampire, is Sam’s current partner. Other PIT operatives include Brad Harvey and Lidia, who is the inspector’s second.

The Witches
Grace Harkwell is a witch who had hired Hellfire in Flameout. Ronda Peterson is not the witch.

The Werewolves
Baker is the alpha of the city pack. Theodore Hunt is a werewolf hitman determined to kill Emberly.

The Rats
Marcus Radcliffe III runs the rat shifters’ gambling operations as well as a string of secondhand stores that are a front for black market goods and information.

The Sindicati are…
…the collective name for the various vampire groups operating in Melbourne. Rinaldo, a.k.a. Reginald, is an evil vampire blackmailing Emberly and Jackson. Frederick is an infected witch working with him, who had been working with Luke.

Luke, the crazed leader of the red cloak vampires, had been Sam’s brother. De Luca had led one faction but was killed.

The Coalition of Nonhumans is…
…a resource center providing financial and legal help to vampires and werewolves. With a very profitable side. “Harry Jones” and “Stephen White” are vampire assassins. Lee Rawlings is one of their bagmen.

Rosen Pharmaceuticals is…
…one of two private labs trying to find a cure for Crimson Death, the red cloak virus, a one-way plague resulting in either crazy pseudo vampires in a hive mind, a typical vampire still bound to the hive, or a vampire not bound to a hive mind. Denny Rosen had owned and run the lab (Fireborn, 1). Janice Green had been his secretary. Denny Rosen Jr is his son.

“Felicity Hocking” is Janice’s lover.

Professor James Wilson believes he’s isolated the gene that causes vampirism. Amanda Wilson had pretended to be his wife, as she worked for the sindicati.

Chase Medical Research Institute is…
…the second private lab and where Professor Baltimore, another scientist working on the same problem, had worked. Emberly had been Baltimore’s assistant.

Holdright Industries…
…specializes in warehouse storage manufacture. James Hamberly, Rosen Jr’s sometime lover, used to work here (and was a victim of the Aswang in Flameout); Mark Terral has replaced him. Mike, Gale, Frank Newton, and Brad Jenson works here.

Inspector James Cobden investigates the explosion at the cabin. VicRoads, a.k.a. the Roads Corporation of Victoria, is the Australian version of the DMV. Shona is a security guard who’s seeing Jackson. Lan is a Filipino shaman and a friend of Emberly’s and Makani’s.

N41A is a drug that inhibits some magic. An inverter makes a wearer immune to telepathic intrusion. Fiosaiche is a fae term for shaman.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a dark backdrop of Melbourne with most of the cover taken up by a crouching Emberly, her body, in its jeans and black tank top, and red hair rising upward in a blanket of flames. At the very top is an info blurb in white. The author’s name spans the top just below it in a bright blue. Beneath that is a testimonial in white with the writer’s name in a paler blue. At the bottom, spanning Emberly’s elbows is the title in white with the series info below that in the blue.

The title is all about Rory, for his Ashes Reborn.

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