Book Review: Jeaniene Frost, The Beautiful Ashes

Posted December 5, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 9 Comments

Book Review: Jeaniene Frost, The Beautiful AshesThe Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
Genres: Urban Fantasy, YA
Published by Harlequin on August 26, 2014
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: the library


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…

Also by this author: Bound by Flames, Into the Fire, The Other Half of the Grave, Halfway to the Grave

First in the Broken Destiny urban fantasy series for young adults and revolving around Ivy Jenkins and Adrian and set in Bennington, Vermont. On this side.

My Take
I was so excited to discover a new Jeaniene Frost series! Until I read it. Talk about teenage-bland. Sorry, teens, no offense. It’s not directed at you. Teen is what I’ve come to categorize as a level of poor writing; bland because it is. Oh, so, dull. Yes, there is action, betrayal, twists-and-turns you won’t expect. And somehow, Frost manages to pour the bland on. The tropes, they were a’plenty. You could plot your way through this with your eyes closed and your brain asleep…oh wait, I did! Oops. I hate it when my OCD kicks in and won’t let me stop reading — ’cause I was so tempted at so many points in this story.

It starts well enough with the mystery to pull you in, with Ivy’s frantic worry, but it doesn’t last. And the bland starts with Fate and bloodlines.

Frost tosses out the tension with dramatic interferences, and it all seems so lame. It feels like a kind of play time with slight swells of melodrama, including Ivy using the slingshot. You know, the one that supposedly can only be used once.

It swells on with the stupid tropes like the one where a character holds something back that could make things easier. It makes Ivy’s first trip to the demon realms so much more “exciting”, *eye roll*. And Frost uses this trope over and over — I really hate that trope. I also hate the one where a character is expected to know how to do something simply because it’s part of their ancestry. Especially when they’ve only just learned about it. The HUGE deal Frost makes of hiding Adrian’s bloodline? *major eye roll*

If her adoptive parents knew about her abilities, why did they subject her to all those shrinks, tests, and drugs?

It is funny when Tomas suggests the incoming bad guys could be members of a drug cartel — and that seems a safer bet.

Oh, brother. I’m sorry, but that leather bikini routine to “spare Ivy her blushes” when she’s glamored to be a hound doesn’t cut it. If clothes on a hound look suspicious, how does wearing a bikini not look just as suspicious? Although, the machinations the three of them have to go through to “hide” who the hound really is are funny.

Don’t bother with this one. It’s a cute idea but too dull for words.

The Story
It’s a desperate Ivy who races into the B&B, only to be met with unwelcome news. Again. It only gets worse when she returns to her hotel room to find a stranger. But the police showing up just in time isn’t the aid she was hoping for.

Although it begins to explain the hallucinations.

The Characters
Ivy Jenkins has suffered hallucinations all her life — and suffered the attentions of numerous shrinks, tests, and meds. Part of her talent is being able to find hallowed ground and objects and see beneath demon glamor. Jasmine is the missing sister. Beth and Thomas Jenkins are the parents dead two days earlier. Delia is Ivy’s roommate and her best friend.

Adrian had demon foster parents, but after he discovered the truth, he has been retrieving souls for Zach. Part of Adrian’s gift from his Judian bloodline is to move into the demon realms from earth. Tomas and Costa are friends of Adrian’s who rescued them from the demon realms; now they live in Miami. Taco, Danny, and Jorge show up to help. The gargoyle is a pet of Adrian’s: Brutus.

Zach is an angel, to be honest, he’s an Archon as are Sarai and Dreadlocks.

Demetrius is a demon and Adrian’s “father”. Obsidiana is also a demon and was Adrian’s lover. Mayhemium and Ryse are perverse demons.

Mrs. Paulson runs that latest B&B in Bennington. Detective Lionel Kroger is with the Bennington PD and one of Demetrius’ dogs. Goliath was descended from demons. Hoyt is the little boy they rescue.

Manna is a miracle cure provided by the Archons. Archons are angels, soldiers sidelined until the issue of humanity is settled. Demons are angels who rebelled against the boss. The danger from demons is that they absorb a little more of our world into theirs. Hounds are vicious ancient reptiles.

The Cover
The cover is grays. A bare-branched tree against a blurry backdrop with a profile of Ivy, her head turned to look at us.

The title is too true, for The Beautiful Ashes means only one thing.

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9 responses to “Book Review: Jeaniene Frost, The Beautiful Ashes

  1. As much as everybody loves Cat and Bones, it seems this series is a general disappointment. Well, I hope it will get better ! Thanks for sharing :^)

  2. This series will never replace Cat & Bones, but it was never intended to do so. I’ll admit that it did have its fair share of flaws, but as a whole I actually rather enjoyed this one. Frost is an amazingly talented author. I just hope that the angels don’t take over in future installments.

  3. I’m sorry you had such a hard time with this one, Stormi. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, because the mythology was different, and I thought the way Ivy learned more about herself was nicely done.
    I hope your next read will be amazing!!
    Have a great weekend.

  4. Ah, deamons fall in love now as well? Funny how genres go through phases, first vamps, then weres, then angels, now demons. I loved Frost’s Night Huntress series, the wit was amazing. So, I am disappointed to hear that this one isn’t up to scratch…. but, I think I’ll still try give it a go. Great review though! :]

    • Thanks, Catherine. I love her Night Huntress series as well and the first book in her Night Prince series, but this one…no. On your own time be it, ye haf been warned…bwa-ha-ha…*grin*…

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