This exciting new adult paranormal story has interesting twists on certain tenets of Christian religious beliefs combined with elements of mythology. The angst-filled vacillation of the main characters that seems to be a hallmark of this genre is a bit annoying for me but I found the creative depiction of the various beings involved in the fight intriguing. It would be nice if the main characters would learn to talk to each other a bit more, as there is one section involving mirrors that seemed to be a little more of a puzzle than it should have been with a simple explanation, but things gradually improved—slightly. One should be aware that this is the beginning of a series so there is a fair bit of groundwork being laid and, although some things are resolved, there are definitely other threads that are left dangling. Be forewarned that if you are a bit squeamish, some things get a little icky, but what can one expect when dealing with creatures that don’t really value life? I have a fondness for gargoyles and hope to see more of Brutus in future stories. This is a nice beginning to a series and has entertaining elements but be forewarned that there is a mixture of frustratingly predictable action and exciting unexpected twists to be dealt with. I look forward to seeing the characters get more depth and maturity and to having more of the mysteries unraveled.
“The Beautiful Ashes” by Jeaniene Frost is part of the ‘Broken Destiny’ series and focuses on the life of an unusual young woman named Ivy whose parents have just died and whose younger sister has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The discovery that the odd experiences she has had all of her life are significant is compounded by the revelations a complex and sometimes frightening man named Adrian continuously bombards her with. It turns out that Ivy will have a significant role to play in a life-and-death struggle to rescue not only her sister but to tip the scales in an age-old conflict that dates back to biblical times. That is, if she can survive the betrayals that she is destined to face.
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...