Published: July 2017
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Series: Venom and Vampires collection, Graced #2.2
Genres: Paranormal romance
Reading Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017
Available:Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble~ Kobo
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Aria Ash shouldn’t exist
Born to a were mother and vampire father, Aria Ash is the perfect blend of two races, and in their world, that’s a death sentence. Hunted for as long as she can remember, she now hides in plain sight in the city of Skarva, and will do anything to keep her secret safe.
Sebastian Talien is an alpha were with a troubled past. Ever since his pack went rogue and tried to kill three innocent pups, he’s been dedicated to rescuing children in need. Now an invitation has him heading to Skarva, to help a child he thought he’d failed
Ashes is a novella set in the Graced universe, around the same time as Bitten. While I enjoyed reading it, I ultimately had the same issue with it as I did with Captive: I felt its ambition exceeded its scope.
Since Ashes is part of a collection, I assume it’s meant to appeal to new readers. I feel it’s only partially successful on that front. The beginning works quite well, introducing us to the characters and getting us invested in their relationship. However, the Graced universe is a complex one. Worldbuilding elements necessary for understanding the story were given in a kind of infodump in the guise of one character educating and warning another. The character doing the educating also functioned like a deus ex machina, there to make sure certain things happened. While there is context and an implied reason, it sat rather awkwardly and I’m not sure how it would sit for someone new to the series. It is also old information to returning readers, making it a little bit dull to sit through, even if I enjoyed the cameo from that particular character.
That said, I felt Ashes was a much stronger story than Captive. Aria is a wonderfully fiery character. She’s powerful and quick to protect what’s hers. I really enjoyed the way her strength is something that Sebastian finds attractive, rather than seeing it as a threat. Their relationship is likely to be a bit too insta-love for some readers, but it worked for me. The circumstances and the passion between these two dominant characters sold it. The pair are also able to spend more time together than Laney & Wolf did in Captive. This gives their relationship a more solid foundation before the rest of the action really kicks into gear.
I also really enjoyed the development of the city of Skarva. We got to see the Duke of Ravens in Bitten. In Ashes, we get to meet the Duke of Ashes and learn a little more about the other ruling dukes. I liked that each duke has their own motif, providing a distinctive counterpoint to the vampire nobility of Pinton featured in previous books.
There were also plenty of loose ends left and I’m looking forward to discovering which directions will be explored next.
All in all, Ashes was bumpy in places, but an enjoyable read.
Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.
This striking orange and blue Victorian gown was first seen in Daniel Deronda in 2002. It was spotted on Romola Garai as Gwendolen Harleth. It was used again in 2007 in The Shadow in the North, where it was seen on Georgia King as Lady Mary.
Costume Credit: Charity
E-mail Submissions: email@example.com
Ignoring the slightly dodgy use of photographic terms, it occurs to me that we're already living in a world where a large percentage of photographers have no idea what a negative is...
Ah, someone's just crashed outside again...
Deceptive downhill bend and a greasy road. Fortunately they always end up on the opposite side (touch wood)*. This time he took out about a metre of wall/gate pillar for the house opposite and one up from me, and about 1.5m of fencing on the electricity substation that's directly opposite. And he's completely flattened the green metal box that everyone's phone on that side of the street is wired to. Fortunately no one hurt this tiime.
Guess I'll have people working opposite for half the week. I do love the sound of concrete saws in the morning....**
** Not to mention I've got back ache and rushing upstairs to look out of the window appears to have been contraindicated
Yesterday was tiring, but for a much more pleasant reason. I took Nicholas to see My First Ballet: Cinderella at the Peacock Theatre, and for icecream at Ruby Violet afterward. We walked to Ruby Violet through pouring rain with bright new umbrellas, and had the whole shop to ourselves. By the time we'd finished eating it was bright and sunny for the return walk to Kings Cross. This morning I was thankfully free of hangover symptoms, but did (need to) spend the morning in bed again. (Reading fanfic and re-reading All Systems Red; there are worse ways to spend a Sunday morning.)
The shiny new phone runs Pokemon Go and on Friday I let Charles talk me into installing it and going for a daily walk with him. The first evening, we passed the charity shop and saw the biggest Angry Bird toy I have ever seen. Charles bought it at opening time the next morning. Today our walk took us past the noticeboard in the park - where someone had hung my lost keys! About five minutes later, we met one of the people who'd put them there, who said they'd found them about 5 minutes after I'd gone home last week from grumpily trawling the park! I thanked them profusely and asked them to pass it on.
Nicholas says he wants to be called Nick rather than Nico, and I'm slipping up far too often, but at least making sure other adults taking care of him are made aware, and giving him some standard reminder phrases to use on me and others. (It's really not my preferred version of his name, but it's his name not mine, so I need to get over that.)
School has finished for the summer, and in less than two weeks we will be in Helsinki! I have so much to do between now and then ...
Hey, guys! Signups close in a little under 4 days @ 11:55 PM PDT on Thursday, July 27. Here's a countdown.
As a reminder, if you choose more than 2 fandoms for a single request/offer, you can match on any combination of those fandoms. We strongly encourage you to spread out your prompts and other optional details across all those possible combinations. We've seen a few signups with holes in those areas.
We also wanted to remind everyone that you can choose only 2 fandoms per request/offer. So if you'd like to see Pacific Rim crossed with Alias OR Stranger Things, but you aren't interested in a crossover between Alias and Stranger Things, you should put Pacific Rim/Alias in one request and Pacific Rim/Stranger Things in another request.
All of that said, optional details are ultimately a courtesy to your artist or author. We strongly encourage the use of optional details/prompts, particularly in an exchange like this one, but we can't force you to use them. If you choose not to leave optional details for a particular crossover match, your artist or author will be free to create whatever they want, so long as they mind your DNWs.
There is absolutely nothing to do in Fontana. There is not a decent sit-down restaurant in the entire city. Their highly rated Mexican hole-in-the-wall doesn't hold a candle to the one in my neighborhood. There is a pool at the hotel. There's a movie theater right down the street so we might go see the latest Spiderman reboot. (Good grief. How many more times will they reboot that movie franchise?) Or maybe we should see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets instead. Basic cable is basic. I'll bring my computer but WiFi is spotty.
I didn't get a chance to finish, let alone post this before it turned into old news.
My husband just aspirated again. The hotel is cancelled. The surgery center doesn't open until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow so informing them will have to wait.
I see a trip to Urgent Care in the near future, as soon as I can talk him into it. He's really scared. This could be bad, like our last December vacation in Hawaii kind of bad. At least this time we're at home.