Review: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

Posted August 22, 2014 by Carmel in Carmel, New Adult, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 79 Comments

Review: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Broken Destiny #1
Published by Harlequin HQN
Published on: August 26, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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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…

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Reading this book was a foregone conclusion for me because, well, it’s Jeaniene Frost, and that pretty much says it all in my opinion. I even skimmed the blurb which I NEVER do because New Adult isn’t really my genre, and I wanted to make sure that I knew what I was getting in to. Unfortunately the synopsis is rather vague, and I didn’t realize that this story was actually about Heaven & Hell until I had reached the point of no return. Angels are by far my least favourite supe, so THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES’ saving grace was the fact that it revolved mostly around demons, and again… it’s Jeaniene Frost. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s a NA version of SUPERNATURAL—the protagonists are driving around in a black car (’68 Challenger) with an arsenal of weapons in the trunk searching for a special Colt slingshot. Now, I’m not claiming that Adrian is hotter than Dean Winchester because that would be a bold faced lie, but the world, characters, and writing were excellent, as always because, yup—Jeaniene Frost.

The very foundation of the BROKEN DESTINY universe is in itself somewhat of a spoiler, and although I’m sure that there will be plenty of reviewers who’ll spill the beans, I won’t be one of them. So, please excuse my vagueness, but I loved how the author selected a specific religious story, and built her mythology around it. One of my main problems with ‘angel books’ is the whole Heaven vs. Hell plot line; it doesn’t matter if it’s vampires, werewolves, or witches because in the end it always comes down to good fighting evil. And, don’t get me wrong, that is ultimately what THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES is about, but the story is also more personal because Frost has upped the stakes. Meet Adrian, a reformed Demon prince who’s destined to screw up (anti-hero fan girls, REJOICE!!).

Ivy was an interesting character who I can see growing on me over time; she’s young and naive, but if you can see past her rookie mistakes you’ll notice that she’s also tenacious, and tough as nails. Ten days ago this girl was living a typical twenty year olds life, then her sister goes missing, her parents are killed, and no, she’s not crazy. Demon realms exist. All things considering, I think she did pretty darned good! This book isn’t entirely angel-free, but Zach didn’t really make an impression on me either way. At least he wasn’t preachy (my #1 ‘angel book’ pet peeve). I liked Costa well-enough however, I’m not overly confident of his chances at survival, so I tried not to get too attached. Demetrius was convincing as this series’ big bad, and I look forward to him and Ivy eventually butting heads.

The ending was predictable and rushed; betrayal and Ivy having to hunt down the other Demon killing weapons were foregone conclusions. THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES was sometimes gory, rarely sweet, and 100% Jeaniene Frost!

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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79 responses to “Review: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

    • I have yet to listen to a single Jeaniene Frost book in audio, but I have enjoyed Tavia Gilbert’s narration in the past… However, this ARC was impossible to turn down. Maybe next time!

  1. Danya from Fine Print  

    Jeaniene Frost! Yup, I’m definitely going to read this one too, despite hating angel books (I’m with ya on that whole preachy aspect, ugh) and having bad experiences with NA. I absolutely LOVE Frost’s writing, both One Foot in the Grave style and the Vlad books. Was her signature witty banter there? I’m betting it was!
    Danya recently posted…Tough Traveling: Shapeshifters

    • You know it was! But, to a lesser extent than her adult books. I just hope that the angels don’t eventually take over this series’ story arc. *fingers crossed*

  2. Anonymous  

    I’m so excited to start this series, and you had me at: “anti-hero fan girls, REJOICE!!” Woot! I don’t mind the angels/demon thing at all, in fact I actually really enjoy it when done well. And, I’m very curious what religious story she built her mythology around … hmmm. Thanks for the great review, Carmel. Happy Friday 🙂

    • I’m sure that there are already some reviews up that reveal which religious story this series revolves around if you really want to know. Happy Friday to you too!

    • I know that lots of peeps enjoy angels/demons, but it’s just not my thing. However, Frost’s version of ’em was definitely something that I could get in to. This book hits shelves next Tuesday, so luckily you won’t have much longer to wait!

  3. This was somewhat of a disappointment for me, mostly because of the romance. The whole star-crossed lovers business got to be too much for me, and pretty quickly, unfortunately. But the rest was great and Jeaniene’s writing is addictive so I have high hopes for the sequel.

  4. Anonymous  

    “Ivy was an interesting character who I can see growing on me over time; she’s young and naive, but if you can see past her rookie mistakes you’ll notice that she’s also tenacious, and tough as nails.”

    YES! I liked her well enough, but there’s definitely room for her to grow (as largely evidenced by her behavior toward the end), but I like that in a series. It’s fun to watch a character mature and learn from their mistakes, so I have high hopes for future books. I’m so glad you enjoyed it as I did Carmel!

    • No heroine ever starts off as being truly kick ass, so just so long as Frost keeps up with the character development, I’m sure that this series will be a hit.

    • I find it hard to believe that there’s still someone out there who hasn’t read a Frost book yet. I’m going to have to start getting on your case about that. LOL 😉

    • I really liked that Frost chose to focus on a specific bible story instead of just the religious mythology in general. It added something extra to this book, I think.

  5. Oh I was so curious about this one until I saw all the mixed reviews… So many mixed reviews and I think it’s only the second good I see so I really don’t know what to do… maybe try it to know if it’s for me.

    • The reviews have been mixed, but I think it’s because peeps were expecting Cat / Bones type humour, when that’s unrealistic considering this is a brand new series. You’ll never know unless you give it a whirl!

  6. I’m with you, Carmel…it’s Jeaniene Frost. ‘Nuff said. But I’m glad that she gave you an angel story you could work with. I’m excited to see what mythology she’s built. And I’m looking forward to a strong female MC and a fab anti-hero. 😉 Awesome review!!

  7. I’ve yet to read a Jeaniene Frost book, but I think I’ll add this one to my list. Haven’t read any angel/demon books in awhile, & this one sounds interesting! Awesome review, thanks for sharing!
    Tricia recently posted…Are You A Series Reader?

  8. I am glad to see that you enjoyed this one. So far the reviews have been a bit discouraging. I think that wildly popular adult authors just don’t make the crossover into YA well….i.e. Kim Harrison, Darynda Jones….
    Heidi recently posted…Friday Forecast August 24th-30th

    • Switching genres is never easy, but I thought that Frost managed fairly well. And, this is New Adult, not Young Adult, in case that makes a difference for you.

  9. Jeaniene Frost is one of my favourite authors and I’ve loved everything she’s ever written, so I really loved hearing your thoughts on the matter! I find it interesting that it’s more of an NA with a paranormal twice, I love the sound of it. Great review, I look forward to picking it up!
    Jeann recently posted…2014 Mid Year Book Freakout

    • I can’t wait to read your thoughts, and compare notes. As an existing Frost fan, I’m sure that you’ll be able to fully appreciate The Beautiful Ashes.

    • The premise is more Supernatural-like than the actual humour, or man-candy. Sorry that this one wasn’t for you, Mary. Maybe you’ll enjoy the next one more.

  10. “somewhat gory, rarely sweet…” sounds like music to my ears, Carmel! I’ll definitely be reading it, although like you I don’t particularly like angels/demons trope. Excellent review!
    kara-karina recently posted…The Postman Knock #92

    • Aaww, all of her Night Huntress books were on sale on Saturday. Too bad you missed it. 🙁 I’ll be sure to check out your review when it goes live so that we can compare notes!

  11. Lorelle Page ( from LorellePage)  

    I don’t know why but I am still hunting a good angel book. How is this in the romance department – more uf than pnr?? I shy away from NA – even pitched my book as young adult even though protag is 20 also – because of the explicit sex that seems to dominate the age category…generally..This sounds freaking awesome and makes me want to go back to Harlequin and pitch as new adult urban fantasy.
    Lorelle Page ( recently posted…Can we increase our creative limit?

    • There wasn’t very much romance in this book, so it’s hard to really say for sure what direction the author is going to take. Frost is known for her sex scenes though… hopefully things will heat up in the next installment.

    • Oddly enough, you’re actually NOT the only one who hasn’t read Jeaniene Frost, so I’ll let it slide. This time! But, the next time you visit, I better see The Beautiful Ashes on your currently-reading shelf. LOL 😉