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Review: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

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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  1. I can’t wait to get to this. I’m going to get the audio (I know you’re surprised). Great review. Thanks for not spilling the beans.
    Melanie Simmons recently posted…Twist Audiobook by Dannika Dark (review)

    • 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!

  2. A similarity to Supernatural?! Enough said…adding this to my TBR!
    Lori recently posted…{Blog Tour} Review: An American Girl in Italy by Aubrie Dionne + Giveaway

  3. 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*

  4. 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!

  5. Yay, I’m so glad you enjoyed The Beautiful Ashes, Carmel. I can’t wait to get my hands on this new series. I’m actually looking forward to the angel/demon theme, and I’m so curious now about what bible story she used to build her mythology around …hmmm
    Thanks for the great review & Happy Friday 🙂
    kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Adult Book Review: Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh

    • 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!

  6. I have a love/hate relationship with Frost. Some of her books I’ve loved and then others have fallen flat for me. Since this is a start of a new series I think I’ll check it out and see how it goes 🙂
    Finley Jayne recently posted…Bout of Books 11 {Thursday’s Updates}

    • Ah well, hopefully Frost will wow you with this one!

  7. 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.

    • I tend to give the romance a pass, especially in New Adult, unless there’s insta-love. But yeah, you can’t fault this author’s writing style!

  8. “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.

  9. Okay, oops. Forgot to fill my name and info out, so the above comment was from me:)

    • Haha the mysterious commenter has revealed herself! 😛

  10. Love the sound of her character development and tranformation into who she was in this book

    • You can never go wrong with Jeaniene Frost IMO!

  11. Yes I have been staying away from NA 😉 But this does not sound like that which I stay away from

    • It’s New Adult / Urban Fantasy, so although it might have a few elements that you don’t love, overall it’s good.

  12. I can’t wait for the next book! I am hoping this series just gets better and better.

    Happy Friday!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo

    • Same here! Thanks for returning the comment. 🙂

  13. I haven’t read a Jeaniene Frost book before, but the fact that the ending was predictable has me wary. BUT you gave it four stars, and you seemed to have enjoyed it, so I’m still adding this to my TBR. Fabulous review, Carmel!
    Hafsah recently posted…THE VAULT OF DREAMERS by Caragh O’Brien — A Review

    • 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 😉

  14. This anti-hero lover just added this to her must read list. I am all sorts of curious.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…The Homecoming by Robyn Carr

    • Well, now, that was an easy sell! I hope you enjoy this book as much (if not more) than I did.

  15. NA Supernatural huh – I don’t know, for some reason I’ve never felt drawn to NA books. I wonder why that is. And hey I’ve never read J. Frost – is there a specific series/book you recommend giving a try on her first with?
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Gasp! I DNF’d it – Where Silence Gathers, Evil Librarian & more

    • Euuh, YEAH, her Night Huntress series. The first two installments are a MUST! You’re never heard of the infamous chapter 32??

  16. Oh I really want to read this one! Love the whole angels/demons theme and i’m curious about the mythology in this one,e specially since its centred around a specific passage from the bible. Great review 🙂
    Lily recently posted…If I Stay: Movie Review

    • 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.

  17. 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!

  18. I haven’t read any Jeanine Frost, but I got this book from BEA and I’m looking forward to reading it. I hate it when you can’t talk much about the plot of a book at all without spoiling things – I think you gave a tantalizing hint without giving it away. Thanks!
    Nicole recently posted…5 Star Review – The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

    • This book was super hard to review without spoilers, but I think I did fairly well, all things considering. Glad you caught my vague hint. Hehe

  19. 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!!

    • If anyone can win me over the the angel side of New Adult, it’s Jeaniene Frost! And yes, the great characters definitely helped.

  20. Loved this one too! I love the part about the relics, it’s something I wouldn’t have thought of so it was familiar and surprising at the same time.
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…HELP WANTED! Reviewers Needed!

    • YES! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed this one too, Braine! Great minds think alike. 🙂

  21. I’m about to break into this one and devour it. Oh yea… love that you said 100% Frost! WIN! I love that you also said that the world works here. Can’t wait.
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…Audiobook Review: Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

    • In that case, you’re in for a real treat, Melissa! I bet by this time tomorrow you’ll be finished it. Hehe Enjoy the ride while it lasts.

  22. 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?

    • Another non-Frost reader! Where are you people coming from? (j/k!) This is a great place to start because there’s only one installment so far, but I highly recommend that you check out her Night Huntress novels as well. You’ll LOVE Cat & Bones!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. I”ve seen lots of mixed reviews that I’m not really sure. I’ll probably end up reading it b/c it’s Frost. But this is New Adult, right? Carmel, what is the different between that and young adult.
    Mariya recently posted…Review: Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole

    • The characters are in their 20’s instead of teens, and there’s usually sex.

  26. I liked this one but didn’t love it. I actually wish it was a bit more Supernatural in its humor and pacing but the whole angels and demons and bloodlines and slingshot stuff just made me roll my eyes at times. I had high hopes that weren’t completely met, sadly. More of a 3-star read for me, alas.
    Mary recently posted…Do It In 140: Tweet-Short Book Reviews (3)

    • 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.

  27. Glad to see you enjoyed this one. I didn’t know it was about heaven/hell either, not a big fan of angel books, but for the same reason as you, I’ll be reading it. JFrost 😀

    • I was kinda peeved when the angels showed up, but I don’t mind demons nearly as much which worked in this book’s favour.

  28. I’m so glad I’m starting to see a little better ratings for this one, I was hoping the audio push it up a notch, and had lowered my expectations…But I’m starting to get excited 🙂
    Thank Carmel, great job! As always 🙂
    Loupe Duffy recently posted…Twist Audiobook by Dannika Dark (review)

    • I’m puzzled by all of the negative reviews; I think peeps were disappointed by the fact that Cat & Bones don’t show up, while as I never expected them to.

  29. Ahhhh yes Jeaniene Frost. She’s one I’ll try out whatever she gives a go. Hopefully I’ll find the time for this one at some point. I’m good with Angels so no prob there on my end thankfully 🙂 Glad to see you enjoyed it!
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…Sleep With the Lights On (Brown and de Luca #1) by Maggie Shayne

    • Jeaniene Frost has been on my auto-buy list for as long as I can remember.

  30. “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

    • Angels are at the very bottom of my paranormal list, but I made an exception for Frost’s cuz she rocks. 🙂

  31. Confession time: I’ve yet to read anything by Jeaniene Frost. I know, I know, I will have to remedy this soon. I am rejoicing because I’m an anti-hero fangirl and although I don’t particularly go out of my way to read about an angel book, I generally do have a good luck with the books I’ve read. Fantastic review, Carmel!
    Sarah recently posted…Review: Words and their Meanings by Kate Bassett

    • In that case, I’m sure that you and Adrian will hit it off! And, your FIRST Frost book—lucky you!

  32. Jeaniene Frosy is an auto-buy for me these days 🙂 I loved this one too Carmel and can’t wait for the next book.

    A great review!
    Sharon – Obsession with Books recently posted…Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

    • Woohoo! I’m so relieved to hear that this novel is finally getting some positive reviews because it deserves it. Screw all the haters! 😉

  33. I’m part of the review tour and I’m so glad you loved this one, Carmel. Ivy annoyed me a little, but yeah, I feel like she’ll grow on me too. Frost is a new author to me, so if her other works are as awesome like this, I’ll read ’em all!! 😀
    Paula M. recently posted…ARC REVIEW: Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan a.k.a i’m curious about that feeling as well

    • 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!

  34. 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.

  35. Ive never read anything by thus author even though i have books 1 to 5 in the Cat and Bones series. I just got the audio for this and Im excited for it!
    Nereyda recently posted…Audiobook Review: Blood Games by Chloe Neill!

    • I heard the audios are really good. I might give them a go if/when I do a re-read.

  36. I love Frost’s books so I can’t wait to read this. I don’t even really care what it is about because it is Frost and I trust her. Although it sounds like we have a hot guy at least which never hurts for a story to have one of those 🙂
    Thanks for the great review!
    Alexa recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to Read but Don’t Own Yet

    • Sounds like you’re approaching this new series the same way I did. ‘It’s Frost, so I’m all in!’

  37. Oh man, now I regret not requesting this book! I’d seen several mixed reactions to it so I was a bit nervous, but you make it sound like a ton of fun. *kicks self*
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Sacrifice (Elemental #5) by Brigid Kemmerer: review

    • I don’t understand why so many reviewers have such a hate on for this book. It was good dammit!

  38. First Jenny from Supernatural Snark and now you, Carmel… It seems like I really need to add this one to my list, even if I’m also not the biggest fan of angel books myself!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #57!!

    • Oh, no—you caught us! We’re ganging up on you. 😉

  39. Would you believe I have yet to read Jeaniene Frost? *hides* I know, I know. I fully intend to as soon as time allows. You had me at the Supernatural nod — black ’68 Challenger? Yes, please! Honestly everything (except for the predictable and rushed ending) has me thinking this is the Frost book to start with. Awesome review!
    Michele recently posted…Early Review: Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

    • 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 😉