Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ashes Review

Author: Estevan Vega
Release Date:September 11, 2011
Publisher: StoneGate Ink
Most appropriate for ages: 13+
How I got it: From author for review 
More than three months have passed since Arson and Emery were taken. Taken and then separated. 
And experimented on. 
Salvation Asylum is more like a prison than a psychiatric facility. Unknowingly, Arson has become a vital instrument in a campaign set to genetically alter mankind. Enraged, confused, trapped, and unable to fully manifest his abilities, he wonders if he will ever see Emery again. His new existence is one crawling with questions. Is Grandma alive? Where does the fire come from? Can he become more than a monster? 
In Ashes, book two of the ARSON series, nightmare and reality collide as Arson must embrace what he is and the haunting realization that there may be others out there, others like him.
I really enjoyed the prequel to Ashes, Arson, when I read it. I enjoyed Ashes too...for the most part.

That "for the most part" is pretty much because Ashes dragged for me. Vega doesn't talk down to his readers. He's not afraid to put some adult point of views in young adult books. I admire that about him, but probably 75% of Ashes was told from an adult's point of view, and I didn't connect with any of them. Plus, my beloved Emery and Arson were in trouble and I didn't like that and I was anxious to know what happened to them. So maybe it had something to do with me being impatient, too. Not sure.

I love the tone of these books. They're so dark and almost dreary and occasionally disturbing (THAT FIRST CHAPTER). I rarely find books like that in YA and I'm glad I finally have.

I did not love Ashes, but I'm still glad I read it. I am going to be reading the third book because I need to see what happens with this story-line. If you read Arson, read Ashes. It will answer some of your burning questions. If you haven't read Arson, get on with that.

Plot: Interesting enough, but it dragged.
Characters: I would've liked a bit more Emery and Arson and a bit less creepy scientists.
Writing: Good, but sometimes people's accents could get kinda ridiculous.
Ending: Chaotic and FIREY. I liked it.
Kid Friendly? Kinda? There was some mild language, and mentions of death and sex.
Should I read it? Read Arson first. But then, I'd say yes. This series is going places and, personally, I wanna be around to see where those places are.
Willing to hold a conversation while reading.
Ashes was not bad, but my lack of connection with some of the new characters spoiled it a bit for me. However, I'll be continuing with the series in the hopes of reading more about Arson and Emery, because those two characters are worth sticking it out for.

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