Author: Jeaniene Frost
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Overall: 2 Stars
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…
When I first heard Jeaniene Frost had written a New Adult paranormal novel, I was very excited. NA fiction is still very much comprised of romantic contemporary novels, so I couldn't wait to read a NA novel set in a different genre. Unfortunately, The Beautiful Ashes fell flat for me, which was very surprising because I normally love reading Jeaniene Frost's books. While the world building and a paranormal novel centered around angels and demons was enough to pique my curiosity and interest, The Beautiful Ashes lacked character development, lessening my enjoyment of the book.
It absolutely annoys me when a main character suddenly makes a too stupid to live decision. If it seems like a natural progression of events, then okay, I'll accept it, but when this action is a blatantly obvious plot device to create some sort of suspense, then it frustrates me to no end. Over and over again, Ivy relies on Adrian to save her from demons; there's nothing wrong with that. Adrian has been raised in the demon realm and has been trained to incapacitate and kill them whereas Ivy is completely unfamiliar and unprepared for the situation she finds herself in. What I have a problem with is when she abruptly decides not to trust Adrian and that she can find her missing sister on her own. Seriously? AS IF, IVY, AS IF. Cue major eye rolling.
I struggled to finish The Beautiful Ashes, I really did. I typically read a book within a few hours, but it took me several days to finally finish it. I would find myself setting the book down even during the very middle of action scenes, which just shows how much difficulty I had in staying connected to the story. I simply wasn't emotionally invested, I guess. We knew nothing about Ivy's relationship with her sister Jasmine and she's not even really mentioned all too often because Ivy is too busy searching for an ancient weapon to defeat the demons. Jasmine felt like a stranger, so I didn't feel a real sense of urgency to find her. I don't mind instalove romances when they're done right, but the one between Ivy and Adrian lacked believability. I didn't understand how Ivy and Adrian could so strongly have feelings for one another when they barely knew each other and didn't have time to really build an emotional connection.
Jeaniene Frost's The Beautiful Ashes was a disappointing introduction to the Broken Destiny series. The Beautiful Ashes reads more like a YA novel, which I have absolutely nothing against, but the series is supposed to be pitched as a New Adult one, so I had to adjust my expectations. While The Beautiful Ashes ends on a note that teases of more dangerous tasks ahead for Ivy, I'm not really feeling compelled to continue the series.