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    Gripping story from start to finish

    I picked From the Ashes up on a whim and am so very glad I did. It intrigued me from the first page and never loosened its grip. Every emotion was palpable and the story told so vibrantly, I couldn’t help but be lost in it. An urban fantasy romance with cross-genre appeal, the narrative is told from the first person POV. The main character, Tobias, is an antihero who struggles with the warring principles of his human side and his aberrant side (a human mutation). There’s a pervasive air from the outset that isn’t quite mysterious but shadowed uncertainty. This tone lent itself to the anxiety and indecision Tobias faces, making those emotions come alive and leaving me on edge. The story is structured wonderfully, contrasting the good and bad. The reader knows the evil deeds Tobias participated in, but has empathy as he struggles to control his compulsions and accepting his predestined future. The characters were beautifully complex, hard lines and vulnerabilities which captured my compassion. There was a depth to them that isn’t always achieved in shorter books. I thought the romance between Sean and Tobias wove perfectly into the plot. It didn’t take center stage, but rather injected humanity into Tobias’s character and created a secondary conflict that made for an interesting climax. I also enjoyed the discussions between the main characters. They were profound without being pretentious. I often found myself rereading lines, because they were interesting and applicable to the current world. The pacing was brisk, detailed but with action driving the plotline forward and never letting my attention wane. While the story has a satisfying “for now” conclusion, it does have an open ended finish to entice readers to return for the second book. I will certainly be reading more from this series and author.
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