The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.
When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets.
But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging.
And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published: October 6th 2015 by Clarion Books
Three stars: An interesting story, with an imaginative premise, but it falters with lack of detail.
Hallie struggles to complete her chores. The days are growing shorter and colder, and the work on the farm is endless. Hallie glances up and sees a returning veteran on the road. Her heart quickens, could it be her brother in law, returning at last from the strange war? All the men in the area left months ago to fight a war down south against the twisted things, strange creatures from another world. Thankfully, John Balsam with his magical knife, sliced the Wicked God's heart and ended the war. Unfortunately, great damage was done. Acres of land was turned into a dusty wasteland, and the Twisted Things rained down from the sky, burning the land, turning it barren. Men limped home, maimed and changed. Hallie is disappointed to see that the man is not her brother. He is another veteran, starved and in tatters. He asks to hire on, and for whatever reason, Hallie takes him on as a hired hand. His name is Heron, and Hallie quickly learns he has a dangerous secret. When the Twisted Things start to appear again, Hallie and the rest of the community shudder in horror. Has the Wicked God and the Twisted Things returned to destroy their world to ashes?
What I Liked:
- An Inheritance of Ashes was a book with an interesting premise. The world is on the brink of an apocalypse, overrun with a Wicked God and creatures that come from another world. When they enter our world, they burn to ashes, turning the land they touch into barren wasteland. I was intrigued and fascinated by the concept of the Wicked God and the Twisted Things and found myself wanting to know more.
- Hallie at sixteen has seen her share of hardship. She suffered years of abuse and violent outbursts by her father, and now she has survived the war only to encounter the possibility of starvation and the loss of the family farm. I admired her courage and tenacity, and that she fought with everything she had to save those she loved and her farm.
- I liked the revelations regarding the Twisted Things and the Wicked God. I am always interested in books with alternate worlds and universes. I especially liked learning the truth about the Twisted Things, and I liked how the town came together to solve the problem.
- There is a bit of romance in this one, and I loved how it all played out. It is a romance based on a life long friendship, with the awkward putting forth of feelings. I thought it was sweet, and touching, and I liked that it wasn't a romance that quickly turned into passion, instead it takes its time to explore and feel. No unnecessary drama or angst or love triangles. Simple and straightforward.
- I enjoyed the cast of secondary characters. I liked the Chandlers who stood for science and intellectual discovery. I also liked Nat, and her family. I loved the neighborly camaraderie and how they looked out for one another. I especially liked Tyler. He is sweet and charming, and I liked how he struggled with revealing his true feelings. Heron, the unexpected hero, was also interesting, and I enjoyed learning his true identity and his secrets.
- The writing was wonderful. I loved the rich metaphors and similes. There were many beautiful passages and lovely sentences that took my breath away.
- The book ends without a cliffhanger and it seems to be a stand alone. The major plot lines are resolved, but I couldn't help but wonder if another book is in store, since there is the unfinished story line regarding the missing uncle.
And The Not So Much:
- I think what held this book back for me was the shaky world building. The reader is thrown into this world that has recently been decimated by the Wicked God and the mysterious Twisted Things, but even before that there is a mention of how the great cities were destroyed and overrun in the time of Hallie's great grandparents. I was left wondering as to what happened, why were the cities lost?
- Furthermore, I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't more story line involving the war. The whole concept with the Wicked God and the Twisted Things entering the world from another universe was creative and interesting, but I struggled with lack of detail. How did the Wicked God tear a hole into this world and why? Was it an accident or something more sinister? I really wanted to know more about the war as well.
- I thought the pacing was slow. The book starts out interesting, but then it started to drag toward the middle, and I found myself struggling to stay engaged. It does pick up at the end, but I grew tired of the immense amount of time spent on the difficult sister relationship.
- I struggled with the relationship between Hallie and her sister, Marte. Marte is ten years older, and she always protected and looked out for Hallie. Now days, she is moody, quick to anger, and she never has a kind word for Hallie. I understood that she was anxious, depressed and worried, but I didn't like how nasty she was to the one person she should have been looking out for. Marte was a character that I never liked.
- There is a story line revolving around Hallie's uncle, who leaves the farm at the beginning. I kept expecting something to come of this story line since the uncle was brought up throughout, but I was left still wondering. Even at the end, there is one more mention, and I was left wondering is there going to be another book?
Inheritance of Ashes was a book with an imaginative and creative story line, but it faltered with lack of detail regarding the war and the world building. I was drawn in by the concept, but found the pace a bit slow, and that I wanted more information on the Wicked God and the war. Still, I appreciated the writing, the overall story and the characters. It is definitely a unique book, and one should try if you are looking for something different.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.