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Ashes on the Waves Hardcover – June 27, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel (June 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399159398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399159398
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #867,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

On the day he was born with one useless arm, Liam MacGregor was labeled a demon by the villagers of his island. In Lindsey’s take on Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem “Annabel Lee,” bad girl Annabel Leighton arrives to visit her family home, thereby turning Liam’s whole existence upside down. Dóchas is a place out of time, foreboding and full of gothic sensibilities, and Otherworlders—fantastical creatures of Celtic lore—take an active and horrible role in twisting the course of Liam and Anna’s love, setting up an appealing juxtaposition of modern and historical. Lyrical language infuses the story with a haunting melancholy and palpable sense of urgency. Liam’s first-person point of view contrasts sharply with that of selkie Muireann’s third-person point of view, which reveals not only the star-crossed couple but also everyone working to keep them apart. Liam and Anna experience the depths of true love’s despair and the bittersweet bliss of self-sacrifice in this vibrant, character-rich tale of love that truly lives beyond death. Grades 7-12. --Charli Osborne


"The story is filled with fascinating details of Celtic lore, and the interweaving of myth with the realistic aspects of island life adds an interesting dimension. The carefully paced text slowly but clearly reveals the complexities of the relationships..." - School Library Journal

"A romantic potpourri of doomed amour, Celtic lore and mystery-laden suspense." - Kirkus Reviews

"Beautiful in its cruel perfection." - Xpresso Reads

"Achingly beautiful and darkly sensuous... An extraordinary read that left me breathless at every turn!" - Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author

"Atmospheric" "Lindsey (Shattered Souls) skillfully crafts tension and ambiance" - Publishers Weekly                                       


“Achingly beautiful and darkly sensuous ... an extraordinary read that left me breathless at every turn!” --Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Firelight
“Mary Lindsey, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, has created a haunting, mystical world. I loved this tragic, romantic story.” --Cate Tiernan, author of Sweep and Immortal Beloved

More About the Author

Mary Lindsey lives in Houston with her husband, three kids, two dogs, her daughter's pet rats, an Australian Bearded Dragon and dozens of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. (The roaches are a long story. Don't ask.)

More information on Mary and her books for young adults can be found at

Mary loves to connect with readers and can be found on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter as @MaryL_MarissaC

She also writes adult romance under the pseudonym, Marissa Clarke. For info visit

Customer Reviews

There was also great character development.
I can recommend this book without reservation to anyone who is a fan of paranormal romance, gothic horror, retellings, or pretty much books in general.
Short and Sweet: This was truly a compelling and beautiful love story.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LAS Reviewer on June 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Liam is cursed by the past while Anna is privileged and free. When the two come together again on the timeless island of Dòchas, it seems as if they'd never been apart. With a love as strong as theirs, it's no wonder the Otherworlders not only sit up and take notice, but decide to place a wager on the strength of their love.

Liam McGregor is quite the fascinating character. Convinced from birth that he's harboring a demon within him, he strives to keep his head above water and simply survive. However, despite the hatred and bigotry from the community surrounding him, he immerses himself in the beauty of the written word and the world of art. What I found most impressive was that, even though Liam only had the use of one arm, he still managed to paint, draw, and hold down a job. Even when everyone around him swears he's evil incarnate, he doesn't let it get him down. He just accepts it - for better or for worse - and continues to do what he needs to survive.

Anna Leighton, on the other hand, starts out as just another spoiled rich girl slumming it at her parent's ancestral home on the island. However, her character probably has the most growth over the course of the novel. She evolves from a rather self-centered and self-absorbed teen and becomes a selfless, loving woman. There were moments where I didn't like Anna very much, but she always managed to redeem herself later.

Ashes on the Waves is a beautiful and haunting retelling of one of my favorite Poe poems, "Annabel Lee". The author did an amazing job translating the darkness and strength of the narrator's love for Annabel Lee into a gripping novel. Although the ending left me feeling a bit cheated, every page leading up to that point was pure enjoyment. A very enjoyable, if heartbreaking novel, Ashes on the Waves was nothing like I'd expected, but everything I had hoped it could be.

Originally posted at Long and Short Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Ward TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
'Ashes on the Waves' is a young adult fantasy/paranormal romance novel that is based off of the poem "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe. It focuses on main character Liam MacGregor and his terrible life on the island of Dochas. Since his birth, Liam has been treated as an outcast or worse - a demon wearing a human's skin. Liam has minded his own business and kept himself linked to the only person he ever felt a true connection with: Annabel Leighton - a wealthy heiress whose family own a mansion on the island. Liam's life is forever changed when Anna is sent to the island by her family. Now that Liam and Anna have found one another, they refuse to be apart. However, the Celtic Otherworlders who have a strong hold on the island place a wager on their love, one that might just be the end of them both.

I am a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe, as one can easily guess by simply looking at the name I chose for my blog, so I was immediately intrigued by the premise of the book and how it was based on his poem, "Annabel Lee." Let me just say that I was not disappointed. The novel is a complete Gothic romance with a modern setting - completely beautiful, enchanting, and tragic at the same time. There were times throughout the novel that I would smile so much my cheeks hurt and then a few pages later, I would be on the verge of tears. The story of Liam and Anna is one of hope, redemption, true love, and eternity. Liam was a wonderful main character. He's a sweet, smart, truly kind person who has been treated horribly since his birth. He is referred to in the book as the "broken one" because his arm has been paralyzed since birth, during which his mother died. Due to ignorance, rumors, and lore, the people of the island fear and loathe him, regardless of his pure and innocent heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PandaLover on January 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The cover: Absolutely love it! The title match's some of the things that happen in the plot and the image is a good indicator of the end of the book (read this book and you will understand).

Loved it. For fans of Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee" or if you just love Edgar Allan Poe then I would highly recommend reading this book. I found this book to be very humorous yet be able to show seriousness when certain events happened (read this book and you will understand)."Annabel Lee" is one of my favorite poems by Poe and I also love how the author is able to make a story out of it. The main point of view in this book is mostly focused on Liam and following him around in the plot. I would have liked to have learned a bit more on what Anna thought of everything (I loved learning about Anna's background). I was so excited how this book doesn't contain any love triangles (I don't mind them but its a nice break).

However, there were times when I was wondering why pick such a strange island (for instance the village doesn't have any police presence) as the background for this story and I also did not understand why the characters acted the way they did (specifically what some of the connections were between some of the characters). Some of the characters on the village were strange (the way they acted) but I did love some of them. My favorite character was Francine (store owner) who is so kind and compassionate to Liam and doesn't believe in the village gossip.

The Relationship:

I really enjoyed how us (readers) get to learn more in depth about Liam and Anna and their relationship (it was nice getting to learn about how they met and things).
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