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Ash (Hive Trilogy) (Volume 1) Paperback – December 19, 2015
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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I enjoyed Jaymin Eve's Supernatural Prison series so I decided to give this one a shot. Vampires are hit or miss for me but this one was a hit for sure. I loved how the lore of how vamps came to be was woven right into human culture and it just made sense. I loved how very real issues that human really have getting along with each other is mirrored in this book. We are afraid of what we don't understand. Humans, Ash, Vampires. They definitely have issues in this book.
I enjoyed the characters in this book. Jayden is Charlies best Ash friend forever (BAFF) and I adore him. He's got a thing for Oliver in the sexy six. He loves to dress Charlie and he's a great roomie. They make a pair that's unusual and important as they try to survive the culling. It's clear to Charlie that this Ash thing sucks big time. Lost are all the human rights she's grown up having. She's allowed to life at the pleasure of the vamps. And the whole thing sucks.
Of course, the best part of this book is another one of the sexy six - Ryder. That boy is all kinds of yum! And for some reason he wants Charlie to stay alive. I'd take my chances with him on my side any day.
This book is for mature YA and could be called NA. It's heavy on the creative slang and has lots of suggestive comments but stays out of the bedroom. I enjoyed it and definitely want to dive right into the next book.
What I found missing:
- outside twists. You have twists in relation to Charlie's role but no plot twists with any other character. Almost everyone is stuck playing their designated role of good guy or bad guy with hardly any depth/history. Motivations were just provided right away and I was never given a chance to ask "hmmm? I wonder why he said that to Charlie?"
- epic fight scenes. The plot gears you up for these intense fight scenes and, to me, the fights end up feeling forced and anticlimactic. Sometimes the fight descriptions were just glossed over or told briefly as an afterthought.
- believable plot. Charlie gets her way a lot. The men in her life say no, she gives a few threats/jokes, they chuckle and give her what she wants. Even if, by doing so, they might risk her life as well as their own. To me, these moments did not ring true for their characters.
My conclusion? I wish this book had been fleshed out more to add some mystery, intensity, and believability.
This story was well thought out. There was enough detail to make the world come to life without overwhelming you with unnecessary facts. The story flowed smoothly and the development of secondary characters was in one with the book size.
What I didn't like:
The main character seemed unable to think or act without warning man. And despite coming across as self sufficient and slightly bandaids in the first chapter, she becomes the typical damsel in distress. The book is riddled with scenes of her being rescued by her love interest. Couple this with her whining and tween level romance and it's disappointing. I spent most of the book hoping she'd shut up about him already or smack herself into adulthood. Or both. Anyway, it was over the top and when they had their first kiss I was actually disappointed because I still felt like she was a middle schooler with a crush. That's not romance, it's embarrassing in an adult woman.
This won't stop me from reading the next one however. I will just hope for some emotional maturity in the main character. The rest of the book, from writing to plot line, was very good. Good enough that I look forward to what else this author might write.
However, I loved the way each of the characters interacted with each other. It was fun to watch the sexy six take a dominant role in Charlie's care and instruction along with her defense. It was interesting and heartbreaking, watching Ryder try to conquer his demons so he could face his growing feelings for Charlie. The vampires were mysterious and puzzling secrecy they held made for an intriguing background story. There were so many levels to this tale besides that of the headstrong heroine, and I look forward to seeing what the author does with them in the next books.