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AIR AND ASH by Alex Lidell - Review

July 15, 2017




My rating: 5 of 5 Stars

How I Got It: Purchased Ebook

Publication Date: May 2017

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Point of View: 1st person heroine

Genre: Epic Fantasy





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Okay, this one wasn't classic literature status like Strange the Dreamer. And it wasn't hit-me-in-all-the-nostalgia-buttons perfect like Spindle. But . . . this book was ridiculously awesome!!! I honestly didn't expect to love it like I did but . . . well . . . I DID!





You know those books that start RIGHT in the middle of action, leaving you a bit disoriented and wondering why you're supposed to care about these characters whose lives are imperiled? Yeah, I don't care for those either. But that's exactly how this book opened and somehow it just REALLY worked. I don't know if it was just the way the author handled it, or the fact that I do have a soft-spot in my heart for a sea epic (I grew up watching the amazing Horatio Hornblower mini-series. Anyone else fans of those). But something about that opening, which I fully expected to dislike just grabbed me by the collar and held on tight.


Seriously, I felt as though I couldn't put this book down.


Ordinarily a character like Nile "Ash" strikes me as too stereotypically super-special for words. But yet again, something about HOW the author wrote her just worked for me. I loved her and rooted for her. I cringed at the mistakes she made but understood why she made them. I rooted for her motivations, I felt her pains. She was truly a fantastic viewpoint heroine. She filled the role of the trope, but she didn't end up limited by it.


The plot was engrossing and the world-building was spot-on, especially everything set at sea. You know this author had to have researched like the dickens, but she didn't let details choke the storytelling either. It was the perfect balance of authenticity and entertainment from beginning to end.


The love interest was PERFECT. At first, again, I expected it to be  stereotypical, but then the author took the hero in a complete unexpected direction. Talk about a love/hate dynamic! I don't want to give spoilers on this one, but let me just say, I love a good slow burn, and this was an EXCELLENT slow burn.




Um . . . not much. I guess I felt a tiny bit let down by the climax. Not that it wasn't great! It just wasn't particularly GREATER than the other great action sequences. It didn't feel climactic so much as one more adventure in a string of adventures.


But I think that's really due to the fact that this is Part One of a two-part book, not a book in and of itself. It's building to something much bigger in Part Two--Wind and War. And readers beware: there is a definite cliffhanger ending!


I have kind of sort of committed to reading The Kiss of Deception next in my July reads. But I might have to be doing a double read along with War and Wind, because I don't know that I can bear to leave Nile, Domenic, Ana, and the others for very long!



Keep in mind, this book is a STRONG contender for my Book of the Month pick in July. Whichever book I pick as my favorite I'll be giving away in hard copy to one lucky mailing list subscriber. So sign up for my mailing list if you'd like a chance to win a great read!

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