Ashes to Ashes (Blood Ties Book Three) Mass Market Paperback – 1 Aug 2007
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'Armintrout's bold debut... bares its fangs early, unafraid to spill blood and vital organs from its very first pages. This fast, furious novel is a squirm-inducing treat.' --Publisher's Weekly on The Turning --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Jennifer Armintrout has been obsessed with vampires ever since the age of four. Raised in an enormous Roman Catholic family, Jennifer attributes her interest in the macabre to viewing too many funerals at a formative age. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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But quickly Carrie's focus switched to her constant (very irritating) battle to decide if she loves her sire, Nathan, or her former sire Cyrus, more. Every conversation between any of them, even the ones that started with their other problems, ended up on Carrie's emotions or theirs. I don't like Cyrus, not at all, and now Nathan and Carrie have annoyed me enough I don't particularly care about their story at all.
However, there are sections of this book from Max's POV. He's another vampire, a friend of Nathan's for many years. His story, I like. His relationship (of lack of) with werewolf Bella I found entertaining. The way they play off each other, both trying to protect themselves and remain as they always have, refusing to depend on anyone, is sweet, awkward and painful at times. Plus I felt that with them, there was far more to them, even though we see less of them. And when with them, there was plenty on the other aspects of the plot, the Oracle and the Soul Eater too. I looked forward to Max's sections, whereas Carrie's made me want to put the book down and not bother picking it up again.
There are a couple good twists at the end that I didn't see coming. But again, more with Max and Bella than Carrie, who tells most of the story. I found the book very easy to put down and almost had to force myself to pick it up again to finish it. It's very angst heavy and with less focus on the bigger plots (like say, the Oracle and the Soul Eater wanting to take over the world) than you would think, particularly based on the blurb. Overall, not a great read. A few decent moments, but nothing great. There is only one more book in the series, so I'll probably read it just to see what happens, but I'm in no hurry to.
All are needy and in search of love, but not all of them are truly ready for it. The triangle with Carrie, Nathan and Cyrus continues, in fact the author even indulges in a menage dream sequence. But the dynamics between them shift as events take the three of them through changes. Reasons holding back not just those three, but Max and Bella too, from giving their love disappear. Events occur between Cyrus and Carrie that allow Cyrus/Carrie and Nathan/Carrie to approach each other from common ground. Max and Bella especially find a new beginning, as they undertake what looks like a fatal journey, when they acknowledge love inspite of their fear of rejection or loss. All these changes make for second chances for those that can survive.
Ashes to Ashes carries forward the plot and the relationships from the previous books, but offers only a little in resolution. It turns out that there will be a fourth book in the series, All Soul's Night, out in June of next year. There's some setup for that here, as a character from the past reappears. One enemy is vanquished and another remains to be defeated next time. I couldn't find the page to quote it exactly but in this book, Bella says that every one has scars, and it is how one goes about trying to heal that matters. It will be interesting to see how the Bella, Max, Nathan and Carrie move toward healing in the next book
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