Series: Souls of Fire, #4
on September 5, 2017
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Sexual Content: sex scenes, rape scene
Reviewed by: Kristina
The next blazing-hot installment of the Souls of Fire series from the New York Times bestselling author of Flameout
The clock is ticking as Emberly - a phoenix capable of taking human form - races to take revenge against the sadistic and mysterious Rinaldo. The elusive rebel leader threatens to keep killing until he is given all of the research about a plaguelike virus derived from vampire blood.
Forced to reach out to the Paranormal Investigations Team for help, Emberly and her partner, Jackson, must decide who to trust as they follow the trail of dead bodies. When classified information is leaked and their safe house is ambushed, Emberly's suspicions are confirmed - someone at PIT has betrayed them.
A final battle looms and Emberly will need to command all her powers - or watch the world turn to ash...
ASHES REBORN is a brilliant urban fantasy story with unique characters and a plot filled with action, suspense, and intrigue. The mythology of phoenixes is complex and refreshing in a genre filled with vampires, witches, and werewolves. The reincarnation and resurrection abilities of phoenixes is fascinating and I would have welcomed a few more pages just explaining those abilities. While the story got bogged down and confusing at times with too many story lines, the main story thread was fun and action packed.
All of the characters were well developed and I found myself actually really caring about what happens to them which is pretty amazing considering I hadn't read the previous books to even establish a connection with them beforehand. I enjoyed seeing how a phoenix's powers work and seeing Emberly battle bad guys with awesome fire powers was pretty cool. I wasn't a huge fan of the romantic relationships Emberly is involved with. They seemed overly convoluted at times and slowed down the more interesting plot involving research on a plague like virus that could kill tons of people.
While I enjoyed Emberly as a classic urban fantasy heroine, I took issue with her reaction to her rape. First of all rape is never something I look forward to reading and it's made much worse when Emberly shakes it off as if it was nothing. I get having to move the plot forward, but in some cases stopping the story to reflect on a rape or another traumatic event warrants a pause in the action. Also, this rape in no way affected the plot nor did it involve any character development or growth for any of the characters. It could have been cut out or been a simple kidnapping with a few punches and kicks thrown and the story would have been the same. She even ends up comforting her friend who feels the rape through her. That felt really wrong to me, as it takes away her rightful victimhood and does a disservice to people who have actually been through this trauma.
Aside from my huge issue on the rape, ASHES REBORN had a fun, action-packed plot and some cool phoenix mythology that I wouldn't mind delving into more.Series Titles:
2. Wicked Embers
For more Keri Arthur check out her Riley Jenson Guardian series