Reviews

From Blood and Ash, by Jennifer L. Armentrout

sbg's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix

3.75

oliviabruzewski's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5/5 stars

I find this book, as Hawke would say, intriguing. It had many fun aspects to it, like Miss, Willa's diary (which I wish I could read lol) and the whole maiden storyline. I enjoyed reading about Poppy's character due to her inspiring resilience and curious nature (which I have myself). The plot twists were interesting but the main one was a tad predictable, leaving me yelling at Poppy to open her eyes. I enjoyed the dynamic between Hawke and Poppy. In many books today some characters, especially male, are portrayed to be bad but then are actually good. *Spoiler, I like Hawke because he is one of the few popular characters that is actually bad instead of just putting up that persona to build a reputation. I did fly through this book because it really was an interesting read but the way it drags on stops it from being in my four star category.

visiblemysteries's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional funny tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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rubeusbeaky's review against another edition

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5.0

This was a phenomenally written book, up until the last 50 pages. Naughty? Absolutely. But done with finesse, and with respect for all the stages of young/new/forbidden romance. For a YA vampire romance, I was impressed by the healthy sexual habits modeled: Ask for consent, ask about protection, admit your boundaries... As far as the plot was concerned, I found all the "twists" INSANELY obvious; the fact that Poppy missed the reality in front of her face is ASTOUNDING! But maybe that's the point, maybe it's not supposed to be a big reveal, and maybe the book is merely highlighting Poppy's naivety/cloistered lifestyle.

But in the last 50 pages, the book drops all that good writing. So much so that I almost knocked off a star. Casteel has all the answers, but he taunts Poppy, making her feel foolish for liking him/sympathizing with him, and making her pay the price for the abuses inflicted on him and his people. He knows her better than that by now. What's more, he blames her for /his/ behavior, claiming he can't control himself around her. Big old red flag, and the biggest problem with most YA vampire romances. It is not a girl's fault if she makes you horny, dude, and it's not her job to keep you in check, vampire or not. All of the respect goes right out the window. I get that he is manipulative, and has played many parts, including feigning respect to get people to oblige him. But he has been with Poppy long enough to know she is not his enemy, was naive of the atrocities her government was committing, and might even HELP him if he apologized for mowing down innocent and guilty alike in his quest for vengeance (if not out of genuine remorse than out of respect for HER suffering)! But no, his arrogance ratchets, and he humiliates and terrorizes her no differently than The Duke had. I don't know how we're supposed to invest in an enemies-to-lovers romance between these two when he is so atrocious and controlling.

I hope Casteel turns around in the next book, because his selfishness could sink this series. Poppy is brilliant, and my heart goes out to every teen who has had their dreams crushed by their first "love".

wuey's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

justmereadinghere's review against another edition

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4.0

my sister is on the other side of the room and she doesn't know i'm reading an uNhOLy book

em_iris's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional funny hopeful mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

Plot twists,

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boldlyno's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

birva's review against another edition

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adventurous tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.75

it was hard to get into it coming from someone who doesnt read fantasy novels. I'd say after 300 pages I actually enjoyed picking up the book (thats a big commitment if you ask me) it was worth it in the end tho. Don't get me wrong I have VERY mixed feelings about the ending. The plot twist was to die for!!! I absolutely loved some of the moments between the characters after the big reveal but
Spoiler I absolutely hate hawke/casteel with a passion he never loved her he doesnt love her now u cant convince me otherwise. I love poppy and I only want whats best for her but when she had SEX WITH HIM AFTER FINDING OUT HE WAS THE DARK ONE?! HONEY WUTT. also his halfassed proposal at the very end after she had just been TRAUMATIZED LIKE BAE WHAT IS GOING ON? there was also a lot of questions I had unanswered like who did he love? and this may be because I don't read fantasy but it was so hard to understand all the descented/atlantian shit.
anyways I don't know it was a good read I guess.

this is a small section from a reddit post I saw I resonate with this COMPLETELY take a look..

Spoiler He tells her he’s all about consent yet he constantly makes comments about how turned on he is by her refusal to engage in sexual activity, when she displays any sort of violent behavior towards him, or snaps at him. I was actually tempted to write down how many times he told her how aroused he was by her discomfort. Ultimately, it’s all meant to be hot because of Poppy’s similar body response after she realizes he’s turned on. Once she feels his boner, it’s like all her senses cease to exist and she forgets about how terrible of a man he is and begins to sympathize with him after he whines about his past. It’s so terribly written.

roxy_fields18's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious slow-paced

2.75

From Blood and Ash…the book where…nothing happens…(and where ellipses and stutters are insufferably overused).

I had high hopes going into this one as it’s so popular and it just really let me down.

This book felt like more of a prequel for the rest of the series. I keep waiting for something to happen and it just DIDN’T. The content in this book would have been better suited to a novella. It was slow and repetitive and certainly did not need to be a nearly 700 page book.

I saw practically every single “plot twist” coming from MORE than a mile away. I was sure I had to be mistaken because it was just so glaringly obvious, but lo and behold I was correct. It just made the protagonist seems dense and oblivious.
There’s a big difference between foreshadowing and subtly planting small seeds of information throughout the book and just completely revealing an incredibly valuable piece of information and then just brushing over it in the hopes that the reader wouldn’t catch it and connected the dots. I actually found myself rolling my eyes at how obvious the “hints” were.

For example:
Spoiler
- when Poppy went to the Red Pearl and spoke with the descender who conveniently lead her to Hawke’s room right after the topic of the Dark One was introduced

- Poppy mentioning early on that one of her greatest fears is being betrayed. Obviously she’s going to be betrayed so naturally I’m gonna keep my eyes open for who it will be - what better person to betray her than her ~mysterious~ love interest 

- the Duke being killed with the cane he used to beat Poppy with after she and Vikter discussed the subject of the Duke’s “lessons” in a public setting where someone could have easily overheard. We know Hawke was angry when he suspected that the duke was abusing her. His whereabouts were unknown when the murder took place and he conveniently showed up right before the body was found. Actually he pretty much was MIA when anything significant went down and just showed up with impeccable timing.

- the fact that Poppy FULLY acknowledges that Hawke can magically see in the dark, is incredibly fast, and randomly has super sharp teeth and she just decides to ignore it.

- Hawke seeming nervous after finding out about Poppy’s gift and specifically asking if she could feel things like “guilt”

- Hawke saying that he “lost his brother”, but he wasn’t dead, and the dark one also has a brother that people don’t seem to know exists

- the fact that he called her Princess repeatedly when the Dark One is the Prince

I could go on but honestly i’m getting mad at how either the author and editors didn’t even try to hide it, thought that their audience would be too dumb to put 2 and 2 together; or worst of all, genuinely thought that they did a good job of hiding this so-called plot twist.



The world building was also sloppy. I found myself confused the majority of the time about the “history”, why certain characters were important, what certain rituals were, etc. I still don’t really understand why the maiden is important??? The names of the creatures and places also just felt weird and juvenile. This book read like a YA despite that randomly detailed gore during fight scenes and the tame “spice” (I was also promised that this book was spicy and feel lied to).

I’m going to continue with the series because I already own the next two books and just hope that the story picks up now that the foundation has been heavily established, but I’m not feelin optimistic here, guys. I really want to like this series :(