Reviews

Witches of Ash and Ruin, by E. Latimer

nicobella's review against another edition

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4.0

*Audiobook Edition* If you like books about witches I HIGHLY recommend. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story of modern witches and murder. It’s very atmospheric and I really liked following the different POVs. Nearly a 5-star book for me, it just has some problems with inconsistency that I can’t ignore. I’m surprised it only has 1,200 ratings at the time I’m writing this.

xmnemosyne's review against another edition

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Not rating this book.
Maybe one day I'll revisit it but I just couldn't finish it.
I didn't find the story particularly interesting, I thought from the plot it would be my kind of book, I mean, witches, serial killer, bisexual OCD witch, but honestly, they just seemed like a pull in but nothing to hook you in. Who knows, maybe this review will change in a year or whatever if I decide to give it another go.

kay_young's review

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adventurous dark mysterious tense medium-paced

4.0

beesknees's review

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

3.5

Witches of Ash and Ruin called to me the moment I read the summary on the back of the book. A main character who is a bisexual anxiety-ridden witch with mom issues really resonated with me, so I picked it up. The writing style is really enjoyable in this book, and the characters are all interesting. The book's biggest flaw is that it bites off more than it can chew. Juggling multiple perspectives, some of which drop off and are never given closure, and trying to tackle many themes end up making things feel a little half-baked. Going in, I will say I was immediately looking for how OCD was handled by the author, and what I ended up seeing was how anxiety creeps into everyday life. Describing panic attacks accurately is neat to see, but for a book that advertises the MC as having OCD instead of casually including it in the contents, I was expecting more. Of course, I also have to say the romance was pretty cute too! I feel like the ending of this story could make for an interesting sequel!

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colossal's review against another edition

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1.0

Dayna Walsh is an Irish teenager with a lot going on. She's a witch, a real one that can do spells, and is part of a local coven. She's also recently been outed as bisexual to her entire school and family. On top of all that, her father is an evangelical semi-Christian cult leader whose strict rules and odd behavior has Dayna fleeing every chance she can get.

Then another witch is murdered in a disturbingly ritualistic way, Dayna's long-lost mother returns, another coven arrives in town which includes an ancient witch that was once kicked out of Dayna's coven and a much younger witch that Dayna is attracted to. Meiner King is the girl that Dayna is attracted to, and after some initial antipathy, the attraction is returned, but Meiner has nearly as much going on as Dayna does.

*breathe*

Ok, I've barely scratched the surface here. There's also heaps of stuff about witchcraft and celtic gods, serial-killing witch-slayers and plots within plots of the covens.

Sounds great right?

Nope. This fails at almost every level.

Quite clearly this is kitchen-sink level overstuffed, and because it's so overstuffed, there's simply no room to do things like show believable evidence that the main characters have mental health issues. Dayna for instance has OCD, but until she actually says that, the reader would have no idea from her behavior. There's no room here to "show", so we resort to "tell" at nearly every turn.

Plot points are so overly telegraphed that it's like the author is beating you around the head with them. For instance, at one point Dayna "levels up" to become a full witch and for most of a chapter gets constantly warned about not overusing the temporary extra magic she receives in the process. Guess what happens soon after? Go on ... you'll never guess! (Ok, maybe you will ...)

Interpersonal relationships between anyone but the main characters show signs of deep history, but isn't given room to emerge organically and instead appears with those characters taking actions that appear out of nowhere and are justified only as they do it. There's a character besides Dayna that has a thing for Meiner, and when she acts on it, it comes completely out of the blue despite Meiner having clearly known about it beforehand.

And finally, a lot of YA books get cliffhangers, but there aren't very many of them where the "good guys" get the snot kicked out of them, barely survive, and have the bad guys get everything they wanted.

This was a delete from eReader with prejudice. Terrible book and a rare one star from me.

catburps's review against another edition

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1.0

I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't finish it. It felt like I was thrown into the middle, and I waited 200 pages for answers to questions, a plot to unfold, and characters to fully develop. The train never left the station.

nrodr216's review against another edition

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3.0

Overall it was not a bad book. It was like a supernatural murder type story that involved witches. I did find myself entertained by the plot and Dayna’s development as a witch. Somethings felt unfinished tho, like what was actually wrong with Dayna’s mother? Why was there even a point of view for Sam it felt like his story didn’t really do much for the main plot.

meg144's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced

4.0

katiebbooks's review

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challenging dark emotional tense

erin03's review against another edition

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No

3.5