Saturday 28 November 2015

Clare Reviews: An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

An Inheritance of AshesTitle: An Inheritance of Ashes
Author: Leah Bobet
Format: Hardback
Pages: 388
Rating: 3.5
Blurb: The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.

When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.

"Eight years' fear had finally come to pass, and I was still walking and talking and I could probably walk and talk another I hour. I could bear it a bit longer, and that was what mattered now."

An Inheritance of Ashes was very different from what I had expected it to be. It felt very familiar to me and there are elements that did seem to remind me of other books I've read although I can't quite pinpoint which book, the idea of the Twisted Things felt like something I'd read before. 

The thing I really loved about this book were the characters and their relationships with each other. Friendships, families even rivalries were all brilliantly depicted and wonderfully three dimensional. There is a love story for the main character Hallie and I loved how it developed, it felt very natural and was actually a fairly minor part of the story. I really liked their interactions with each other and I completely believed in them together. She has a best friend, who is a character I would definitely like to see more of, and their relationship too was very well done.

The character development was very good. Hallie changed a lot over the course of the book and her relationships with those around her changed as a result. She learned to swallow her pride throughout the course of the book and she became more confident as the book progressed. She behaved in ways that didn't seem to make sense but with her back story and her father and uncle I did understand. I felt for her and for her sister and I wanted to lock them in a room and force them to talk to each other. But I also get that they needed time.

The plot was a little slow in places. I really enjoyed the last part of the book, but there were bits during the middle that were less engaging. The writing was always beautiful though and that mostly made up for any points where there was less excitement. I really enjoyed the writing style in An Inheritance of Ashes, I kept having the urge to underline sentences and I almost wish I had a kindle copy as well so I could highlight without the guilt of writing on a book!

The world was not very well developed, I did find myself confused about some things towards the beginning of the book. It took me a while to work out that this is a book set in the future (I think) as they made references to a past with guns and a fall of cities. The story itself takes place on the farm and, briefly, in the town so the world as a whole didn't necessarily need to be explained fully but I wish I had understood it more at the start. I also didn't always understand what had happened with the war. Heron explained his experience in the war at one point but I never really understood why it had happened.

Before starting this book I was glad it was a stand-alone, much as I enjoy series I do tend to prefer stand-alones. However, having finished it I am now very interested to see more of these characters and this world and so am very glad to discover that there might someday be a companion novel. But for those of you who, like me, hate cliff-hangers, this does work on its own and everything is wrapped up very well.

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  1. Great review! I am definitely a character-focused reader, so if I love the characters then I don't care as much about the worldbuilding and whatnot. Maybe I'd enjoy this book! I was actually really surprised to see that this is a standalone. You don't see a lot of those anymore that aren't contemp books. Thanks for another great review!

    1. Thanks! I am definitely character-focused as well so I didn't mind the slow pace all that much. I hope you enjoy it if you do read it! I pretty much bought it because it was a standalone. I love non-contemporary standalones because I am terrible with cliffhangers and I have zero patience for waiting for sequels!