Note: This ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
He still won’t look at me, but I can’t look away from him. I practically dare him to meet my eyes. Can he see me for what I am? I suddenly want him to. I want him to see me—really see me, the monster, the aberrant. I want him to know how beautiful he is…and how much more beautiful he would be if I could leave marks of pain and blood all over his body, see the strain and torment rippling through him. I want to possess him. I want to destroy him.No.I want to scare him away.
There are times different is good. Other times, different can be...not so good. In the case of From the Ashes, the first book in the urban fantasy Fires of Redemption series from Xen Sanders, different blew my mind. Whether as Xen Sanders or Cole McCade, this author has never ceased to leave me fascinated with his seemingly immeasurable capacity to weave a unique story that demands I immerse myself fully or lest I find myself not being able to enjoy it at its optimum. With this series starter, Sanders introduces readers to aberrants--individuals who look human but are born with a genome that gives them otherworldly powers, making humans fear them and slap them with a variety of labels: villains, psychopaths, sociopaths, etc. Aberrants rush to support the cause of Lord High General Infernus Blaze, but From the Ashes is the story of his twenty-five-year-old son Spark, who is currently using the persona of Tobias Rutherford, a graduate student at UC Berkeley. Tobias has always known what his sole purpose it, but when he engaged his professor, Dr. Sean Archer, he begins to question. Will the questions lead to the continuing destruction of the human world as his father sees fit, or will Tobias find a new purpose for himself?
I'm not going to give any additional details as to what the story is about or how it plays out. I'm seriously recommending you head into the book knowing only the synopsis provided or what little I've mentioned here in my review. This is the kind of tale that you need to experience as it plays out. Don't skim, don't go straight to the end and take a peek. Read. The. Book! I promise, you won't regret it. If you're hesitant to read an M/M novel because you've never read one before, let this be your first. This story isn't about either of the main character's sexuality. Yes, it's an urban fantasy, but there are parallels to events in history and what's currently going on in the world. It's too easy for us to label those who are different from us and see them as aberrations. We tend to fear those we don't understand. More often than not, people who are labeled and told what's expected of them feel as if they have no choice but to be exactly what the rest of the world expects them to be. From the Ashes is a fantastical tale, but the beauty of this novel lies in that feeling of familiarity, whether in a character or the story itself. And maybe, by the end, it'll give you something to really think about. From the Ashes receives five-plus stars. ♥
Release Date: 02 January 2017
Date Read: 31 December 2016
Learn more about Xen Sanders.