Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ashes by Amy Keen

Thank you for reading along throughout the, Ashes by Amy Keen, book tour!   Ashes is the second book in the Foresight series by Amy Keen.  First let me say, when I review books, which are part of a series, I try to read the book without reading the books that were written previously, to determine if they can be stand alone novels or if the series makes them a complete work. However, I read about fifty pages into Ashes, and decided to read Embers (Foresight #1) before reading anymore into Ashes.  These books complement each other, and I highly recommend reading Embers first, to better understand the entire storyline.

Here is a summary of Ashes from Goodreads:  

"Scarlett barely escaped with her life the last time she ran in to The Venari; but she refuses to spend her days looking over her shoulder. Determined to be normal, she heads to Europe, only to learn that her wish to blend in is simply not meant to be. With Jake delayed in Salem, Scarlett is vulnerable and forced to rely on new found friends, The Collective; a band of people with gifts like her own. When her desire to bring an end to her torment leads her to the dark underbelly of Paris, she discovers what The Venari plan for her is not death, but in fact much worse. Scarlett realises to help herself and everyone else, she must surrender to the persecutors of thousands of witches before her; those desperate to lay claim to the powers she possesses."

Overall, I enjoyed this storyline and the characters, but this is not a story for someone who enjoys the blood and guts, which sometimes happens in a story involving the supernatural. Personally, I avoid books about witches, zombies and vampires because I do not enjoy the violent nature of them.  Amy Keen provided just the right amount of suspense and violence, without making the book unappealing, for me.   

Also, when reading new books, I always read with my students in mind.  Which student can I recommend this book to, or is this a book that is inappropriate for my readers? I have students (grades 4+) who are begging to read books about the supernatural, but I yet to find a book that would be appropriate in terms of violence and sexual content, for someone their age.  I can safely say, I would be able to recommend this book to some of my mature readers.  Even though there is a love story, Amy Keen does not provide the juicy details and language, which may turn away some readers (and parents). The love story between Jake and Scarlett is a strength of young, true love, and I found myself cheering them on throughout the entire story.  

As a reader, where books about witches are part of my book gap, this was just the book to help me close that gap.  I found myself invested in the storyline, and predicting (or hoping) for the best possible outcome.  I have added Foresight #3 to my "must read" list, and will be anxiously awaiting its release, to find out what happens with Scarlett, Jake and the Venari.


  1. Great review! So do you feel that this book will be a safe bet for fifth graders?
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. Thank you Brandee! Yes, I would absolutely feel comfortable recommending this to 5th graders.