Monday, March 26, 2018

Review: From The Ashes by Xen Sanders

From The Ashes (Fires of Redemption #1) by Xen Sanders
Entangled Publishing
Novel: 228pgs

4.5 Pants Off

Blurb: Sociopath. Killer. Deviant.

Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called this and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father's inhuman empire. Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford--antisocial graduate researcher, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.

But one kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges everything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. When his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of humans and aberrants alike in Tobias's hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile higher, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean--or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?


A man that feels nothing and one that feels too much… 

Tobias Rutherford just seems like a normal graduate researcher. He’s unassuming, antisocial and draws no attention. Which works in his favour, because who he is really would scare the ever living hell out of those that surround him. He is “Spark” the destroyer, monster, a man with no humanity, a man without love and hope. He is on mission to stop research that would cause the destruction of his kind, research that would erase all that he is all that is family is.  

power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. 

Tobias is an aberrant what you might called an evolved human. The aberrants have super powers and are feared by humans because all they wield is destruction. Spark knows nothing else but murder and pain being the son of the most feared aberrant and dictator. With his father he’s brought nations to their knees and watched them burn. Tobias knows he’s a monster and he knows he has to protect his people from the humans because humans change and destroy what they cannot understand or they find a way to use them. He’s got a job to do and he's had to kill a few people along the way but the long game was always the protection of his people and believing in his cause until there was Sean Archer. Sean came and rearranged the very molecules of Tobias’s existence and challenged everything he thought he was. There is fine line between thinking you’re a monster and then finally realizing that you are. 

From the Ashes is a smart action packed read and quite different from anything I’ve read. It’s fiction with a purpose and I found myself taking pause to think about all that I was reading. It was just so brutal with its honest writing and I found myself connecting to some of Tobias thoughts. He’s wrong but mostly sometimes he’s also right, he’s the perfect anti hero and I really like him. What I got mostly from reading, is society’s demanding need to change what they don’t understand. As a mother with boys who have Autism I spend a lot of my time and their time changing them to be exactly what society demands (the world won’t change for them I have to change them for the world) my entire goal is to make them resemble what they call neuro-typical. If you don’t fit whether it be with race or disability we try to change or we get rid of it. So when I say connected to Tobias I really did man. His anger made him flawed but some of his reasoning's was sound. 

We don’t kill the hawk for being a different bird from the sparrow, though one is stronger and preys on the other. Yet we kill aberrants for being different from humans although they, too, are men, born of a common ancestor. Such hypocrisy is intolerable and unethical in the face of the basic right to life. 

Throw in a bit of romance with the violence and I was in heaven. Like I didn’t expect it to be so sweet but it really and truly was. Two guys from very different side of the tracks coming together so beautifully. Their thinking like night and day but their connection was real and in the long run created quite a few epic moments. Tobias as I said is the epitome of anti-hero but overall very likeable and when he sparked out (fans self) murderous angry dudes seem to be a big mood with me. He’s the product of an evil overlord father he knows no better. Sean is like a rainbow to Tobias’s dark clouds. He challenges him and makes him feel and I also enjoyed him as a character. Their sexy time was right amount of intensity mixed with sweet. 

As I said this is very smart read and very plot driven the world that Xen has created; its very interesting. The showdown at the end legit had my heart in my throat and I don’t want to give anything away but let’s just say scene was intense and heart wrenching to read. Another selling point is our anti-hero is a person of colour and that alone is already a win for me plus it’s featured on the book cover (what can I say, representation is a beautiful thing).

From the Ashes was an entertaining read with a great premise and I am looking very forward to book 2 in the series. Let’s just say Tobias has a few things to deal with, he’s got hella blood on his hands and he straight up defied his father. Plus, he’s got to learn and embrace the man he’s becoming and it will be hard. After all it’s a series on redemption.

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