ARC Review: Crimson Ash by Haley Sulich

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Rating: ★★✯✩✩

Date Read: June 10, 2018 – July 8, 2018

Date Released: May 10, 2018

Publisher: Write Plan

Series: Standalone

Synopsis:

You may live as a soldier or face death. Choose wisely.

Solanine Lucille wants her little sister back. Eight years ago, the government kidnapped her sister Ember, stole her memories, and transformed her into a soldier. But Solanine refuses to give up. Now that she and her fiancé have located the leader of a rebel group, she believes she can finally bring Ember home. But then the soldiers raid the rebels, killing her fiancé and leaving Solanine alone with her demons and all the weapons needed for revenge.

After raiding a rebel camp, sixteen-year-old Ember doesn’t understand why killing some boy bothers her. She’s a soldier—she has killed hundreds of people without remorse. But after she fails a mission, the rebels hold her hostage and restore her memories. Ember recognizes her sister among the rebels and realizes the boy she killed was Solanine’s fiancé.

Ember knows she can’t hide the truth forever, but Solanine has secrets too.

As their worlds clash, the two sisters must decide if their relationship is worth fighting for. And one wrong move could destroy everything—and everyone—in their path.

My Thoughts:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me a copy to review.

This book was quite the experience. If I was to use three words to describe this it would be nostalgic, longwinded, and heartfelt.

Nostalgic

I have come to learn that I don’t really like Dystopian the way a used to. This book reminded me of the not so great ones that I read when I was in middle school. So yes, middle school me would have loved this book but college me found it tiring to get through.

Longwinded

 I am not sure if this is the best word that I can use to describe what I was feeling when I was reading this book but it is the best that I can come up with. I like books where I can fly through the pages and I can read for an hour and have 50 or so done. With this book, I would read for what felt like a half an hour and I had only read 10. Also, the exposition was over a hundred pages. I detest long expositions.  I like books that get you into the action within the first few chapters.

The plot was also not formed well. I kept forgetting why the characters were doing what they were doing and it felt rather slow. The pace did pick up a bit towards the end but for the first 150 or so pages (the book was 382) it was not fun. Also the world needed more details! Why did the soldiers exist is my biggest one but it just needed more little details to make it feel real. Though from the little bit that I could understand about the City of Graven, made it definitely one of my top ten places to NEVER SET FOOT IN. It was creepy and totally dystopian.

Heartfelt

I LOVED THE CHARACTERS IN THIS BOOK! It was probably the only redeeming fact about the book besides City of Graven. The two sisters that the book is centered around, Ember and Solanine were fabulously written. They and all the other characters acted like real humans and made mistakes and hated and cried and laughed. I kept going back and forth on whether or not  I agreed with Solanine for rescuing her sister in the beginning of the book or if I thought it was selfish of her. I loved how Ember tried her best at no longer being a soldier with Solanine and adjusting to her new life. I definitely think that I would have enjoyed the book if it was centered more around the sisters reforming bonds at the camp instead of including the whole Ember in the City of Graven plot.

Cover Image and Synopsis from GoodReads

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