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 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 4.
Review posted on The Eater of books blog An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah BobetPublisher Clarion booksPublication Date October 6, 2015Rating 2 starsSource eARC from EdelweissSummary from Goodreads 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 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.
What I Liked I downloaded this book from Edelweiss on a whim I didn t know much about it, but I was curious about the author, and the paranormal aspect of the book I ve not read Bobet s debut novel This novel was certainly unique, I don t think I ve read anything like it before While I didn t fully enjoy it, I did think it was pretty good Hallie and her sister Marthe have been running their family s farm for years With their father long dead, and Marthe very pregnant she s 26, I believe , and Thom Marthe s husband still not home from the war, Hallie feels the pressure and failure of running things by herself The war between human and Twisted Things and the Wicked God is over or is it When Twisted Things start to show up at Hallie s farm, and a a man asks to be hired help around the farm, Hallie knows that something is not right Monsters and regiments both invade the farm, but Hallie will stop at nothing to protect what is hers, and her family.
I had a hard time getting into this book initially, just because of the tone set I m putting this in the likes section because technically this shows how well Bobet wrote the opening scenes There is so much sadness and pain The prologue is a part of the past, in which Hallie s father and Uncle Matthias are fighting, and Uncle Matthias leaves And then the first chapters open with Hallie working like a slave on the farm, her older sister vastly pregnant and awaiting the return of her husband from the way.
We don t get all the details about what happened in the war, what the war was about, what the creatures were We know that the Twisted Things are monsters from the Wicked God s world, and that John Balsam stabbed the Wicked God in the heart, thus ending the war All of the paranormal aspects of this book are accepted and known, nothing comes as a surprise There are issues than just the reappearance of Twisted Things Hallie and her sister have been running the farm, but Mayor Pitts doesn t want to help them in any way with the farm When he hears that there are Twisted Things by the farm, he immediately wants to quarantine the area and send the regiment And then there s Hallie s relationship with Marthe Hallie feels like a failure around Marthe nothing she ever does is good enough for Marthe, and she expects Marthe to throw her out like their father ran out Uncle Matthias.
I liked Hallie a lot, though I think she wallowed in self pity one too many times She is a strong girl, much strong than she thinks she is She is caring and kind and selfless than she gives herself credit She lets Heron, the veteran from the war, stay on the farm as a hired help, even though she finds something odd about him She is best friends with Nat, a neighboring farming family s daughter, and Tyler, the older brother and veteran Hallie is someone I felt myself understanding, even if I ve never been in her position running a farm, living in the midst of war, etcThe story is interesting, though it could have been so if not for one or two things that I didn t enjoy see below Hallie and the gang are focused on figuring out where the Twisted Things are coming from, and how to stop them from coming It seems like they are appearing from thin air, over the farm So Hallie, Heron the veteran , Nat, and Tyler are trying to find a way to stop them without Marthe knowing There is a little romance No love triangle, which was nice I thought there might be, given that Hallie does become close friends with Heron, but they are never romantically interested in each other, or involved Hallie and Tyler grew up together, and it s adorable and sweet to see them fall for each Especially Hallie, since she kind of wakes up and realizes that Tyler likes her I liked this The romance is probably my favorite aspect of the book.
Now on to the bad stuff.
What I Did Not Like Hallie and Marthe s relationship is easily the most toxic and least likable part of this book Hallie spends basically the entire book feeling like a failure to her sister, but also disliking how her sister makes her do everything on the farm and doesn t like how Hallie does it I didn t like Marthe at all I don t care how the author wanted to spin Marthe s character towards the end of the book Marthe seemed like a total b to me I don t care if she s pregnant She could be a lot nicer to Hallie, her SISTER Instead, she is cruel and crabby and unforgiving and unyielding No wonder Hallie distanced herself from Marthe I wouldn t want to be around Marthe either I d want to get the f out of there and never look back.
This book lost at least a star because of Marthe I know the author WANTED us to understand Hallie and Marthe s odd relationship, but that didn t mean I enjoyed it I didn t like reading it I was furious with Marthe, and didn t like her, despite her being a protagonist This book is written entirely in Hallie s first person POV, but Marthe is a very significant player in the story I didn t like her though Pregnant or not, she was rude And a terrible person.
I thought this book was also a bit boring It doesn t have a lot of action, which I was kind of expecting The synopsis had me thinking there would be some serious war and fighting going on, but the war just ended or did it Also, the synopsis says things about family truths I don t know what they re talking about There are no ugly truths about Hallie s own family that I remember The death of her father, which was pretty significant in the backstory, is still a mystery to me I feel like that should have been something that came back and impacted the story directly Also, did I mention boring Meandering pace It took me three days to finish this book Usually I ll read a book in three straight HOURS.
Would I Recommend It Eh, no You re not missing out with this one You re not going to gain an epic story or something I wish I hadn t requested this book, which is a really big reason why this book is getting 2 stars not 3 stars I could have gone my life without reading this one, sadly Rating 2.
5 stars rounded down to 2 stars It s unfortunate that I went on a whim and downloaded this one, but ended up kind of regretting it I know it seems like there were a lot of things I liked, but the big negative ones eclipsed the small positive ones Anyway, at least I finished it Scholastic Canada sent me the ARC of this they are co publishing with Clarion in the US I adored the writing in ABOVE, Bobet s first novel, and so was certainly willing to give this a shot, even though my reaction to the first handful of pages was Gee, gorgeous, but I don t know if I m in the mood for a gritty contemporary set on a family farm that s OH WAIT At that point the bird hit the window, and then caught fire If I had been paying attention to those first pages or the cover, or the jacket copy I would not have been surprised, but I m rather glad that I wasn t, because the surprise was delicious Bobet s world, set generations after the fall of the cities, bare months after the end of the small and strange war against The Wicked God Southward, is so well done that it feels completely real Her people feel real The damn hole in the middle of the air feels real There s a hero who s not a hero, a villain who s not a villain, and a protagonist who just wants to get the barley malt made, and is clearly not going to get to It s all so, so, so well done I cried and turned pages and wanted so so badly to have written this little masterpiece Do read it.
I just I just There s so much It s just Listen I ve tried three times to describe this book, and it s just not happening This is without a doubt one of the most interesting, layered, well written books I ve read all year There s a LOT going on here, but it s all going well What ties together all the bits of the plot the family drama, the war, the demons, the small town power struggle, is that the characters are amazing The descriptions of ordinary life on the farm are realistic, and with that as the basis, the fantastical elements are all the richer and startling I loved this book with all my heart and soul, and I don t want to spoil anything, so I m just going to urge you all to go out and read it I just I just There s so much It s just Listen I ve tried three times to describe this book, and it s just not happening This is without a doubt one of the most interesting, layered, well written books I ve read all year There s a LOT going on here, but it s all going well What ties together all the bits of the plot the family drama, the war, the demons, the small town power struggle, is that the characters are amazing The descriptions of ordinary life on the farm are realistic, and with that as the basis, the fantastical elements are all the richer and startling I loved this book with all my heart and soul, and I don t want to spoil anything, so I m just going to urge you all to go out and read it
5 stars fits best I didn t hate it, but I didn t love it, it was just ok That cover is gorgeous though love it The story is about sisters Hallie and Marthe and their struggle to keep the family farm by themselves They re waiting for Marthe s husband to return from the war with the Wicked God when another veteran happens upon their farm and asks to stay for the winter With the stranger there to bear witness to the family s struggle things go from hard to worse as Twisted Things show up again making everyone wonder is the Wicked God really dead and is this stranger what he seems One of my biggest complaints is that I don t feel the story reads the way the synopsis made it sound like it would I was expecting a lot of action, drama, and magic and I didn t really get that The synopsis says how Hallie is keeping dangerous secrets and getting desperate and the entire time I was reading I was never once on the edge of my seat Don t get me wrong, there is plenty to like about the book, and like I said, I didn t hate it, it just didn t fit what I had expected and wasn t what I was hoping for The really original monsters, Twisted Things, that were in there were fun to read about, but they weren t as detailed present as I would have liked, almost abstract There were several that were described and I loved it each time so I found myself having wanted instead of references to them as an entity I have no doubt though that if you get caught up in the story you re not going to care that much about it, I just had this idea of a super creepy book and it s of a story about family bonds The family dynamic between the sisters was well done as was the opening that included their father I was immediately pulled in and had my heart breaking for the girls, and the story tries hard to stay on that level, however, ugly truths about Hallie s own family are emerging was a massive let down for me I expected, well, ugly truths and gut wrenching rawness but what I got was a mature view taking over a childhood one For me, the story lost its pull and I was a bit bored for a while, but this could easily be blamed on my slump Nothing seems to make me happy right now.
WHAT WHO IS THIS WHAT WHY HUH BUT WHEN WHAT WAIT WHAT HOW WHO WHAT IS HAPPENING That s just me the whole time.
This and other reviews are on my site My Friends Are FictionMy Thoughts I had heard nothing about this book when I requested it and after realizing it was fantasy I was sold on reading it I found An Inheritance of Ashes to be a really slow paced, atmospheric and eerie When I say slow paced I don t mean boring at all the feel of the book was slow like Mindy McGinnis Not a Drop to Drink.
The story takes place right after a war with The Wicked One and his Twisted Things have ravished the land The people remaining are forced to live in fear and with little conveniences Our main characters, two sisters, are waiting on Marthe the older sister s husband to come home from the war to help run their farm.
I really enjoyed the characters in this novel and I think because I was so invested in the small things in their lives this book never seemed dull to me I will say there are many pages where not a whole lot happens We as the reader deal with Hallie s internal struggles with her relationship with her sister and the stress she feels trying to keep things together in her life.
My favorite character hands down was the veteran that happened by Hallie s farm and was hired as an extra farm hand This character was so wonderful to me and I could do with an entire novel about just him I really can t say enough about how expertly he was crafted and how his relationship with Hallie and the farm progressed was wonderful.
There was a minor romance but it does not drive this book nor take center stage Did I perhaps ship the wrong couple Why, yes I did I was a tad disappointed when things didn t go as I d have liked but it was rather obvious that I was deluding myself early on.
The setting in An Inheritance of Ashes was beautifully rendered Because Bobet s world works on the same rules for the most part as our own the instances of magic felt even creepy to me There was a literal hole in the sky and it was so fantastically done I can t really even say any about it Just incredible writing and the entire mixture of the Twisted Things and Hallie s world was breathtaking Don t go into this book expecting a ton of magic or a typical fantasy book There aren t dragons or wizards as much as a world much like our own with magic that seemed incredibly realistic.
Final Thoughts To me, An Inheritance of Ashes, was a breathtakingly well done novel I adored the characters and though the book moved at a slow pace it kept my interest start to finish I do think that many readers might not connect but those that do will without question love this book and the visuals Bobet created.
A wonderfully written story filled with rich characters and emotional depth.
When the world has already ended and the war against a Mad God has already been fought and won, a sixteen year old struggles to deal with her family and community.
Hallie lives on the family farm with her heavily pregnant sister Marthe They re not getting along, because Marthe s husband has not returned from the War where the Mad God was killed and that s placing a lot of pressure on their already strained relationship Which is only one of a long history of strained relationships in this sad family Then a soldier turns up seeking work and shelter for the Winter and almost at the same time Twisted Things begin appearing Creatures of the Mad God, small but twisted, and always on fire.
Like one of my other favorite books this year Cuckoo Song , this story is primarily about sisters and family Hallie s family has been broken for a long time, and she has had a key part in that breaking The pack in the barn is simultaneously one of the bravest and saddest things I ve read in a story about family And all this family drama in the forefront of the book just makes it all much weightier when the backdrop is the potential end of the world.
Loved it read this.
I was hoping to finish this, and I tried but this was just Odd Hope to maybe one day finish it.