Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review: Ashstorm by A.D. Starrling

Ashstorm 
by A.D. Starrling
Series:  Seventeen #3
Pub. Date:  June 9, 2015
Publisher:  Self-Pub
Pages:  376
Format:  eARC
Source:  Author
   

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:


The Hunter who should have been king.
The Elemental who fears love.
The Seer who is yet to embrace her powers.

Three immortals whose fates are intertwined with that of the oldest and most formidable enemy the immortal and human societies have ever faced. 

1599. While hunting a deadly adversary who has eluded him for two hundred years, Asgard Godard falls into an icy tomb that leaves him frozen in time.

1969. After more than a century on the run, Ethan Storm finds himself at the mercy of the man who ripped his family apart and sent him into exile.

2013. Following a hundred years of solitary existence, Olivia Ash wakes from a nightmare to find the home where she has lived her entire life under attack by a deadly foe. 

Linked by an incredible destiny and with time very much against them, Asgard, Ethan, and Olivia must keep ahead of their common enemy and the rogue branch of the US army at his command. When an unlikely ally crosses their path, they come into possession of a set of clues that help them unearth their opponents’ devastating plans. 

With the future of the whole world at risk, the three immortals and their allies must draw on all their skills and unique abilities to defeat the man who has inflicted so much loss and misery upon their lives.

The fascinating and furious fourth installment in the award-winning, action thriller series Seventeen is here!

A.D. Starrling has done it again! The books of the Seventeen series never fail to get my adrenaline going. I don't give many 5 star ratings, but Ms. Starrling has already gotten 3 from me this year. Seriously Hollywood, someone needs to option this series for the big screen! Any time I am in a reading slump, one of these books has pulled me right out! I have read every one in a single sitting - I don't think I could go to sleep without finding out what happened first. The books are totally out of my normal genre, but I can't get enough. The plot is action-driven and the stories are engaging, well-researched, and quite detailed. Each installment has also carried just enough romance to keep my smutty little heart happy. Ashstorm even got a few tears out of me, though I still think King's Crusade is my favorite (it's a very close call).

In Ashstorm, we meet Asgard Godard - who is the son of Thomas Godard from Soul Meaning. Asgard was on the tail of his immortal enemy in 1599 when he fell through a glacier and was frozen in ice for nearly 400 years. I am so glad that we get the backstory on Asgard because I am a stickler for details, and I have found many of the books I have read this year to have been sorely lacking in details when it comes to a character's past. No need to worry about this with Ms. Starrling, she takes us on wonderfully detailed forages into the past that are both historically accurate and entertaining. (Well, not so much of a historical event in this book as was the Ottoman Empire in Greene's Calling, but it was a nice foray all the same.) Asgard was a lovable character in that father-figure type way. He made me have lots of feels in this book, particularly when he got to meet Lucas, Anna, Tomas and Lily. I was so stinking happy for him.

Asgard is not our sole main character of this story though, we have a triad to include Ethan Storm and Olivia Ashkarov. I can't tell you how everyone meets without giving spoilers, but I am going to say that it was very very tense and dangerous and everything you expect from this series. Ethan and Olivia are two more of our special immortals with the unique birthmarks - and they have some very cool powers! Ethan is an elemental and can manipulate things around him, and Olivia can do freaky things with her mind. While I liked Ethan's character, I was more drawn to Olivia. Her world was turned topsy turvy when she meets Asgard and Ethan, and she handled it with grace and determination. I couldn't help but like her.

The villains in this story may have been the worst yet - they are connected to evil deeds in prior stories, but they were sooo much worse. There were several times that the bad guy antics made me squeamish. (I will have close my eyes if they ever do make this a movie.) So these bad guys all needed to die, and in a very bad way. They were despicable humans and immortals alike. I know I'm being redundant, but I am trying not to give spoilers and I really really didn't like these guys - who you will know as Jonah, the General, and Scoleri. Scoleri was particularly bad, I would not have minded seeing him get some "an eye for an eye" type punishment. Blech.

Okay so you know (if you are are smart enough to be reading these books) that the overall theme is a good vs. evil type scenario, with a little bit of religious conspiracy and mysticism thrown in. Same goes for this story - good guys fighting the bad guys to save the world. As in the previous books, our special immortals are brought together at some point for the meet and greet, and we get some time with the children, Lily and Tomas. I love these little buggers. I am looking forward to seeing them continue to grow in the series - they are sweet and special and powerful. I anticipate even bigger evil and greater powers as the series progresses. Write fast Ms. Starrling! (Do you really need that day job as a doctor? I told ya these books are intelligently written - our author is a baby doctor!)

Favorite quote from the book: "You should have told me Mr. Godard was intending to kill Mr. Titus. I would have prepared less food."

I was honored enough to receive an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Ms. Starrling!

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