If I had to describe From Ashes in just three words, I would use sexy, sexy, and sexy. I absolutely love Elise Faber’s writing; I devoured Phoenix Rising and Dark Phoenix, and couldn’t wait for From Ashes, the first book in a spinoff series that focuses on background characters from the Phoenix books.
This particular story follows Gabby and Mason, both LexTals (possessors of supernatural powers) who live at the same compound. Gabby has been carrying around a guilty secret for years, and Mason has been carrying around heartache and anguish for centuries. The two of them are like forces of nature on a path bound for collision, and once they do collide, fireworks ensue. Or, more accurately, explode. Fireworks explode.
Mason and Gabby are well-written, multi-dimensional characters. My heart broke for both of them, as they each suffered more than their fair share of loss. Mason is closed-off but he can’t help the pull he feels toward Gabby, and he fights it with everything he has. Gabby is the same; she really just wants to fly under the radar but every time she is around Mason, something seems to happen to bring them together. For example, in the opening scene, Gabby has a precarious Post-It note situation that is pretty mortifying, although Mason just seems bemused.
The sexual tension between Mason and Gabby is palpable and, well, Mason is just hot. He’s brooding and stubborn and smart and prideful which never works in the real world but is somehow always attractive in a fictional setting. Gabby is as equally smart and stunning; she vacillates between stubborn and insecure, as is the case for so many women. I love that Gabby takes things into her own hands at several points throughout the story and calls Mason on his pigheaded behavior.
Elise creates beautiful, magical worlds and fills them with color and wonder. I still have visions of the force field around the complex that Daughtry created to protect the compound, or the gardens that Gabby walked in while practicing her powers. But, my favorite part of Elise’s books – and this was definitely the case with From Ashes – is the witty, snarky writing. Her characters bicker and flirt like no others, creating real, funny, thoughtful relationships.
From Ashes: 5/5 Stars: Beautiful imagery, wonderful characters who evoke true emotion, and snappy dialogue. Oh, and plenty of sexiness.