Friday, April 12, 2013

Review: Crown of Ash by Steven Montano

*Cover and Synopsis from Goodreads

Eric Cross and his team have been to hell and back, but their journey isn’t over yet.

Marooned in the remote criminal city of Blacksand, the only way for the mercenaries to get home is to help a local crime boss protect his territories from the Ebon Cities.

To complicate matters, Danica Black is also being hunted by The Revengers, a powerful band of corrupt prison wardens, while Cross himself is trapped in the Whisperlands, a realm of darkness controlled by a cadre of evil mages known as the Shadow Lords.

The team will battle their way through corroding wastelands and deadly vampire outposts, but even their considerable skills might not be enough to save them from the cruel machinations of the Shadow Lord’s mysterious master, a malevolent creature who has manipulated their destinies right from the beginning…

Return to the world of The Black in Book 4 of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

Helpful Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Website

My Review

When I first finished Crown of Ash I was a complete blubbering mess. As I laid my kindle down and tried to form a coherent thought, I was at a loss. Seriously, I just sat there, but then one thought formed.....what? and then it became WHAT? Are you serious? My thoughts sort of continued like this for about ten minutes before I could really sit back and process my real thoughts about the book. And what it really boils down to is that this book blew my mind. Simply put, it was the best so far and was just made of sheer awesomeness!

In Crown of Ash we really get two stories, the story of Cross and his "adventure" in the Whisperlands, and the story of the rest of his team--Kane, Danica, Ronan and Maur as they try and find a way to save Cross. But in true Steven Montano fashion the team gets more than they bargained for as the action and crap hits the fan before you are even 10% into the book! And it doesn't let up. I am used to Cross and his team getting into some pretty heavy crap, I mean come on, I have read the first three books in the series, but Crown of Ash was different for me. I started reading it knowing that I would have to put it down to complete homework and other school responsibilities, but every time I put it down I couldn't get it out of my head. I just had to know how Cross and his team were going to get out of this deep bowl of crap!

I was hooked, and before I knew it, I finished the book and I was left looking like a puckering fish, as I opened and closed my mouth in complete disbelief at everything that just happened. It was great, there is no way that I saw that coming. Steven Montano did such a great job layering this story, that as a reader you think you know what is going to happen, but then he turns your whole world on its head and completely surprises you. And those surprises left me shocked, and reeling, mad and a little crushed. (Oh just wait until you read it, you will see). But I loved it, every. Painful. Shocking. Heartbreaking. Soul crushing. Moment.

In Crown of Ash of course we get our fabulous characters back. Like Cross, Kane, Danica, Ronan and Maur, but we even get some new faces, some you will like, and some you will want to punch in the face, but either way you will love the characters. I loved Cross's team before I read Crown of Ash, but since reading this book, I love them more and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we get to see them function without Cross again. We really get a better look at the team, especially Kane and Danica, my two favorite characters besides Cross. This team has grown so much in the series. They have gone from a group of people that survived the worst together--who also hated each other, to a true team, that can depend on each other no matter the circumstances and no matter the cost. You always know that they will have your back.

And of course you can't have a Steven Montano book without his amazing ability to build worlds and creatures, that will leave you thankful for the world you live in and make you want to snuggle with a blanket or arm yourself with the biggest gun you can find.

Crown of Ash is an incredible dark fantasy novel that is action packed from start to finish. The story will leave you numb as you find that you can think of nothing else, it will make you yell, cheer, and probably even make you cry. But you can guarantee that you will thank Steven Montano for writing this book, well after you forgive him for something he does in the book!

"It's just our shit luck we'd hit the one random rock in the whole friggin' dessert, Kane thought bitterly. It's like a collective skill." (Kindle, loc. 880). 

I love Kane, and one of those reasons is because he is freaking hilarious. I love his reactions to the crap that the team get's into because really he feels the same way I do about it.  

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