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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Garden of Ashes by Kate Cowan
Series: The Legend of Eden #2
Published by Anchor Group Publishing on September 1, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Young Adult
After four years as a prisoner in her parents' attic, hidden away from the Catchers, Eden never dreamt the very people she was hiding from would be the beginning of such impossible things. She's found freedom on the island like she never imagined.
Eden is a sorcerer, with the power of the world in her fingertips. She is determined to never be helpless like she once was, and spends every minute of her spare time training to fight back. As she discovers more of her own power, she and her friends continue to uncover the secrets of the Council. Deadly secrets, hinting at something far larger than the island and the Catchers. Before they can find out exactly what the Council is hiding, Eden's magic begins to spiral out of control, and she loses it for just a second. Just half of a second, and it's enough to change everything.
Suddenly, lives are put at stake, and Eden and her friends must do something no one else has ever dared. They have to escape the island, or they have to die trying.
My Initial Reaction…
Garden of Ashes is, much like Garden of Eden very mystifying and a bit confusing. The included novella about Adrienne was excellent and gave me a lot of missing links to this world.
Note:There are some series spoilers in this review.
I really really like Adrienne and, especially after reading the novella, I find myself wishing she were a larger part of Garden of Ashes. She was taken from her parents at a young age, so this life is all she’s known, unlike Eden. It’s made her tough, perceptive, and highly suspicious of everyone/everything. We really got to know her in the novella, and I wish some of the character I saw there came through more in Garden of Ashes.
Because the supporting characters aren’t very developed in Garden of Ashes – like in Garden of Eden, this is really all about Eden. And that’s okay, to an extent. It’s just Eden is so damn confusing! It’s not her fault, she doesn’t know what’s up with her either. But she’s learning she has magical abilities – something she’d already started learning in Garden of Eden– and that’s really the source of a good deal of the mystery and action in Garden of Ashes. So our main character is mainly a mystery – even to herself. What we do know about her can be maddening – mainly in a good way. Eden is impulsive as all get out – she just definitely lives by the motto “Do first, then think.” So that lands her in so many predicaments. You just want to shake her and make her think for a second!
I was really really pleased with how much more we saw of the boys – Tom & Will – in Garden of Ashes. In the first book they both felt like this giant mystery – and while they still are shrouded in some mystery, we find out why and start to understand them both better. It’s sort of a love triangle, except that I don’t really feel anything beyond friendly love between Eden and Will and I’m not even sure I’m supposed to. There’s DEFINITE chemistry between Tom and Eden, though his playboy reputation sort of gets in the way of that. Particularly considering how things ended, though, I’m really at a loss for guesses on how these relationships will develop.
Garden of Ashes is full of magic and mystery. On one hand, I love the magic and just wish I understood it better. But I don’t because there’s just so much mystery. I like to be uncertain about where things are going, but sometimes I got lost. Maybe there’s just too many layers of mystery? You’ve got what’s going on with the island itself, who the hell are these people who are gathering the kids, what happens to the kids when they turn 18, why are they doing this anyway, and then there’s all the mystery around Eden too boot!
So I walked into Garden of Ashes remembering that at the end of the first book I had so many questions and I just HAD to get the answers. Well, I did get a few, but I really wanted more. And I just don’t have any guesses, because I’m still kinda lost. If it were just Garden of Ashes, I probably would have given this 3 stars (which still means I liked it!!!), because I wanted more answers than that.
Thankfully, there’s an INCREDIBLE novella included that goes back in time to when Adrienne was just a girl taken by whoever-the-hell is running this show. This filled in SO MANY ANSWERS. I left the novella in love with this world, in love with Adrienne, and even more jazzed to know what’s coming. I wish the book could have done more of that, but together they still come in at less than 200 pages, so it’s not a big deal to read the novella (that’s included with the book).
I give Garden of Ashes 3 stars and the novella included 5 stars, so averaged together it’s a 4 star read. I’m really excited about this world and just hope that the rest of my questions are answered in the third (and, I think, final) book!