Books Young Adult Fiction Ashes of Twilight (Ashes Trilogy #1)

Ashes of Twilight (Ashes Trilogy #1) Featured

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/c5/98/c9/_10634286-1350057974.jpg
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
948   0
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
November 13, 2012
ISBN
0312641788
Buy This Book
      
Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth. Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time. But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent and the coal is running out. Plus there are those who wonder, is there life outside the dome or is the world still consumed by fire? When one of Wren's friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. “The sky is blue.” What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.

Editor reviews

What I Loved:
The best part of Ashes of Twilight is the writing. Tayler's style suited me well, with pretty sentences and just enough slang that I guessed the book was set in England. By the end of the book, I marked down several quotes I enjoyed. Tayler has a mature writing style, with no abuse of sentence fragments.

Wren MacAvoy wants more out of life. Born a shiner, she climbs out of the mines every day into the more dangerous reaches of her domed world to speculate on what's above. The rulers say that flames fill the world outside, making the dome a necessity, but she does not think she sees flames out there. Wren is a seeker, curious and unwilling to settle for anything, most especially a life she's been told to live and a boy she's been told to marry.

The characters that stole the show were the animals. I just love adorable animals with tons of personality in my fiction, and Tayler included bunches. Even better, none of them die, which there has been altogether to much of in my recent reads. Tayler kills people instead. Cat, a cleverly named cat, is my personal favorite. Pip, a canary, also warms my heart. So do the ponies with whom Wren works in the mines, who would not have survived without her aid. I love Wren and Pace for taking such good care of them, and I love Tayler for not putting animals in just to kill them off tragically.

What Left Me Wanting More:
While I did enjoy Ashes of Twilight, I really wish there had been more to it, something unique. None of the elements herein were unfamiliar to me: the dome, the class hierarchy punishing to those on the bottom-most rungs, the terrible air quality, the mining, the instalove, the abusive guy who wants to marry Wren, the twist regarding Wren's father, or the plot arc. All of this I have read in other dystopian novels, not all together like this, but I would still hope to see something solely of Tayler's creation. I have read a lot of dystopian novels, however, so this might not be an issue for readers without so much knowledge of the genre.

One element which should have been better handled is the inclusion of the biblical references. For whatever reason, the shiners only have one book, The Bible. As such, Wren references scripture a lot, as she does in the first sentence. I never really could see a point made with this. The references come thick and fast at the beginning of the novel, but drop off significantly towards the end, without seeming to impact the plot. These should either have served a plot purpose or be taken out entirely. They were not preachy particularly, just out of place.

Perhaps the worst element is the relationship between Wren and James. He sexually assaults her in an attempt to force him into marriage, and, though she does get mad about that and doesn't fall in love with him, she's too forgiving. Later in the book, she emphasizes multiple times what a great guy he is and that she thinks he'll make some other girl very happy. This reaction makes me VERY uncomfortable.

The Final Verdict:
Ashes of Twilight does have rather a slow pace, but, if you do not mind that, you might enjoy this book. Tayler's debut might work better for those without too much familiarity with the dystopian genre. I probably will try the next book in the series, with hopes of seeing Tayler really break the mold.
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Christina Franke, Editor Reviewed by Christina Franke, Editor December 26, 2012
Last updated: January 02, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (637)

Better for Readers Less Familiar with Dystopian Tropes

What I Loved:
The best part of Ashes of Twilight is the writing. Tayler's style suited me well, with pretty sentences and just enough slang that I guessed the book was set in England. By the end of the book, I marked down several quotes I enjoyed. Tayler has a mature writing style, with no abuse of sentence fragments.

Wren MacAvoy wants more out of life. Born a shiner, she climbs out of the mines every day into the more dangerous reaches of her domed world to speculate on what's above. The rulers say that flames fill the world outside, making the dome a necessity, but she does not think she sees flames out there. Wren is a seeker, curious and unwilling to settle for anything, most especially a life she's been told to live and a boy she's been told to marry.

The characters that stole the show were the animals. I just love adorable animals with tons of personality in my fiction, and Tayler included bunches. Even better, none of them die, which there has been altogether to much of in my recent reads. Tayler kills people instead. Cat, a cleverly named cat, is my personal favorite. Pip, a canary, also warms my heart. So do the ponies with whom Wren works in the mines, who would not have survived without her aid. I love Wren and Pace for taking such good care of them, and I love Tayler for not putting animals in just to kill them off tragically.

What Left Me Wanting More:
While I did enjoy Ashes of Twilight, I really wish there had been more to it, something unique. None of the elements herein were unfamiliar to me: the dome, the class hierarchy punishing to those on the bottom-most rungs, the terrible air quality, the mining, the instalove, the abusive guy who wants to marry Wren, the twist regarding Wren's father, or the plot arc. All of this I have read in other dystopian novels, not all together like this, but I would still hope to see something solely of Tayler's creation. I have read a lot of dystopian novels, however, so this might not be an issue for readers without so much knowledge of the genre.

One element which should have been better handled is the inclusion of the biblical references. For whatever reason, the shiners only have one book, The Bible. As such, Wren references scripture a lot, as she does in the first sentence. I never really could see a point made with this. The references come thick and fast at the beginning of the novel, but drop off significantly towards the end, without seeming to impact the plot. These should either have served a plot purpose or be taken out entirely. They were not preachy particularly, just out of place.

Perhaps the worst element is the relationship between Wren and James. He sexually assaults her in an attempt to force him into marriage, and, though she does get mad about that and doesn't fall in love with him, she's too forgiving. Later in the book, she emphasizes multiple times what a great guy he is and that she thinks he'll make some other girl very happy. This reaction makes me VERY uncomfortable.

The Final Verdict:
Ashes of Twilight does have rather a slow pace, but, if you do not mind that, you might enjoy this book. Tayler's debut might work better for those without too much familiarity with the dystopian genre. I probably will try the next book in the series, with hopes of seeing Tayler really break the mold.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

Already have an account? or Create an account
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Category: Kids Fiction
Mama Rabbit is too sick to leave her bed. Poor Mama! When Papa Rabbit leaves home to get her some...
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After and Again
Category: Young Adult Indie
Centuries after a cataclysmic event drastically changed the world, fifteen-year-old Zack McQueen stumbles upon a cave filled with relics from...
 
0.0
 
4.8 (1)
Category: Kids Fiction
This third book in the Alien in My Pocket series is the zaniest yet! Zack and Amp create a massive...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Wren Connolly thought she'd left her human side behind when she dies five years ago and came back 178 minutes...
 
5.0
 
4.7 (1)
Category: Kids Fiction
With her birthday coming up, Jessica hopes that, just maybe, her present will be a real-live potbellied pig. Jessica can...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Nonfiction
An enchanting treasury of fairy lore! Around the corner, behind the bushes, and just out of sight...fairies have spent hundreds...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
blue lily lily blue.jpg
There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up. Blue Sargent has found things. For...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
When Churchill the pig loses his precious tail, his friends help him hunt for a new one. But trying new...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Three wishes go awry in a middle-grade debut as comical as it is spooky. Toxic Vapor Worms. Shark Hounds. King-Crab...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish are best of friends and swim up, down, around, and through their ocean home. Crabby is...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
From talented illustrator Laura Bryant and gifted newcomer Aimee Reid comes a charming, heartwarming story about a little elephant's love...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Nonfiction
This kid-friendly book offers a first thoughtful glimpse into the world of birds: from eggs to nests, from song to...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Hooey Higgins and friends are back for another hilarious madcap adventure — this time, their dubious inventive skills are put...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Gene. Sys. Book Cover
Category: Young Adult Indie
The world is supposed to end in about a year. For Atom, that means his quest is about to begin....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
This novel-in-verse—at once literary and emotionally gripping—follows the unfolding friendship between two very different teenage girls who share a hospital...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Day Human King Cover
Category: Young Adult Indie
After he inherited the power of the late sidhe king, Devin thought the battle to protect Nessa and proceed with...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Core.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Are you brave enough to turn the page? Fight with Ava as she battles the blood-sucking shadows of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
How far would you go to save the one you love? Find Max. That's all Layla cares...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)