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)
1148   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, Staff Reviewer Reviewed by Christina Franke, Staff Reviewer December 26, 2012
Last updated: January 02, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (677)

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

  • Giveaway: The Ark by Laura Liddell (International)

    The Ark By Laura Liddell Nolen    Release Date: March 26, 2015   About the Book It’s the final days of earth, and sixteen-year-old Char is right where she belongs: in prison. With her criminal record, she doesn’t qualify for a place on an Ark, one of the five ...

  • Giveaway: 5 To 1 by Holly Bodger (US & Canada Only)

    5 to1 By Holly Bodger Release Date: 5/12/15   About the Book Sudasa doesn't want to be a wife and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa's family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and p ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Tor Maddox: Unleashed by Liz Coley + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers, and welcome to today's cover reveal! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for TOR MADDOX: UNLEASHED by Liz Coley, releasing May 1, 2015 from LCTeen. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Liz:   Hi YABC! I’m thrilled to int ...

  • What's New in YA

      Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!   The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, ...

  • YABC Superstar of the Month: Ellie Gehman!

    YABC is a big site with a lot of moving pieces. We wouldn't exist without the tireless efforts of our incredible staff of volunteers. Our volunteers read and review books, post giveaways and cover reveals, format book graphics for our social media sites, and much more. YABC is a fabulous communit ...

  • MTV Movie Awards Recap

    Last night was a big night for YA book-to-movie adaptations at the MTV Movie Awards! Check out how many categories we won: MOVIE OF THE YEAR:    BEST KISS:   BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: Dylan O'Brien The Maze Runner BEST FEMALE PERFORMAN ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen + Giveaway (US Only)

      Hello, YABC! We've got a special reveal for you today! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE by M.G. Buehrlen, releasing April 14, 2015 from Diversion Books. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from M.G.:   ...

  • It's live!! Cover Reveal: Starflight by Melissa Landers + Giveaway (International)

    Hi, YABCers, and welcome to the second cover reveal of the week! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for STARFLIGHT by Melissa Landers, releasing February 2, 2016 from Disney Hyperion. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Melissa:   Hey, YAB ...

  • Trailer Reveal: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby + Giveaway (US Only)

    Hello, YABCers! We're bringing you a different kind of reveal today! Today we're super excited to celebrate the trailer reveal for THINGS WE KNOW BY HEART by Jessi Kirby, releasing April 21, 2015 from HarperTeen. Before we get to the trailer, here's a note from Jessi:   ...

  • Author Top 5 with Fonda Lee

    Today we welcome Fonda Lee to YABC! Fonda’s newly released book ZEROBOXER (Flux/Llewellyn) is high-action science fiction novel that releases this week. Since all authors want their books to find the right readers, Fonda has compiled this handy quiz to help you determine if you are the sort ...

  • Diversify Your Shelves With WNDB!

    Columnist: Maurene Goo   It’s very exciting to write the debut post for this new series of diversity recs for YABC! As a member of We Need Diverse Books and as a YA author who started this entire journey because I wanted to see books that reflected something close to my teen years in ...

  • Giveaway: Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (US& CAN Only)

    Shadow Scale By Rachel Hartman Release Date: March 10, 2015   About the Book In her Morris Award-winning and New York Times bestselling debut, Rachel Hartman took our breath away with an utterly original alternative-medieval world full of dragons, Seraphina. This novel ...

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

The-Girl-Who-Ignored-Ghosts.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Nerdy Dozen 2.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
In this exciting sequel to The Nerdy Dozen, Neil Andertol and his gang of dorky gamers are once again called...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
les miserables.jpg
Category: Kids Fiction
Travel back to nineteenth-century France with ex-convict Jean Valjean as he tries to put his criminal past behind him and...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Wishing doesn't make it so, Azra does. Azra has just turned sixteen, and overnight her body lengthens, her olive skin...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
After being on the run, Ariane Tucker finds herself back where she started-under Dr. Jacobs's cruel control. Now she must...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other—perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons...
 
0.0
 
3.3 (1)
Acclaimed author Anne Blankman returns to the shadowy and dangerous world of 1930s Germany in this thrilling sequel to Prisoner...
 
0.0
 
4.3 (1)
Can one girl take on so many identities without losing her own? Find out in this riveting companion to The...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Three different teenage girls learn how to navigate their hearts and NYC. City Love is the start of a romantic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of How to Love comes another stunning contemporary novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen. Molly...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Cassie and Caitlyn Waters may be identical twins, but everything else about them is completely different. The only thing they...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
woven book.jpg
Two unlikely allies must journey across a kingdom in the hopes of thwarting death itself. All his life, Nels has...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real? Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Allie Carmichael has always believed life is simple. You’re born. You live. You die. She has no cause to...
 
0.0
 
4.5 (2)
I am different. I have always been different, but no one can know or my life will be in danger....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Is there anything that electric chemistry can’t overcome? The past may be gone, but love has a way of holding...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Winner, Governor General's Literary Award Finalist, Lambda Literary Award and Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction "Raziel Reid is a really...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fans of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone will love this second book in the Maeve'ra trilogy by Amelia...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)