Are you an Ash? *Increased stamina *Lack of appetite *Anger outbursts *Insatiable thirst *Beauty & Strength *Male Call the hotline if these symptoms come on suddenly! Turns out Charlie Bennet was all of those things except the last. Don’t let the name fool you, Charlie was all woman and she wanted nothing to do with the ash … until the day she found out she was one. It all started when infected bats bit a small group of humans and created what are now called vampires. Then, the male vampires knocked up some female humans and the result was a gorgeous race of all male ash. Superhuman freaks that had looks to kill. Charlie is the first female ash, aka unicorn of the Hive – the gated compound in Portland that the humans have designated to isolate vampires and ash from society. Problem? The Hive is full and only a select few will be allowed to live there. To live at all, really. If Charlie wants to earn the right to become a citizen of the Hive, she will have to survive the culling – a series of fights to the death. And guess what? Just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean she’ll get special treatment. Good thing there’s Ryder, the mysterious lead ash enforcer, who seems to always have her back. But when secrets bubble to the surface, it will take more than one guy to save her.
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The concept of the Ash is a refreshing new twist to the Vampire genre and I’m excited to see where the series will go. There are a few familiar Urban Fantasy concepts we’ve all seen before, but for a fun fantasy like The Hive, it didn’t really bother me. I laughed, I drooled over the elusive Ryder, I wanted to shake Charlie one minute and high-five her the next, and I kept turning the pages, truly enjoying every minute. (And I picked up Anarchy, book two within minutes of finishing Ash.)
I do wish there was more depth to the plot and character development. There were some inconsistencies in the world building and a few cliché characters that could have been more fully developed. With a little more attention to detail and perhaps a little more time and length devoted to developing the story, Ash could have been even more enjoyable.
However, despite those few minor faults, I haven’t enjoyed a Vampire themed YA this much in a long … long time and I look forward to the rest of the series. I highly recommend The Hive Trilogy for older teens (17+) and those of us who love YA, but are a little more “A” and not so much “Y” due to more mature themes and language.