Glittering Ashes: Dark Artist Series Book 1
It sure has been a long time since I reviewed a book here at The Imaginarium. I'm getting back into the swing of that with Kelley Smith's YA novel, Glittering Ashes.
Roe is on the outs with her mom and has come to live her aunt in the small town of Gaudium Falls. Here she finds a new friend, Jordyn, who is eager to show Roe the Abyss, a mysterious place with a fairy-tale like magic. Roe, of course thinks Jordyn is off her rocker, but cautiously goes along. Once inside, the Abyss proves more than Roe ever could have imagined, a beautiful and dangerous place where dark meets light. Here Roe realizes she is to be a competitor in the Games, a gauntlet that will test her, the prize being her life and possibly the heart of Dominic, a compelling young man whose family controls the Abyss.
Kelley has created a dynamic and compelling tale that sweeps the reader into a dark, strange fantasy realm. Roe is a quirky, provocative heroine, tough, intelligent, yet vulnerable and insecure at times. In a world that has gone nuts over Bella Swan, Roe is a shining example of what a strong, smart girl should be.
The pacing is terrific, leaving readers on the edge as they turn each page. Smith has a deft hand in creating exquisite tension, capturing the essence of teenage drama. The interactions between Roe and the other characters made me feel as though I were eavesdropping in the halls of a high school.
The world of Glittering Ashes and the Abyss is dreamy, dark and dangerous. Kelley's descriptions are a rich tapestry of nightmare and fantasy that is utterly captivating. As a debut, this is a terrific story with only some minor flaws that I point out for the sake of honest disclosure here. There are a few editing issues, but nothing that really detracts too much from the story overall. I suspect they might have occurred during upload.
I am not a reader of YA normally, but I was drawn into Roe's world and look forward to the next Dark Artist novel. Kelley, you must write faster. :)
I did an interview with Kelley not long ago, she is a terrific writer. You can read it here. For more information on her and on Glittering Ashes, you can go to her blog, Writtled or visit her Amazon page.