ARC Review: From the Ashes by Xen Sanders

from_the_ashes-500-200x300Title: From the Ashes (Fires of Redemption, #1)

Author: Xen Sanders

Publisher: Select Otherworld, Entangled Publishing

Expected Publishing Date: January 2, 2017

Genre: Paranormal, MM Romance

Format: eBook

Rating: 3.5 Stars



Sociopath. Killer. Deviant.

Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called this and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire. Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford–antisocial graduate researcher, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.

But one kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges everything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. When his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of humans and aberrants alike in Tobias’s hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile higher, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean–or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?

Previously released under the Ever After imprint. New material and now novel length!


♦ Personal Thought ♦

Well. Who would’ve thought from that cover, eh. I did read the blurb prior to reading; but – having never read Xen Sanders‘s works before – have absolutely no clue what to expect from the book. It’s certainly not a black and white story, our MC being a villain of sort. This action-packed, steamy, anti-hero paranormal tale is a nice introduction to a new-to-me author.

From the Ashes is the first book of Fires of Redemption series, an AU where aberrant or people with supernatural powers lived among human. Tobias, or Spark, was such a person. He had helped his father destroyed part of the world and now donned his human persona, living and studying at UC Berkeley in San Fransisco. When in fact, he probed on a scientist’s genetic experiments that could harm aberrants in general.

While most of the scientific phrases here went over my head – I’m not of science major, obviously – the writing style agree with me that I found myself devoured this story in one sitting. I even sympathized and rooted for the MC even though he cold-bloodedly killed people here.

Tobias was an angry, confused and lonely kid behind the Spark mask. He did what he did because he thought he didn’t have any choice. His inner battle and confrontational arguments with Sean were heartbreaking and hinted at one starved for humanity.

The plot might be somewhat predictable and one could expect the reveal that would turn the MC’s world around. Sean and Tobias’s face off their differences was of course the highlight here. Their turbulence romance might feel a tad illicit – considering they were student and teacher – and rather swift; one I overlooked given they’d been dancing around on those attractions for a while off page.

The ending ended too abrupt and I’m not sure whether the next entry of the series would the continuation adventures of the characters in this book, or we’ll see a new hero altogether. Whichever the case, I for one would follow this promising new series.

Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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