Cover Image: A Fate of Smoke and Ash

A Fate of Smoke and Ash

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Member Reviews

The book is not bad, but the beginning felt kinda cringe, like high-school kind of writing cringe.

The story follows a highschooler that finds out about her magic heritage, which could be a amazing journey, instead the story take a turn and she finds herself betrayed and in a place that's just not good. Keeping this spoiler free is really hard, but the romance doesn't feel natural and it feels like an icky kind of lust.

It could be a nice book, but for now it's kinda all over the place and the pacing is weird.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review

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I tried. I made it to 35% after dropping and picking up multiple times throughout the last few months. There just wasn't any progress of some of the events that happened nor point to some of the conversations between characters. Just felt like I kept reading, and reading, and reading but got no where closer to the end.

After reading some other reviews, I may end up picking this book up again where I left off. I'm just hoping the story picks up shortly after.

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Yeah, it's gonna to be a no from me, dawg. The cover drew me in and so did the synopsis. I saw that it wasn't listed as adult, but new adult, So I figured the characters would still act in the adult fantasy range. However, they were just written to sound so young. I felt like the beginning was a little too all over the place and didn't make a whole lot of sense. I found myself cringing at even how young the teachers sounded. So I am going to put this down and move on. I made it about 30% in.

I think maybe this book wasn't for me but would appeal to someone a little younger.

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3⭐️
The storyline was unique! It’s about a girl who is on a journey to uncover who she is only to find out there are SO many more mysteries than she imagined! Having never believed in magic before, she eventually discovers that she is the key to fulfilling an ancient prophecy.

There is a lot of world building so I felt like it dragged quite a bit in the beginning.

✔️YA
✔️Witches
✔️Dark fantasy
✔️Disability representation
✔️Strong FMC
✔️Influenced by Greek mythology
✔️Ends on a cliffhanger

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A Fate of Smoke and Ash by Shania Scichilone took me on a journey through realms of magic and destiny that left me with mixed feelings.

At first, I struggled to stay engaged with the slow pace of the beginning, but as the intricate mythology unfolded, I found myself drawn deeper into the story. Scichilone's skillful weaving of magic and prophecy added layers of depth to the narrative, although I felt that some parts could have been trimmed to keep the pacing tighter.

It wasn't until halfway through the book, when the mysterious male main character and the underworld were introduced, that my interest truly sparked. The dynamic between the characters and the exploration of the underworld brought a new level of intrigue to the story.

Ultimately, while A Fate of Smoke and Ash wasn't entirely to my taste and I don't foresee myself continuing with the series, I would recommend it to readers who enjoy immersive world-building and intricate plots.

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I'll be honest and say this book wasn't for me. I initially got caught by the cover and when I read the description it sounded like something I would like. I was wrong. The writing of this book is sub-par at best and the characters felt bland and I couldn't really connect with them. I feel as though this book has a lot of potential and just fell a little short for me.

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I’m for sure one of those readers that a cover can make or break if I read the book or not. The synopsis of this book felt kind of convoluted for my taste but the cover was the deciding factor for me to read it. Dark, Mystique from the X Men inspired and mythology inspired.
We meet Shivalri, a regular senior in high school whose life gets turned upside down. Her life takes a blow when her mother dies in a car accident but even she couldn’t guess that the same day the sky would split open. The veil between the earth and the gods realm has been torn open.
Going into this book I really did not know what to expect. Reading it felt like a Persephone and Hades sort of retelling.
Mix in witches, demons, gods, and heaven and hell. And you got this book. It doubly was a pleasant surprise of a book. I found myself getting sucked into the story with its unique world building and history. It did have some points where it kind of dragged but overall this book left me feeling like I had to read the sequel now.
Would I recommend it? Sure I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.
I would give it 3.5 stars.

Thanks to the folks at NetGalley and the publishing house for this book for a copy of this book. My review is a honest reflection of my feelings towards this book.

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A Fate of Smoke and Ash is a YA fantasy about a normal, teenage girl named Shivalri who's life is turned upside down after her family is in a horrible car accident. Shivalri decides to turn to her eccentric grandmother during this tough time. Upon arriving at her grandmother's house, her grandmother reads her tea leaves and Shivalri receives a prophecy that will change her life even more than it already has been.

There were a lot of interesting elements to this story but unfortunately, I had to DNF this one. I only got 25% in before deciding to put it down. The characters in this book read a lot younger than they are. Our main character is supposed to be 18 but she read more like a 14 year old to me. The writing style also was not working for me and was a bit confusing and slow. Again, there were a lot of interesting concepts in the story but it just didn't work for me personally.

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This book extensively delves into world-building, primarily conveyed through dialogues. The initial half unfolds at a leisurely pace as we delve into Shivalri's lineage. While the mythology is intricately woven and beautifully executed, I sensed that some parts could have been condensed without losing vital information. Initially, I almost abandoned the book but persevered based on reviews mentioning an upswing in the narrative around the 60% mark. This is where the story truly captivated me, introducing elements of enemies-to-lovers and the underworld trope. The latter half was particularly engaging, concluding with loose ends that hint at a potential sequel. I would recommend this book, especially to those who appreciate slow-burn narratives and immersive world-building.

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This story had promise. The pacing was off and I struggled to get through it. The plot sounded right up my alley and I was a bit sad to see it fall so flat. Pure was so so hard to like and I don’t ship him with Shivalri at all. Hopefully the next book isn’t quite as hard to get through!

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Really enjoyed this book. Can’t wait to read more from the author. Loved the characters and the story.

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This seemed to read more like a diary and I didn't care for it. I don't think it explains the fantasy part well enough especially mixed in with the more modern terms it just did not hit the mark.

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New YA fantasy novel was very good. The first half was slow but it picks up and is very good. The writing was beautiful.

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First off, I want to say that this isn't a bad book, the writing style just isn't for me! Usually I like to try and give every book I read a chance but with this one I only managed to get through about 11% before I DNF'd it.

In terms of story and premise, it's there! The magic is really cool and the story seems like it's heading in an interesting direction. Where this book lost me though, was in the execution. The story does a lot more telling than it does showing and it makes the actions of the characters feel unrealistic. Add in the excessive descriptions and the reader is left wondering if they can trust anything the narrator is saying.

Combining all of these together put my rating at 1. I might try to give this another go in the future because from what other reviews have posted, the ending picks and and leaves you wanting more; but for now, I'll leave it DNF'd.

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I think this is a great start of a series!
I enjoyed the setting and the world building, the nod to hades-persephone myth in a way, all the banters, everything! It felt a little slow in the first half because most of the myth and world building was explained from Gram's POV, but all in all it was great! Looking forward the next book because THAT ENDING!!!

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This was one my my most anticipated reads, especially when I read the blurb.
The magic, godly elements, fates, and prophecies - I loved it all!

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This new YA fantasy debut Novel book was remarkably good! Although the first half was quite slow, I found myself genuinely enjoying it. The characters' entire world is completely transformed in an unexpected way. The author brilliantly depicts the experience of grief, and I felt a strong connection to Shivalri as I witnessed her journey through it. The writing is truly exquisite. I'm anticipating that some loose ends will be addressed in the next book.
I'm excited to unravel the gaps in the involvement of the servants in the betrayal. Pyre, the love interest, is beginning to grow on me, but he still has a lot of personal matters to sort out. Without hesitation, I would enthusiastically recommend this book. I immensely enjoyed it, and beautifully written.

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"A Fate of Smoke and Ash” by Shania Scichilone delivers a captivating narrative with likable characters. While the plot is intriguing, pacing at times feels uneven. The author creates a vivid world. The main character becomes more developed in the second half of the book, however, she is more damsel in distress than femme fatale. I expect that Shivalry will learn to hold her own in the sequel. A solid 3-star read that blends elements of suspense and fantasy.

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The Grimsbane family matriarch Sabine Grimsbane-Cormier suffered the losses of both her twin daughters, we do not know why this family is known by the grandmother's maiden name, or why she and her grandchildren are all so nonchalant about death. But one day a catastrophic earthquake occurs in every country in the world, resulting in a splitting of the atmosphere, red skies, and yet "little to no destruction below." However, Shivalri Grimsbane-Gray's mom did die, while driving her son Raidan to school. Shivalri and Raidan's dad, suddenly an alcoholic, has used up all his bereavement pay and the family's savings to buy alcohol; he drinks beer, so their family savings must have been quite meager. This makes sense actually, because Shivalri says he only earns twice what she does, and she makes minimum wage at the public library. Despite her father's incapacitation and lack of funds, Shivalri is certain he will take good care of the family dog, while she drives her brother (who was just a passenger in his mom's fatal car crash) from Boston to their grandmother's mansion in North Carolina, where phones don't work, except when they do. We do not know why the grandmother gave a car to the grandson who doesn't drive instead of to the granddaughter who does. Shivalri is 18, her red hair is dyed blonde, she has a big personality, suffers rheumatoid arthritis and night terrors, and she loves books. Shivalri only has one friend at her new school, but her best friend is her 19-yr old cousin Satyra who also has night terrors and lives with their grandmother and works full-time as a manager at the docks, where she can't take time off to attend her aunt's funeral.

At their grandmother's mansion, all three Grimsbane cousins discover they have mysterious magical gifts. Satyra is a seer, even though she doesn't evidence any talent in that arena; Raidan is a healer like his mother was, which explains his magical recovery from the accident that killed her, but not why she didn't address her other child's juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for 14 years. Much like cartoon characters who get smashed by anvils and thrown off cliffs, only to rise and be violated again and again, Shivalri is poisoned, thrown down pits, skin ripped off, body slammed, face lacerated by claws, punched in the nose, and then she falls in love or lust with her abuser, which is maybe not the greatest plot device for YA. Gods don't feel pain, but Shivalri does, endlessly, and despite being a Triple Goddess. After being holed up in a wretched pit for five days, body broken and bloody, when Shivalri is finally presented with soap and water and clean clothing, we do not know why she tries on the fresh clothes first, before bathing herself.

This work of YA Dark Fantasy is a young author's debut novel, a "series starter," that ends in what I consider an artless cliffhanger. I think in good works of fantasy fiction, the actions that characters take make sense because of clearly established plot lines, character traits, and relatable or understandable modus operandi. I found A Fate of Smoke and Ash very hard to read because nothing that was happening made sense to me, and it was brutal and violent and untied to any meaningful themes, merely graphic in nature for the sake of nothing apparent. But perhaps all will be revealed and prove meaningful in subsequent books of this series.

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Thank you netgalley for giving me an arc of this book. This book was slow in parts but still entertaining. A fate of smoke and ash was really well done for a debut novel which I find to be rare. This book was an enjoyable read and entertaining fantasy!

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