Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Tim Paige
Length: 6 hours, 57 minutes
Out of the Ashes is the third and final book in Jenn Burke’s Ashes and Dust series. This series needs to be read in order and, as such, this review may contain slight spoilers.
In the aftermath of the broken bond, Evan is trying to find his balance. While he understands why Colin chose to break it, that doesn’t make it any easier. Though the bond between them was incorrectly set and made life difficult, as they couldn’t be far away from each other without incurring pain, the two fell in love anyway. But now that it’s dissolved, Colin might remember his time with Evan and everything that has happened, but he doesn’t feel the emotions attached. He knows he was in love with Evan, but he no longer feels it.
While the two men are trying to navigate their new and unsteady relationship, there are bigger problems facing the paranormal world. A demon is running loose and killing people, and suspicion is pointed at Priya. When Evan and Colin are recruited by a paranormal law enforcement agency, they are quick to jump in and help, even as things get more dangerous. When the true culprit and motive are revealed, it will take everything Evan and Colin have to try to stop it before it’s too late.
This book is a wonderful conclusion for the series. Burke does a great job of balancing the two major plot lines. First, there is Evan and Colin, their relationship, and how they can find their way back to what they’d once been. And secondly, there’s the mystery of the attacks on the paranormal community.
Throughout the series, the danger and intrigue has been steadily ramping up. Here we see the culmination of several plot points that started at the beginning of the trilogy, and get some satisfying resolutions. The action ramps up as well, and there are some intense scenes that really bring that feeling home. At the same time, the author balances that with quieter moments that give the listener a break. There are some twists that give this story a fresh feeling, while also staying true to the world the author has built. Ultimately, the good guys prevail in a wholly satisfying manner.
While this is all going on, Evan and Colin are essentially rebuilding their relationship. I’m not personally a fan of the amnesia trope, so I was glad to see the twist Burke took here. While at first Colin doesn’t remember Evan, and that’s a cliff the previous book ended on, this book opens with the information that Colin’s memories came back quickly, but he’s missing the emotion that goes with them. I thought it gave a really wonderful aspect for Burke to explore as Evan is so in love with Colin, and because of the note Colin left, he is doing is damnedest to fight for them. Colin doesn’t make it easy, but his struggle is well portrayed. Though at times it was frustrating, it was mostly because as a reader, I was invested in this relationship and my heart was breaking for this pair as they tried to find their way back together. This, too, was a satisfying conclusion.
Tim Paige once again does a great job narrating this book. I’ve enjoyed listening to this series. Out of all of them, this was my favorite. Paige’s voice is smooth and easy to listen to, and he does an excellent job with continuity of the voices. I still found a few small times where the narration choices didn’t fit the tone for me, but Paige did a really good job with the action scenes and the emotions with some of the more intense scenes. Overall, I really enjoyed listening to this series and suggest you check it out.