Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ashes of Honor (review)

5/5 stars

Ashes of Honor (GoodreadsAmazon ) is the sixth book in one of my favorite series.  I've reviewed these books before (here and here).  This series continues to get better and better with each book. Seanan McGuire how do you do it?  A long time Tybalt fan, this feels like the book I've been waiting for.  All that flirting, all that tension, everything finally comes to fruition.

I just looked at my placeholder review over on goodreads and it says "Stars for Toby, Stars for Tybalt, Stars for Quentin, Stars for Raj, Stars for April, Stars for Etienne." Really that's a pretty accurate review.  The characters, major and minor, really shine in this novel. I love when characters who have been hanging around for 5 novels like Etienne finally come forward, get fleshed out and suddenly you understand who they've been all along. McGuire is an expert at building a world full of characters who are complete characters, not placeholders caricatures.

So why do I love this book so much? A lot of reasons.  For once, I actually like the romance in a book(I know, it's weird for me to say that). The best swoon builds slowly.  Realistic relationships aren't instantaneous.  They aren't love at first sight. They start as friendship, switch to flirting, go off track countless times and then when they happen they matter. Toby has to face her demons and her baggage. As Tybalt points out, "We do not raise the dead by mourning them so fiercely that we join them."

If you've not read this series you're missing out.  This is urban fantasy at it's best, it's sexy without being sex-filled (not that sex in books is all bad, but well-built couples can be much sexier than hastily thrown together sex scene), romantic without making me gag, plot-focused rather than relationship driven and for once the snarky love interest actually treats the heroine as his equal.

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