Title: Heir of Ashes
Author: Jina S. Bazzar
Series: Roxanne Fosch, book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Trigger Warning: Abuse, Violence
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 409 pages, Ebook
Published: April 15th, 2018
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Roxanne Fosch had a perfectly normal life at the age of twelve. Cool, popular, pretty, smart. Her dreams of a perfect, successful and prosperous future seemed well within her grasp.
By the time she was twenty-two, she had become a commodity. A fugitive. She was being hunted.
As Roxanne embarks on the dangerous quest to search for half-truths about her past, she discovers she’s not just an abnormal human, but a rarity even among her Fee peers.
She is hunted by scientists, keen to exploit her extraordinary abilities, as well as other beings far more dangerous whose plans for her she cannot fathom.
This book… you know guys, I have found quite a few hidden gems among the self-published books and this one is definitely one of them!
Roxanne has been sheltered her whole life, kept in a cage for experiments for many years until she escapes the clutches of the scientists who experiment on a preternatural creature like her. She may be vulnerable being completely alone out in the world for the first time but she knows how to take care of herself. Roxanne is constantly hunted though she has no idea about her origin or what she actually is. Her path coincides with Logan, a werewolf who becomes an ally but he is not someone without motive. As their paths continue to clash, it is up to Roxanne to decide which path she wants to head on.
An Intriguing Plot
I seriously did not expect I would end up falling in love with this book! Seriously, it was sooo damn awesome. roxanne reminded me a bit of Logan from X-Men but that’s where the similarity ended. The plot book was completely new and unpredictable journey. I mean, there were so many elements threaded together in such a way that it created an awesome storyline.
“When one faces pain on a daily basis, one either learns to live with it or let it consume him.”
Roxanna is on the run after escaping from the clutches of the scientists who have been experimenting on her for ages. She finally succeeds in executing her plan which she had forming for many years but trouble follows her like a shadow. Roxanne’s is curious about her heritage and her mother from whom she was taken by the scientist. I seriously hated those “so-called” scientists without a conscience who didn’t think a second time before hurting Roxanne just for their experiments. I loved the fact that despite what everything she had been through, she was tough and didn’t give up without a fight.
This book comprises a lot of supernatural creatures staring from vampires, werewolf, mages and even hybrids like her. The author managed to input all these different creatures in a single plot without creating a complex atmosphere. These supernatural characters usually blend in with the common people but for Roxanne, it is a whole new world. I loooved the action sequences! She was a woman who was fully independent and could handle herself. I was really afraid for Roxy when that weirdo powerful magician (the forgot the name!! Dramman maybe… whatever, that guy was hella creepy!) took her hostage and the trip to the other world was such a treat!
The history of Roxanne’s character was another intriguing aspect of this book. I had plenty of questions about the whole thing but everything became clear when I read The Curse which is a prequel to this book but I felt it was more suited to read it after finishing this one. It was a short read but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
Roxanne was a character not devoid of flaws yet despite everything, she seemed the most human to me as compared to the scientists. Her path crossed with Logan for the first time after she escaped the experiment lab. Logan was among one of the pursuers who were after her but unlike the others, he grew to care and respect for her. It took some time for me to warm up to Logan but he won me over in no time! One thing that I liked about Logan was that he was at least straightforward about why he needed her in the first place. Though I hated that he still kept secrets from her because whatever there is between them grows deeper as the plot proceeded. Roxanne also grew as a character which I thoroughly enjoyed.
“How can a monster tell if he’s a monster if he’s never known anything else?”
Oh, and how can I forget about Frizz!! I just love this kind of supernatural pets in books! They kind of turn up out of the blue but stays in your heart. I am very much excited to see Frizz in the sequel! 😀
When Roxanne first escapes, she is a complete mess. But slowly and steadily she learns to balance herself with the help of Logan. The development of the romance between Logan and Roxanne left me in awe. It was slow-build and it was more of a warm bond of trust than complete whirlwind romance. The two finally had someone to lean on although they would never admit that and they shared a certain level of intimacy. I loved the chemistry between them and after how the book ended, I can’t wait to see what happens to my precious characters!!
Heir of Ashes and The Curse both were fantastic reads! There were so many elements to the plot yet I was never confused. I loved how the author neatly threaded everything in the end. I am curious to find out about the new life that she was offered and the society of the hunters but I can sense something big coming!! The pace felt a little here and there but it didn’t put me off the edge. I was completely engaged in this book from the very beginning. I seriously would have missed out on a lot if I passed on the opportunity to review this book!
I had the wonderful opportunity to review the author of this book! Here goes!
Hey there! I’m so glad to have you on my little blog today!
1. How did you come up with the intricate idea of your debut novel, Heir of Ashes?
A: I guess the idea to Roxanne’s story took root in my mind without any prompting of my own. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to write, how the story would begin, a notion about what I wanted to include in the middle, and a silhouette of an end, not to the first book of the trilogy, but to the trilogy as a whole. I had all these jumbled scenes running rampant in my head, ideas and actions for the entire trilogy, and to prevent myself from going insane, I shut them out and focused only on Heir of Ashes.
I can’t say there was anything special about it, except that the urge to write kept getting stronger, and once I gave in to the urge and started writing, the ideas became more solid and all I could do to keep up was keep on typing.
2. How would you describe your female protagonist, Roxanne Fosch?
A: Roxanne is a very complex person – naïve, kind, compassionate. She’s also had a horrific experience that left her somewhat jaded, mean and unfeeling at times. But deep inside, she’s just another girl trying to lead a normal life.
3. What is your writing process? How do you develop your plots and characters along with working with your external difficulties
A: There isn’t a particular process to my writing, except that I consider the story as a whole, a beginning to the story, a notion of the middle and the very end. I try to pick my scenes this way too, though I can’t say I always know what I want. Sometimes I sit and imagine how I want a particular scene to start, what I want in it, how I’d conclude that scene. Sometimes the images don’t flow like water though, and I need to relax, read a book, bake, and listen to music. Well, I guess I have a process after all. To be fair, a lot of times the story just keeps on flowing and I barely have any time to consider what’s next.
If I happened to think about a scene that I’d like included but that didn’t fit yet with the story, I’d add a note to the end. I had a lot to delete as I finished the first draft, but these notes served me well.
I’ll assume external difficulties here mean me being blind, and I can’t say that it affects my writing in a negative way, except when I’m editing. I need to focus hard then and make sure the words I used are the correct words – for example, then and than, its and it’s, be and bee, by and buy, and all the words that sound the same or sound alike. I had the auto correct on when I wrote the first draft too, and it didn’t always agree with what I wanted, so it would just go on and change the word to what it thought fit better. Of course, the auto correct wasn’t always right.
And then there were the randomly capitalized words.
That part, the editing part, was a nightmare, and I know a lot of those went unnoticed by me. Some of them were caught by the editor, and still, the person who did my last proofread bears testimony to how many of those the editor and I missed.
4. What were the difficulties you had to face while writing the characters?
A: I guess it was keeping their reactions in synch with their personalities and still make them sound real enough.
5. Give us a sneak peek of the sequel to this book. What can the readers expect from it?
A: In the second book, Heir of Doom, Roxanne is learning how to be more dependent upon herself. There will be a healthy dose of preternatural here, as this is now the circle she runs in, but not all are friendly towards her. She will be deceived, lied to, she will uncover more truths; learn some of the ins and outs of the clan. There will be a newfound friend, perhaps even a love triangle.
Frizz will feature more prominently, as well as the Sidhe people, like Lee, Queen Titania and Oberon. She will need to travel through the worlds, and this time her decisions will affect not only her life but the lives of others as well.
Alright, that was a big sneak peek.
6. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
A: Hmmm, I’m not sure what unique would be as I’m not sure what other writers do, but once I finish a draft or a scene, I turn on the automatic reader and listen to what I wrote. It’s amazing how many things I’m able to fix through this process, how much I’m able to cover. True, if I keep repeating the same scene over and over, it eventually turns into a lullaby and I have a hard time staying awake.
7. Which books or authors is your inspiration?
A: A well-written book never fails to captivate me, but when I need inspiration, I turn to Nora Roberts.
8. What is your advice for aspiring writers?
A: Believe in yourself. Don’t try to compare yourself with other writers, you are not them.
It was great having you on my blog today! Thank you so much and I wish you much success in the future.
It was my pleasure, Poulami.
Jina was born and raised in Brazil, where she had a joyful and fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss. She became blind at the age of twenty-three. She has since lived in the United States and Brazil, though currently resides in the middle- east.
Like most authors, Jina had always been an avid reader, a fan of the fantastic, but was denied the joy of books when she became blind. Once she discovered screen readers, she picked up the habit of reading again but discovered that reading was no longer enough, so she started writing her own book.
When she’s not writing in the Roxanne Fosch series or her blog, she’s writing articles for Conscious talk Magazine, where she works as a columnist.
Aside from the written word, Jina loves to spend time in the kitchen, cooking and baking for her three kids and anyone who happens by.
Smashwords || Amazon
So guys, what do you think about this book? Have you read any previous book in this series or any other book by this author?