Review of Remnants of Ash and Scorched Uprising, by C.k. Dawn

I received audio codes for Remnants of Ash and Scorched Uprising (Reign of Fay, #1&2), by C.K. Dawn.

Description from Goodreads:

Mere mortal. Fae hunter. Oh, and the apocalypse? Yeah, that happened!  

She’s an unstoppable human. He’s an immovable beast. But the Fae have scorched the earth, thrusting it into unending darkness, and humans are next… 

Through her research, University of Washington student Chloe Etain stumbled into an ancient war between the Light and Dark Fae that has culminated in her world being thrown into pre-industrial chaos. Dark Fae scum now roam free, feeding on unsuspecting humans. Chloe knows the truth though and, possibly, how to stop it. But as a mere mortal, what can she do? 

That’s when the fates step in. Bram Tice, a fae hunting his own kind, vows to help Chloe. But he won’t say which Court demands his allegiance. Together, they set out to right the imbalance plaguing her world and save humanity before they turn into nothing more than remnants of ash. 

I’m only going to write one review for these two books. The reason is that I feel this is a serial, not a series and, and as such, both books contain one single story that doesn’t break. I don’t actually understand why it’s broken in two. Neither book is so long as to prohibit their remaining as one. I can only imagine the same can be said for the rest of the series. I got no conclusions in either of these two, so I doubt I’d get one in the next or the next, etc.

There was a time I felt like I was making this point, about the difference between a serial and a series, every day. I even wrote a ranty blog post about it. But the trend finally died down and I haven’t had to in a while. I guess all those same books are making it to audio now. Because this is the second time in a week I’ve written a review for a ‘series’ that is actually a serial in my opinion.

So, on to the actual review. I don’t want to be mean, but I don’t think this was particularly good. I think the author probably had a good idea, but didn’t quite manage to get it onto paper. The hero and heroine meet in the prologue (meet and nothing more) and then when all hell breaks loose in chapter one (some time in the future) they are meant to already be friends and at least one is in love. The story moves from there. HOWEVER, the reader has been left out of all of it. Thus, I didn’t feel Bram’s affection for Chloe at all. How could I? We don’t see any of it prior to him basically telling her he loves her. NONE. In fact, I initially thought they were still virtual strangers.

We also don’t see any of the research Chloe, Bram and the professor have been doing to understand the Scorch. So, when it happens right out of the gate, the reader is clueless and basically unconcerned. And Chloe seems to know things she shouldn’t, because I didn’t know what she’d been researching. So, how could she recognize a royal fay [fae] on sight? No idea.

Then there is the rather large and abrupt shift in Chloe’s personality that happens at roughly 50% into the first book. She goes from teary and afraid to kick-butt superhero in a split second (in a seriously stupid move too). Though she does remain a too perfect Mary Sue throughout, as well as too good at everything, mastering magic and weaponry in an instant, without effort.

Then there is the fact that I think the author tried to get too much in. There are fae (high, low and royal), the four horseman of the apocalypse, witches, werewolves and vampires. And none of it given any real world building to understand it all.

The narrator did a fine job, except that it’s based in Seattle. Chloe started out sounding perfectly American. But about halfway through the fist book she turned English, apparently. Then in book two, she’s American again.

All in all, this was not a winner for me. Mechanically the writing is fine but the story feels barely sketched out.

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