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5.0 out of 5 starsLoved
Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2021
I ate this series up. A world you can get lost in and I long to return too. Maybe, Birch could get his own story about finding another of his kind, simply because I long for him to not be the last of his kind.
Got to the last book. Loved the series. Loved getting a nice bit of closure for the characters at the end. Maybe (hopefully) more to come or even a Reed gets a bestowal spin off? Either way, you got my money
Full honesty, I think this is much better than the previous book. I also should have written this when I finished reading the book instead of waiting. Spoilers below. This review is really for the author.
The good: The book kept moving. The previous book was a lof of the characters standing around not doing much which made me concerned that the author had run out of things to say. Glad to know I was wrong.
The new aspect of the Abhorrent was interesting.
Eve figuring out a new way to use chaos to oneshot a god.
The environments. I feel like they'd be interesting to see in art or on screen.
Eve has to face one of her past actions.
Eve has to stop looking at problems as things to kill and try deplomacy.
The message board showing people's reactions to what's going on in the world.
I'm glad that even though time was a major thread throughout the book, it didn't delve into time travel.
The neutral: Introducing a new race of 'people'.
The forest was interesting but kind of silly.
The message board showing people's reactions to what's going on with Eve and crew.
The needs some work and consideration for future books: I didn't really see a point to the side story. It didn't add up to anything. If that character had escaped and gotten the word out about Tempest, then the side story would have been given relevance.
Eve's confrontation with Ichi didn't have any ramifications other than the kids wanting to torture the poor man for the rest of the book. Eve's response to it was go cry for a minute then be totally fine with what she did. Mardinest should have known that Eve killed Ichi's wife in cold blood, but it seems no one noticed except Ichi.
Adam and Torliam..... And Jackie? Adam was never really a contender for Eve's affections so him admitting his feelings wasn't great. Torliam and Eve were closer in the other books. This time they barely spoke, it seemed. Jackie seemed closer than either of them.
Jackie's struggle skill was massively (get it?) underutilized.
I don't remember if Zed was a genius in the previous books, but having him be one here was kind of redundant with the kids being geniuses.
I wish the seeds and origins of the gods hadn't been explained. Let magic be magic!
The books had strongly implied Eve was supposed to ascend from mortality and become a god. What aspect, we're never sure. In this book Eve essentially says, "Guess I'm a god now." We're told not shown. The previous books, every major improvement in her stats changed her. She grew taller, she grew scales and claws. Here she doesn't do anything of the sort. It would have been interesting for her to become something along the lines of what Birch had imagined she would.
The ending. Endings are tough. But after Pestilence and Tempest. The other aspects of the Abhorrant were only 3 or so pages. And as for the Abhorrant itself? Eve just eats it in another 3 pages and deletes the part of herself that contains it. Then she restores her deleted memories from a backup. I think she should have sacrificed, fought hard and come out the other side wounded, but not broken, maybe giving up what made her, her, and leaving the world a better place.
5.0 out of 5 starsA Satisfying Conclusion to an Excellent Series
Reviewed in the United States on February 29, 2020
*I was provided with an ARC in exchange for an honest review
I've always enjoyed a good LitRPG, but I'm also pretty picky about what that entails. Too many have some aspect that rubs me the wrong way and keeps me from enjoying it, which is why I'm such a fan of the Seeds of Chaos series. Like all of the previous books, Gods of Ash and Amber incorporates its RPG elements into the story naturally without ever letting them distract from the meat of the story (of which there's plenty). Stat spreads show up every now and then to let us know where Eve and her group are power-wise, but are more of a tool to represent that rather than an end in and of themselves. Instead, the focus is decidedly on the story itself.
Gods of Ash and Amber picks up right where the last book left off, with Eve just having learned that there are more beings like Pestilence on the way and that she's very likely to lose. That sets the tone for the rest of the book, which keeps a sense of urgency without ever getting exhausting. In some ways it reads like a series of intermediate quests, all tied together by an overarching need to defeat the Abhorrent. The story moves at a solid pace, staying engrossing even during its downtime by using those moments to dig into the characters, who are just as well-written as ever.
Ash and Amber really is the culmination of all of the previous books, bringing in character arcs that have been developing almost since the series began. Eve's finally confronted with the consequences of some of her more morally questionable decisions, Sam is forced to confront the conflict between himself and his Black Sun self, the kids continue to cope with Blaine's death, and so much more. I've always been impressed at how well Ellis writes Eve as a character you can like and root for while still making it clear when she's in the wrong, even if that only comes in hindsight.
On the technical side, Gods of Ash and Amber is pretty well polished with just a few issues. Aside from one instance where I think a sentence got cut off early and one point where the story slips into first person where it should be third, none of the issues are particularly immersion breaking-just minor punctuation mistakes that most people probably won't even notice.
Reading the Seeds of Chaos novels has always given me the same feeling as watching a good anime, and I mean that in the best possible way. The storytelling and progression has a similar feel, something that's hard to find in novels, which makes me glad it ended so well. All of the important points were tied up nicely, with just enough room for a possible follow-up series. I'd certainly love to see one, but it's not absolutely necessary to tie up the story either. So all in all, Gods of Ash and Amber gets 5 stars from me.