{Review} ASHES ON THE WAVES by Mary Lindsey

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Mary Lindsey has previously stopped by ABS for an interview about SHATTERED SOULS, which I've also reviewed. Check them out ^_^

B O O K   T R A I L E R:

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   SHE LOOKED LIKE SOMETHING out of a dream...or a nightmare. Simultaneously, so terrible and beautiful, it made me ache.
   Waves pounded against the jetty, shooting geysers of frigid salt water into the air as she leaned into the wind, her long hair whipping in all directions.
   "No. Stop!" I shouted, but the howling gale and crashing waves consumed my words.
   She took a step closer to the rocky edge and held her arms out to the side as if she were going to fly. But she wasn't going to take flight. She was going to die.
(Pages 1, US hardcover edition)

ASHES ON THE WAVES is my new favorite book featuring selkies. I really enjoyed the book's atmosphere, the lore, and oh, the fact that it's inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's "Annabel Lee."

All his life, Liam has been in love with a girl he met in his childhood named Annabell Leighton. He lives on a small island,  Dòchas, without electricity or modern plumbing, and Anna is exotic to him. She lives far from Dòchas, and was only visiting her family home as a child. Now she's back, and he has a chance to be her friend. The only problem? He's cursed, and the villagers will make sure Anna stays away from him. The Bean Sidhe and the Na Fir Ghorm who live in the water have also taken interest in "the broken one's" relationship with Anna...and their games can be deadly.

There is so much creativity at play in ASHES ON THE WAVES. The ancient Bean Sidhe and Na Fir Ghorm are eerie creatures that I'd never want to encounter in real life. The Na Fir Ghorm, for example, delight in luring humans to their watery graves and the Bean Sidhe have the most unearthly wails--which only mortals with murdered family members can hear. There are also Cailleach creatures, a mythical Celtic being whom signifies upcoming death to those who see her. There's also selkie lore, and one selkie in particular named Muireann reminds me of Disney's Ariel because of her fascination with a human boy (Liam) and her longing to be with him. The book also looks at Celtic traditions such as lighting candles on Bealtaine and participating in ancient ceremonies. There's also the notion that Liam is a demon because he was born crippled. As I read, I constantly wanted to know what folklore was real and what was born of Lindsey's imagination because she blends it all together so nicely. It's all so interesting, and it works together to form a story that's hard to put down.

Dòchas and its people feel very "old world" and traditional. Anna is the only modern one among them, the socialite banned from her brother's upcoming wedding so she doesn't embarrass her family in the tabloids. On the island, that persona slips away, and she discovers who she really is.  Dòchas changes her, even as it remains ever the same. There's so much atmosphere that sets the mood, and enough mystery to keep me hooked and turning pages. Lindsey achieved the sad, gothic atmosphere she was going for and has created a tale that even Poe would enjoy reading.

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( kissing, innuendo )
Language: PG13 ( References to mature concepts and alluding to things that have put Anna into the tabloids, innuendo )
Violence: PG13 ( Villagers want to kill Liam the "demon;" the Na Fir Ghorm do dangerous things to humans; scenes of drowned humans )
Other: ( Main character walks in on a man pinning a female employee to the wall and forces him to leave )
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This series is gorgeous. GORGEOUS!

You may not think so at
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Mary Lindsey
Release Date: June 27, 2013
Publisher: Philomel // Penguin
Received: Purchased

Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make awager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem, "Annabel Lee," Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.


  1. Oh my goodness! This is the one book I'm looking forward to reading ♡


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