You can’t choose your family…living or dead.
Trapped between two very different words, newly made vampire Moth is struggling to find her place in either. Not only does she have to answer to her religious family but her over-protective Marker, Theo, is intent on making her the star attraction in his powerful Boston vampire clan. Moth will have to pull off the double-act of the century to please both of them.
Adding to her problems is the dangerously attractive Jason Murdoch, a trainee vampire hunter who loves to play cat and mouse in his spare time. But when the teenagers of Boston’s wealthiest families start to disappear, it forces Moth and Jace into an uneasy truce. Will they be able to solve the mystery behind the disappearances – before someone winds up undead?
I have never read a blurb more full of crap in my life. And I’ve read lots of books. She does NOT have a religious family, her father is a constant drunk, her youngest sister doesn’t want to go to school anymore and her eldest sister is a lawyer. Maybe they mention that her eldest sister is religious at the beginning but it is not mentioned throughout the story enough for it to be a point in the blurb. They’d be better writing something like: Not only does she have to make countless excuses as to why she cannot come around for dinner. “Um…because I’d rather rip your throats out for a meal than eat a pot roast.” Like that would go down well. The next bit of crap…Theo is not making her the star attraction of his clan. We barely hear anything at all about his clan, only his elders, and the elders spend their time trying to decide whether to kill Theo and Moth. More correct is: Theo, is intent on keeping Moth subdued whilst he convinces his elders she is well behaved enough to live. Then they could cut the crap about pulling the double-act of the century, and instead lead into the next paragraph with: Except Moth is having a hard time staying put as she investigates a series of murders which generally leads to disastrous results when young hunter Jace Murdoch gets involves. He does not like to play cat and mouse in his spare time. He is a trainee hunter, and not just a vampire hunter as they like to tell you many times. In case you haven’t read the book his dad hunts every monster, therefore Jace is learning to hunt every monster. It is his JOB to hunt the things that go bump in the night, NOT to play cat and mouse. Then there is more crap about how the teenagers of *puts on facey lady voice* Boston’s wealthiest families are getting murdered. Please, cut the bullshit. Where does it at all in that book mention that the COLLEGE students, not teenagers, are being killed? Moth can barely remember who the hell they are, let alone that she went to college with them. Next bit of incorrectness is about Moth and Jace coming together in an uneasy truce. Please that’s crap. They are so comfortable with each other about half an hour after meeting. Sure they try to kill each other, but after that when they make the truce it is not uneasy. They are practically making out.
I apologise for that massive paragraph with no breaks, but I had SO. MUCH. TO. SAY. Again I have never met a blurb filled with so much crap, which is sad because they miss out on a lot of the good stuff in this novel, like Moth’s younger sister, and her actual complicated relationship with Theo. Maybe they didn’t want to bring the love triangle into it because it’s done and dusted, this book was published in 2012 after all. But do you know what is more done and dusted? The introduction of the love interest as dangerous and attractive. We get it. Guys. Are. Hot. They. Seem. Dangerous.
Now onto the actual review!
Falling to Ash was an interesting read. It was a different take on the vampire genre because Karen Mahoney introduces us to the idea of families, which of course is different to Stephenie Meyer’s solitary vampires where a group of six is rare.
In the first few pages you get a sense of Moth and her voice. She’s a sassy young women. I don’t want to say teenager because she went to college and she calls her sixteen year old sister a kid.
After that the rest of the story is just okay. I really did like it, it was original and Moth still had a relationship with her younger sister. I love that, it was my favourite part in Evermore by Alyson Noel. Yet this book wasn’t all enticing. It was more like “yeah okay I’ll read you in my lunch break and keep going whilst something interesting happens”, but there was plenty of down time which didn’t spark my interest heaps like Charlaine Harris manages to do when Sookie is doing something mundane like washing the dishes.
The big difference between this book and the majority of vampire ones is it’s told from the vampire’s point of view. Yes that is correct in the blurb. I find that take refreshing, but because of the nature of Mahoney’s vampires there isn’t much bloodlust until the final chapters. Which is good I guess? Unless she could pull it off, and well, it might be a bit weird to listen to this vampire have an internal debate about whether to snack on the taxi driver.
I liked Jace, I did, but I didn’t think there was enough conflict on his part about liking a girl who’s a vamp. For a son of a hunter and I’m assuming his mother died because of vampires you’d think he’d have more resignations. Even in Claudia Grey’s Evernight series when Lucas finds out he freaks out majorly and he’s not even a hunter. Maybe something else happened in the short story that was the origin of this novel in The Eternal Kiss Anthology which explained it but considering this is the first in a series I think the readers deserved more hesitation.
However after that the romance did feel real and not rushed. I quite like Jace and Moth together, and it was nice to read a romance where the characters weren’t confessing their love and vowing to be together for ever. I know we are seeing less and less of this now days, but it’s still nice to recognise. I like the fact that Moth still feels more of a pull towards her families (vampiric and human) which keeps her from following Jace to the ends of the Earth.
The thing this book lacked was more details about Theo. I know in novels with complicated characters sometimes it can take two or three or more books in the series until we get to know the complete history of the character and why they are the way they are, but I felt this book didn’t have a compelling enough plot to warrant waiting to spill the beans on Theo.
I would have also liked to have seen more explanation of Theo’s and Moth’s relationship. I think that was interesting and complicated. I know she explained it all to Caitlin, but I think so much more could have been built upon it such as where they are at now. I know she hates his guts because of what he did to her, but she also loves him. It worries me when she calls their relationship fatherly. They slept together and she thinks of him as a father. Ew. I think her wires are crossed there and should have stuck to one or the other because obviously Theo still loves her like a lover since she reminds him of his dead wife. Also another expansion, the dead wife, that could be one hell of an interesting conversation between the two.
My last issue with Falling to Ash is Moth’s intense hatred of Thomas Murdoch, Jace’s father. Again did something happen in the short story before Falling to Ash? Sure Thomas is a hunter but why must she take that personally? Something happened to his wife therefore he’s trying to save the rest of humankind. It doesn’t mean he’s a horrible person. Humankind is probably thanking him and would mourn his death. He’s like Sam and Dean’s Dad. Does not mean he’s an asshole. I didn’t find him a horrible or excessively rude character, if anything Moth was more rude than him.
Will I pick up Moth novel #2? Probably not if it’s not going to be published in physical form. I love to finish series, but I have that many to read I probably won’t pick it up on my iPad unless I’m desperate or for some crazy reason change my mind about ebooks.
I will be sad not to find out about Jace and Moth, but considering readers as a whole like happy endings, I bet you they’ll end up together.