Ashes to Ashes by Karina Halle
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Come Alive Review
No spoilers and colorful language abound!
Halle, it's time you got some honest feedback on this drivel everyone is 5 staring to death. I've gotten past the rage we experienced in my last review, in case anyone was unsure what exactly was happening there, that was me having a rage tantrum. It happens in adulthood, every now and again. As I said, I'm past that now and I've begun to look over your writing with the eye of a scorned reader. You know what I came up with? It's not fucking good.
First of all let's just get this out on the table. You cannot carry a plot without contrived drama between Dex and Perry. We, your audience have followed you through eight books and four shorts and your characters have experienced absolutely no growth. Thirteen different installments and your characters are exactly the same insecure, manipulative little shits they were from the jump. You have taken the same formula of angst + sex + lack of communication = blow out with the D and the P and just layered it over various different ghost stories. FFS we are coming up on the final installment of the series and you've done nothing but have them fight, make grandiose statements of their love for each other without actually building the true foundations of a relationship such as honesty, respect, and healthy boundaries.
You know what bonds Perry and Dex together? Lust and fear. Lethal and addictive combination on all accounts but more importantly vapid and unstable.
I don't blame the characters for this either, they have organically provided numerous opportunities to show growth, to communicate, to respect and trust in each other. You insist on dragging them back into petty arguments that are so trite and superfluous that it's become a fucking joke. In any and all acceptable standards their relationship is surface, manipulative and unhealthy. Them being able to see what they see is no longer a reason to cling to each other, there has to be a moment where they can truly see each other and can stand alone and then learn to stand together. The with-holding, the mistrust in each other and what their partner is capable of is disgusting, you've dug yourself in a whole and there is no way in one book you can dig your way out. I am forced to conclude that you are simply incapable of writing any other way, I do invite you to prove me wrong however.
The part that slays me about this is you clearly know how to write an enthralling story, EIT has been one of the creepiest series I've read in a long time. I've been up till 3 am reading each night, bags under my eyes the mark of an enraptured reader. Your actual writing is smooth, charming and comfortable and it's no surprise to me why you are so popular. You have imagined unique, damaged, dynamic characters but you've held them in a pen of cliched drama for far too long. All signs point to good author so I'm having a really difficult time accepting why you would do this. Dex and Perry have stuck with me, despite my attempts at immediately forgetting they exist. I have imagined countless endings and the only things suitable at this point would send throngs of fangirls into a deep dark raging depression. I debated on 1 or 2 stars, I'm more inclined to 1 star it because of all the reasons but the creep factor was so intense it earned an whole star on it's own. Scariest installment yet, but entirely toxic relationship nonsense.
(this gif had to happen)
I hope so much that I am proven wrong in Dust to Dust. I hope that all of that shit means something in the end. I hope I'm eating crow. I am rooting for these characters to become better versions of themselves. I will say this, you know how to write one hell of a fucking cliffhanger. I'll follow you till the end, even if I'm bitching and screaming the entire way. Until then...
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