AH and Regina Loved Ashes to Ashes! 5 Badass Skulls!
AH: First of all, ever since we discovered Darkhouse earlier this year, Regina and I have literally devoured every book written by Karina Halle. (AH is a little behind on the Artist Trilogy series – but Regina read and loved those too). If there is one word to describe the Experiment in Terror series it’s ADDICTIVE!
Regina: Addictive, absorbing and obsession creating – that is how I would describe how Karina Halle writes her books.
AH: Ashes to Ashes takes place 8 months after Perry and Dex met at the lighthouse (Darkhouse). They’ve been through a lot and are back on the Oregon coast visiting Uncle Al at the place where it all began. I liked how the author tied in the beginning of the series to this book, which in a way represents a new beginning in Perry and Dex’s relationship.
Regina: I feel like I have been through so much (yes, ME) since I first read Darkhouse. So many ups and downs with Dex and Perry, that I was shocked to realize it had only been 8 months. But the reminder of where they started from and how recent it was, I agree was nice and shook up the story. I loved the setting, beautiful and eerie; Halle picks her settings perfectly.
AH: It’s so funny that you said that. I also feel like I’ve been through so much while reading this series. I think it’s because Dex and Perry are so easy to relate to. Dex has his demons, and Perry has her body issues – who can’t relate to that?
Dex just made me melt in this book. He said all the right things (except when he was behaving like a little boy). He’s looking at the future and can see himself and Perry together.
Regina: Well Dex made me slightly nauseous in Come Alive, so it was good to melt in a good way with Dex in Ashes to Ashes. I loved all of Dex in Ashes to Ashes. It was the imperfect and sometimes annoying, but usually charming guy that I feel in love with. This is a guy who took Perry to a strip club (earlier book), he is not a prince charming but he is good with Perry. Come Alive was a difficult read for me, AH I know you felt differently. But I felt like reading Ashes to Ashes was the best of the series and like slipping on the comfort from the earlier books.
AH: I really enjoyed Come Alive. You can see my review here.
AH: – Pippa makes an appearance in this book and she’s not looking too good. What did you think of her warnings?
Regina: I found Perry’s reaction to them annoying. But I probably shouldn’t say more about that. FYI, Pippa’s appearance isn’t a spoiler; it happens at the beginning. I like how messy the warnings were. I really like how imperfect everything was in this book, there are no easy answers.
AH: I liked that Rebecca was added to the EIT team. Rebecca kind of grounded Perry and Dex and kept them in line. I think it helped having a team member with a soothing British accent.
Regina: This would be a fun book to hear narrated. I love Rebecca, such a great character. And we got two big reveals about her, which frankly make sense but added a lot to the story. Dex and Perry are so knew and flounder so much emotionally they really need someone like Rebeca – you are so right. I didn’t think about that until you said it. She helps with the flow of the story. Frankly, I like her as the 3rd wheel better than Maximus.
AH: What did you think of the sanatorium? Personally, it was super creepy. Add in the fog, the damp sea air, the secret passages – the author really knows how to set up the atmosphere. Oh, there was a part where I couldn’t help but think of a Scooby Doo episode and later on in the book, the author actually made a reference to Scooby Doo!
Regina: Its funny, because I just read another book about a sanatorium that was a historical short story (Dear Life by Alice Munro). Such a sad setting and I have never thought about these institutions before – kind of like the lepers colony Halle does such a good job at digging up settings rooted in our past. I loved Halle’s nod to Scooby Doo, it was definitely similar!
AH: What did you think of the ghost entities? In a way, it was kind of nice to see a non-threatening ghost. Of course, Ms. Halle would not leave us feeling that safe – there’s always a malevolent entity out there and whoa, is it freaky!
Regina: I spent so much time feeling bad for the ghosts, they were both royally screwed in life. But Oh. My. Goodness, the scene were the teacher is telling Dex, Perry and Rebecca about “the bad thing” and how she has encountered the bad thing – scary! Halle nails freaky, spooky and scary in this book. I had to put it down at night and not read.
AH:– I’m glad that Perry got a chance to go home and visit with her parents. Awkward doesn’t even begin to describe it. What kind of parents go out drinking after their daughter returns after a prolonged absence? (although, come to think of it, it does say a lot about her parents). I loved Ada and how devoted she was to Perry.
Regina: Ada is a great character and I look forward to where her story goes. Perry’s parents drive me bonkers. I cannot stand them. They are such control freaks and so judgmental. I get that they are antagonists to the story line, but I am hoping with the interesting reveals we learn at the end of the story that there is going to be progression with that relationship.
Regina: This book is my favorite in the series, which says a lot because I love Experiment in Terror. Halle has a really unique take on writing urban fantasy and writing about relationships. She incorporates the delicious mess of life that is frustrating but makes it work, makes it compelling. And damn, she nails sex scenes – not much more needs to be written about that. She gets them right.
AH: I have to agree with you. So far, Ashes to Ashes was my favorite as well. This series is so addictive – it is almost impossible to put down a book (unless you are reading very late at night and it’s dark and something goes bump in the house). Dex and Perry are one of my favorite fictional couples. It’s going to be a long wait for the next book – Dust to Dust is expected to be published in May 2014. Can’t wait!
Grand prize giveaway
Prize (open to US and Canada):
–A signed copy of Perception (it’s a paperback compilation of all the e-book novellas), a signed copy of Darkhouse, a signed copy of Red Fox (with new cover) as well as a signed copy of Ashes to Ashes and an EIT tank top
Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for organizing this event and providing a review copy of this book.
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