My dear bookish friends,
How or when do you decide an author makes it onto your auto-buy list? Well, I didn’t buy them per se but I discovered Victoria Williamson via TheWriteReads blogtours recently, and I can say I have found an author whose writing style and worldbuilding I really enjoy, so if there will be more books to come by her I know I will want to discover their worlds as well.
Keep on reading to find out what I thought of Feast of Ashes, Williamson’s YA debut!
As always, a huge thank you to TheWriteReads, the author, and the publisher for my ebook and spot on the blogtour (none of which have influenced my review or rating in any way).
About the Book
The Earth’s ecosystems have collapsed and only ashes remain. Is one girl’s courage enough to keep hope alive in the wastelands?
It’s the year 2123, and sixteen-year-old Adina has just accidentally killed fourteen thousand seven hundred and fifty-six people. Raised in the eco-bubble of Eden Five, Adina has always believed that the Amonston Corporation’s giant greenhouse would keep her safe forever. But when her own careless mistake leads to an explosion that incinerates Eden Five, she and a small group of survivors must brave the barren wastelands outside the ruined Dome to reach the Sanctuary before their biofilters give out and their DNA threatens to mutate in the toxic air.
They soon discover that the outside isn’t as deserted as they were made to believe, and the truth is unearthed on their dangerous expedition. As time runs out, Adina must tackle her guilty conscience and find the courage to get everyone to safety. Will she make it alive, or will the Nomalies get to her first?
Victoria Williamson has an incredible talent for writing tremendous opening lines, and Feast of Ashes takes it up another notch yet again! It is so shocking, so unthinkable, and so ‘omg, no way?!’ that I was hooked right from the start!
We are quickly introduced to our main character and 1st person narrator, Adina, by her informing us she has just accidentally killed 14’756 people – almost the entire population of Eden 5. That is certainly one way to hook the reader! Adina then goes back to tell us how it all happened.
The last ecosystems of the world collapsed and Adina lives in one of the few eco-bubbles around the world. The outside world has become poisonous and deadly – and therefore made these bubbles a necessity to survive.
Adina isn’t the most likeable character I have to say. Yes, she is a teenager and we all know that’s a tough time to go through all by itself, but especially taking into account the world she lives in. BUT some of the choices she made were so infuriating and just made her even more unlikeable, which is a shame, because the author possesses the ability to write complex characters that come alive in front of your inner eye, and you really want to find out what happens to them. The same was the case with Adina. I was invested, I was hooked, and I wanted to find out what would happen to her.
This is Victoria Williamson’s YA debut, and it was a bit of a change to her middle grade books I read previously and have loved! That doesn’t mean I didn’t like this one (I did!), but I feel like I might have liked it more if this would have been my first read by the author. I have to admit it was a bit hard for me to get into the book, but I think fans of YA dystopias will probably have less of a hard time and probably enjoy it a lot more.
In the end I was glad that I kept going, as the author just writes such complex characters you can’t help but feel invested in – whether you like them or not, an extraordinary worldbuilding that just stands out, and an intriguing storyline that keeps you hooked.
3.75 stars from me (a very uneven number, I know, but 3.5 just felt too little because the writing itself is solid, but for me it wasn’t quite a 4-star read yet, especially in comparison with her other books I read previously and really loved), and I have lost track of how many books by this author I have read this year now, but one thing I know for sure: I want to read more of them!
Thank you all so much for reading, and do let me know if you read Feast of Ashes as well!