Genre: YA, Fantasy, Mermaids Publication Date: January 2016 Pages: 254 Published By: Jester Ink Press Website Tiffany Duane Website Review copy: Physical for honest review
Discover the spellbinding sequel to Coral & Bone...
A demented twin sister, a demon hijacking her powers, and a mysterious journal filled with more questions than answers—Halen needs her Guardian Dax more than ever. But if she confides in Dax, she fears he will never forgive her, not after all he sacrificed to help her vanquish Asair. Halen drowned Asair in a tornado of wings—at least, she thought she killed him. Why then does his mocking voice snake through her thoughts, enticing her to surrender her power? Maybe she screwed up—big time—but she will never allow Asair to control her magick. And when Etils' fires threaten the Earth, suspicions surrounding Asair's death rise, igniting restlessness within the realms. Her life in balance, Halen must race time, purge the demon's soul before flames consume the Earth or the Tari strike first.
Nothing she could say would comfort him. Right now, their lives hinged on Asair's memories. Whether he was alive or dead, their fate still lay in the demon's hands.
His rage called to her, fuelling her magick. She found Dax tripping on the seam of her soul; wavering between the light and dark. The darkness tugged harder, and Dax fell in with open arms. As his anger consumed her, she understood what he needed.
Her friends' faces flashed through her thoughts one by one. Was she blind? Had they all lied? "What about my friends
Tage and Ezra?" Their names stung. "Carch and Pepper?" Her Voice was but a whiper.
Lies run deep, darling.
Saying that this is a spellbinding sequel just does not cover how absolutely amazing this book is. Duane out did herself creating a second book that is not only as good as the first book, but quite possibly out does it. Okay, so maybe it's Coral and Bones equal but there is nothing mediocre about this second book. In fact this book holds its own and shows us all that being second isn't always a bad thing and that Duane rocks it as an author!
I think the biggest thing for the plot in this book was the massive twist that it took. I can't say exactly how it happened or when I realized that it was happening, but it did and I just couldn't grasp it to start. This is not saying that I didn't realize that something was changing, that something was off. However, I didn't see the depth of deception that was going on. The pace didn't let up and kept me quickly turning the pages. One of the biggest appeals and perks of the pacing and the plot twist was that the book had the excitement of a first book, but the bonus of knowing the characters that you are reading. You get to see all of the old friends and still get the feel of the first time you met. There was nothing that I can think of that I would change, nor a moment that I would change, knowing what I know now.
Halen is in quite a predicament. Spending so much of her life being lied to is still blowing up in her face. It's hard to know who to trust when everyone you thought you knew, you didn't and everything you thought to be true is gradually twisting with no way of knowing what's really the truth. There is also the matter of her and Dax, and the lines that they seem to be walking. Basically, if Halen thought things were tough before, her life has just gotten two times more complicated. Halen did manage to maintain her appeal through all of this. She continues to be a strong female lead, and yet she is not without her weaknesses or faults. Halen is unique in the fact that she does adapt to a situation quickly and she will fight to do what needs to be done, but she also is willing to admit that there is much she can't do on her own. For this I have always enjoyed Halen and am sure I will continue to do so.
Halen isn't the only one going through a tough time. In fact basically everyone in this book is going through something. Though I ache to explain further, I honestly fear that in doing so I would ruin so much. Even the other major voice Tage (I can't even say point of view because it was like a separate story that ties in near the end), holds far too much to explain fully without destroying some key points. What you do need to know is that everyone still plays their part no matter how big or how small, and there are lives that are either forever changed, or taken. Duane showed that she had no fear when it came to removing a character, even if it did twist you up or take a little piece of you each time it happened.
Duane used her magnificent plot/plot twist and her magical writing to pull off something amazing in a second book; she flat out made it just as good as the first. This book was not for one moment a filler, or anything less than an equal to Coral and Bone. Page after page Curses and Ash kept me captivated and anxious to find out what happened in the end. I wasn't expecting there to be another book after this, and was equally excited and disappointed to find out that there will be a third book. I am disappointed only because I will have to wait until 2017 to get my greedy hands on the next book, because beyond that I am nothing but a ball of anticipation and excitement. If you haven't had the chance pick up this exciting series because there is very little chance of disappointment. Fans of paranormal, action and a well written read will surely love this book.