Author: Jessica McKendry
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing
Publication Date: February 11, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Plot: First, here is the summary of "From the Ashes" from Amazon - Jaina Indera has been preparing her entire life for the chance to prove herself a superior and loyal citizen of the Imperial Alliance. In order to do so, she believes she must win the galaxy-wide competition known as the Trials. With training at her Gifted School progressing swiftly, everything looks like it is on pace for her to achieve her dream…until a boy named Dragon enrolls in her class. Suddenly doubting herself and everything she’s been taught to believe, Jaina and Dragon are teamed with six of their classmates for the chance to compete and achieve their dream: winning the Trials. Consisting of four different tests, the Trials are about to challenge these eight young adults to the limits of their abilities. But learning to work as a team is more difficult than they ever imagined and dark secrets from Dragon’s past emerge that put them in mortal danger. Now Jaina must discover what she’s really fighting for if she and her team have any hope of finishing the Trials…alive.
Jaina has been training her whole life for a chance to prove herself a superior and earn entrance into the Crystal City. All she has to do is complete the Trials, but it's not as easy as it seems. Jaina is top of her class until a young man named Dragon enrolls in her school and she's thrown for a loop. There's something familiar about him. When his past is revealed, Jaina tries to deal with the knowledge as the Trials begin and she is forced to rely on him. The Trials are more difficult than the group of young adults could imagine and a terrible price will be paid if they cannot work together, but even then they face a life of exile if they fail. Just as Jaina falls for Dragon, a secret is revealed and she must decide if she can trust him and live.
The relationship between Jaina and Dragon is deep and heart-stopping. I did suspect who he truly was, but I was glad to read it. Dragon is a complex young man; the one Jaina remembers and the new one a part of her fears. He is surrounded in mystery and secrets - which I love about him! Dragon is definitely my new fictional crush, despite his flaws and the lies he produces. He's attractive and knows his way around a weapon. I love the way the relationship between the two is written. It isn't too fast or with petty arguments, but has a steady progression a reader can believe.
From the Ashes is an action packed debut novel and thrilling coming of age story, complete with a dash of romance and deceit! At first, I admit I judged the author because she is so young, but I was wrong. McKendry's debut novel will have you not wanting to put down the book and loving each page! The ending did need a little more resolution for me, but I understand why it ends there. I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for some forbidden romance, action, and an ending which will have you begging to know the secret!
In other book related news - Laura Josephsen's second book was just released! Rising Book 2: Rebellion.
Beautiful cover! I honestly loved the first book and I am stoked to read the second one! Laura is an amazing and incredibly creative author, who writes stories that leave you with questions and linger in your heart.
Seriously, buy her book! :) (If you don't believe me, here's my review of her first book.)