Smoke and Ashes is the third novel in the Smoke series. The first is Smoke and Shadows - one of my favorite books ever (paperback). Then Smoke and Mirrors - for me, the weakest in the series (paperback).

In addition to all that, the above are sequels to Huff's Blood series. However, believe me when I say reading the Blood novels is not necessary to understand the Smoke series. You see, I've only recently ordered the first two Blood books. So, I do plan to read them, but I've read the three Smoke novels without doing so.

Speaking of which is there anyone who knows how many books Huff will be writing in the Smoke series? I've done some googling, but my google kung-fu leaves much to be desired. I just wondered if she'll have five books as she did with Blood. Mainly I'm just hoping Smoke and Ashes isn't the last one, there are still some dangling bits that could be played with (no sexual pun actually meant).

I've only read through Smoke and Ashes the one time, I'm actually in the middle of the second read. However, I can tell you that I really enjoyed this novel. I believe I may even like it more than Smoke and Shadows, because Smoke and Shadows did have a bit of a weak ending, Smoke and Ashes does not.

There's also a really good plot twist, at least it was certainly unexpected for me.

The twist is that we are crusing happily along knowing Ryne Cyratane is the villian, but then we find out it is actually someone else. Of course, before the end Ryne Cyratane does pull a bit of a double-cross. So, we can't call him a good guy.

There is also a major hint/clue that Chester Bane (Tony's boss) may be more than he appears. Okay, there's been clues toward that in the previous two novels, but one thing that jumped out at me here was... But just so I don't make anyone think I've actually spoiled anything - it really could be nothing at all.

Tony used up his supply of cough syrup (what he uses to make wards) during one of the attacks on the studio and Chester Bane simply says "Get me an empty bottle, and I'll see that he has what he needs."

Could be nothing, as I said above, but for whatever reason this line really struck me as foreshadowing. There are other things, of course, in the first novel CB breaches Arra's wards and doesn't get taken over by the Shadowlord. Supposedly this was because of his uber-strong personality, but that never rang quite right to me.

So, now I'm curious where Huff will take CB; not-so-normal human, or something more?

There were some things that disappointed me, or rather were simply unexpected. For example, I thought a certain someone was gay and had a bit of a crush on Tony, but that turns out to be untrue. Just bugs me a bit because the ending of Smoke and Mirrors left me thinking this person was crushing on Tony.

And that's all I'll say on that, because I don't feel like cutting again.

While Tony still needed the help of almost everyone, he actually came into his own in Smoke and Ashes. And as for the last kiss... I was happy, but not actually as satisfied as I expected to me. Of course, that may be because it was only a kiss.

Like both the previous novels Smoke and Ashes pulls you in right away and doesn't let you go until the end. Yes, even the overly cliched plot of Smoke and Mirrors hooks you from the beginning and doesn't let go. Somehow Huff manages to make cliche things seem new again, mostly.


Hmmm, well, I've already used this LJ more than I thought I would. However, since I only have a few more new things to read/watch I expect things will drop off sharply at that point.