The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay

The Hour of Dust and Ashes (Charlie Madigan #3)The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I freely admit I’m addicted to this series. (More so to Hank but that’s another story) the world building, the characters, everything just draws you in and holds up even beyond the last page. In The Hour of Dust and Ashes a lot of events that has happened in the pervious two books are wrapped up with a new arc unfolding with our attention turned toward the other “heavenly” scope.

Of course before that, Kelly Gay takes Charlie and the reader to hell first on a short time limit. Because hell in Charlie Madigan’s world isn’t all fire and brimstone, but close enough. Charlie’s still dealing with the after effects of the events in The Darkest Edge of Dawn, with ash victims possessed and the worry about her sister weights heavy even more so when these victims suddenly start taking their own lives. And anyone who could help is bailing out of the city. Charlie is up against a rock and a hard place with time running out to figure whose truly behind the sudden suicide notice of these people and the offer to be able to save their lives through a series of close to death tests, Charlie is about to visit a known hell with a lot more at stake..

One of the things I really like about this series is the series of choices given to Charlie. Their not easy choices and sometimes like in life we come across a few do or die that may be hard to make. Charlie is given these choices time and again and not everyone will agree with her choice even when she follows her heart and her gut she makes the tough choice and goes with it, then again who said life was fair and easy?

Kelly Gay has given of glimpses and a little taste here and there to keep the reader wondering about characters, and she builds a great tension in the first half of the book. This was a give or take, while the tension could be cut with a knife it gave the story flow a slow feel to it, something the other two action packed books didn’t have. This weakness was also it’s strength with more development for character growth and relationships. In book two there was a big leap between Charlie and Hank and was left hanging, book three picks up from there and revels more about Hank hidden past. Hank has drawn me in from the first book and while I wished for more screen time with him, the author must have heard my and other readers wish because he got major amount of real screen time that shaped his character even more. (The Christmas present scene had me AWWWing) Along with Hank, Rex, Bryn, Em, and Aaron and even more so Charlie are all changing and evolving in deeper richer characters that I felt was a tad shimmed in the pervious two books.

While the action may have taken a backseat, the author builds it up and sprinkles it with some great “Aww” moments and humor with the case always in the driver seat with a breadcrumb trail leading to a very surprising find, and the almost near death tests Charlie is given in order to save her sister and others kept the reader glued to the book/kindle to find out what would happen next. With it all leading to Charlie’s trip to “hell” and once again KG throws the reader for a loop with the trip and with a ending that had me clutching my kindle in a death grip wanting more and not wanting to wait for the next book to be out!

When this arc closing and another is opening with a lot unawansed questions still left and a few new ones popping up, I can’t wait for the next in this series- it’s no wonder why I love and adore this series....and this maybe my inner Hank fangirl talking...

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