The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay

The Hour of Dust and Ashes, book three in the exciting Charlie Madigan series, picks up just a week after the events at the close of book two. Charlie and her friends won a battle against a being from another world, but things are in disarray after the event. Hank, Charlie’s siren partner, has to heal so he can rejoin her on the task force where they police off-world visitors in Atlanta. Bryn, Charlie’s sister, has become addicted to ash, the drug brought to Earth from Charbydon, a parallel world closely resembling Hell. If that were not bad enough, there have been signs that those addicted may also be possessed by spirits, but no one knows to what end.

When she goes to visit an oracle for assistance, Charlie learns that all of the exorcists have left town, presumably having been warned off. The oracle sets Charlie up to meet with sylphs, rarely-seen creatures originally from Elysia, the Heaven-like parallel world, who can see inside of people as to what and who they really are. When two of the ash victims commit suicide, Charlie and the others know that time is running out to find answers. In addition to that main problem, what the oracle neglects to tell Charlie about the visits from the sylphs may prove her undoing.

The Hour of Dust and Ashes proves an excellent and exciting installment in this thrilling series characterized by nonstop action and just the right touch of subtle humor. The underlying concept, of the parallel worlds existing beside Earth with beings from myth and legend, inhabitants of each visiting the other worlds, feels very realistic due to the author’s skill making the scenes and players come alive. Charlie continues grow and accept that sometimes she needs help in order to accomplish her missions and goals, most of which concern those she cares most about. The developing relationship between Charlie and Hank fits well into the overall arc of the series, but does not detract from the other events of the novel. Recommended to all urban fantasy readers, this terrific book leaves this reviewer anxious to read the next in the series, Shadows Before the Sun.

Book stats:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Original edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451625472
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451625479

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Books in the Charlie Madigan series in the order they should be read:
The Better Part of Darkness The Darkest Edge of Dawn

The Hour of Dust and Ashes
Shadows Before the Sun

, book three in the exciting Charlie Madigan series, picks up just a week after the events at the close of book two. Charlie and her friends won a battle against a being from another world, but things are in disarray after the event. Hank, Charlie’s siren partner, has to heal so he can rejoin …

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About Carol

A book reviewer and editor at Bitten by Books since 2008, Carol reads extensively in the urban fantasy genre, and also writes the column on genre television, Screen Bites. Serving as the director of the Urban Fantasy track at Dragon Con, Carol also works at Coastal Magic (formerly Olde City, New Blood), and AnachroCon, and for the last three years has been one of the organizers for a small literary festival in the town where she lives. When not reading, writing reviews, or working at conventions, Carol spends as much time as possible with her three amazing grandsons.

One comment

  1. LOVED. EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. Definitely one of my go-to’s for Urban Fantasy, the only detractor…waiting for the next one. She’s like book crack, never get enough…