A few weeks ago I mentioned the first book in this series (Tears of the Broken by A.M. Hudson). I said that I had stopped reading it in the middle of the book because (and I quote myself): “I decided halfway through that the true definition of insanity is reading the same book over and over but expecting (wanting) a different ending.” I promised to explain that later and I believe that it is time.
The problem is now I don’t know where to begin. See I just finished the 3rd book in the series (of which I believed was going to be 3 long and now find out it is planned to be 6 long) and things have changed so much it’s confusing. I guess I’ll start with some background about my-self and what I bring to this book.
I am very much an empathetic reader. I don’t just understand how the characters are feeling, I feel it myself (sometimes for hours or even days after putting the book down). This is the reason I had to stop reading Danielle Steele books. Her male leads are always such despicable characters that I would get mad and take it out on my dear sweet husband even when he had done nothing wrong. I say this so that you really understand that when a protagonist falls in love, I fall right along with her. If she thinks he’s great I just can’t get enough of him, etc. So when Ara moved to America and fell for David in Tears of the Broken, I fell too. Hard. But then things changed.
Ara never stopped loving David, but I did. She adored him no matter what. But I hated him. He was so wrong for her. The main reason being: he wasn’t Edward, he was the antithesis! Despite the fact that when Ara learned he was a vampire she was appalled and asked him to try to stop killing people, couldn’t he eat animals instead, he laughed. His reply was “I’m not a Cullen, Ara.” (I did love the Twilight reference but still…) Even with what he was she still loved him, but he wanted her to change… literally. He wanted to make her a vampire even though she saw what he did, and what he wanted her to do, as murder. How could a good person (or vampire) want that for the one they love. He was just selfish and didn’t want to give her up. But true love isn’t selfish and he should have been stronger.
The first book ends at an impasse. She won’t change and he still wants her to. At this point I really hated him, but was curious enough to read the second book. In The Knight of the Rose things get really crazy. It’s been a while since I’ve read that one, but basically her best friend from back home, Mike, comes to visit. He is the one she has loved since childhood, just not always in a romantic way. He is AWESOME and so good for her. He loves her despite everything, even when she tells him that a part of her heart will always belong to David, he just wants whatever she has to give.
I can’t really leave out the fact that she spends months of this book in a coma because of Jason. Jason is David’s brother and he hurts Ara to get back at David for something David did to him in the past. After the coma, they discover through what Jason did to her that Ara is incapable of changing to a vampire (something to do with genetics). If she had been capable she would have changed with what Jason did. So now she knows she has to move on from David. They just can’t be part of each other’s worlds. So when Mike asks her to marry him she says yes. Partly just because it’s the only way her dad will allow her to move back to Australia with him, but also because she really does love him and she knows he’s good for her.
That book ends on her wedding day. David shows up (sort of) as she is getting ready for the wedding and she tells him she never wants to see him again. Then she turns to walks out the door to go to the church and marry Mike.
I really intended to stop reading at that point. I mean, where could this go? She finally made the right choice. Mike was perfect for her and they were going to be together. But, eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I started The Heart’s Ashes. Not a very promising title if you’re looking for a happy ending, and one of the longest books I’ve ever read BTW—almost as long as the longest Harry Potter… Order of the Phoenix… just to give you an idea.
So, how does it start? Where does to go? Well, I will say it got my attention quick. First thing that happens is she leaves Mike at the altar. Literally, Runaway Bride style, she leaves him standing there. UUGGGHHH… I like Mike, remember? I can’t believe she did that. But she just can’t stop loving David. So she’s miserable. The first third of the book she is nothing but miserable. She basically has no way of reaching David again and knows that she has lost him forever. Mike goes back to Australia. She moves out of her dad and step-mom’s house with, Emily, her best girl-friend as a roommate. And she remains almost inconsolably miserable.
She eventually meets Eric (as if her love life isn’t confusing enough) who turns out to be a vampire as well. She starts dating him but never really falls for him. She mostly just likes that he gives her insight and information about David, who is now on the run from the other vampires because they don’t like something about his choices to do with her.
Oh, and Mike comes back and moves in with her and Emily. I told you her love life is confusing. Here she is pining over David, sort of dating Eric and still in love with Mike who now lives with her. To top all that off, she runs into Jason and actually talks to him (how stupid can she be considering he almost killed her the last time she saw him). He tells her that he didn’t want to hurt her but was forced to. According to him, he’s actually in love with her, too. WHAT!??? So now she starts having confusing feelings for him too.
It’s about this point that David comes back. He just can’t stay away from her. While reading the only words that I had to describe this book were, blood and lust. That was the central theme: blood, lust and obviously confusion. By the time David came back I didn’t know who to like for her. At this point Mike still loves her, but has also fallen for Emily. Ara feels jealous of that but still wants Mike to be happy so, you guessed it, more confusion.
Then David proposes and this time she goes through with it. They get married (so I guess I have to want David for her now). But at their wedding Jason shows up and kidnaps them both. David is to be tortured for breaking the law by being with her and for running from the other vamps. And this is where it gets really weird (I know! Like it wasn’t already weird enough). It turns out that Ara is somehow already a slightly different breed of vampire!!!!! She is actually the enemy to the traditional vampires and since they hate her so much they torture her too. (very detailed and graphic… I skimmed a bit here)
Of course they eventually escape and now it turns out she’s not just a Lilithian (still can’t figure out how to pronounce that in my head) but she’s a princess, soon to be crowned queen. Oh, and at one point she bit Mike so he’s Lilithian now too. And since the princess was the one to turn him he is now the head of the Lilithian Knights who are mounting a rebellion against the traditional vampires (or at least the head guy).
And that’s about where it ends (on an incredibly cheesy note I might add).
I know this is a longer, more detailed account than I usually give, but I was encouraged not to give up on the book because someone I was telling about all this wanted to know how the story ended. Well, since the series is only half over I guess it’s still not the end, but I wanted to write this while it was fresh on my mind. And obviously I can’t seem to just stop reading so I’ll probably write about the next three books eventually. But no promises.