Book Review | Feast of Ashes | By Victoria Williamson
TheWriteReads Blog Tour | YA Dystopian
The Earth’s ecosystems have collapsed and only ashes remain. Is one girl’s courage enough to keep hope alive in the wastelands?
It’s the year 2123, and sixteen-year-old Adina has just accidentally killed fourteen thousand seven hundred and fifty-six people. Raised in the eco-bubble of Eden Five, Adina has always believed that the Amonston Corporation’s giant greenhouse would keep her safe forever. But when her own careless mistake leads to an explosion that incinerates Eden Five, she and a small group of survivors must brave the barren wastelands outside the ruined Dome to reach the Sanctuary before their biofilters give out and their DNA threatens to mutate in the toxic air.
They soon discover that the outside isn’t as deserted as they were made to believe, and the truth is unearthed on their dangerous expedition. As time runs out, Adina must tackle her guilty conscience and find the courage to get everyone to safety. Will she make it alive, or will the Nomalies get to her first?
Narrative and Plot
Feast of Ashes is a bold YA dystopian novel. I say bold because I have read a few middle-grade novels by Victoria Williamson and they all had some kind of sinister elements to them. But this one went quite dark and explores the darker sides of humanity. The story is told from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old Adina. The plot has many things going on for it. I am excited for the next book now because there are so many possibilities to explore.
The setting against the African continent and for once something happening anywhere other than in America got me hooked. Nothing against America but it is a running joke around here that all the aliens, supervillains, or meteorites make their way to the U.S. first where they get to take the Last Stand. Jokes apart, the story explores the ugly and greedy side of humanity which does not worry about the consequences of their actions.
The plot is well structured and takes us on a journey where anything can happen to anyone. It sets us up with bits of information earlier and then we anticipate the danger at all times. That is just how one should feel while reading a dystopian survival journey.
Characters and Conflicts
Adina is a flawed character. She reveals she killed fourteen thousand seven hundred and fifty-six people right at the beginning ( It is in the synopsis!). And yet you are supposed to follow this supposedly unlikeable, less popular moody teenager and root for her. I could even overlook her claim of mass murder but the way she treated Chiku was what made her abominable to me. But part of the fun is how you end up rooting for her till the end.
A child brought up in a dystopian society had to be cut-throat or else she wouldn’t have been one of the last survivors of her community. The dynamics between the survivors and their journey form the core of the story.
Feast of Ashes is a story of survival and redemption with an open-ended climax. Some would say it is dark. I choose to believe it is hopeful in the end. Which is why I wouldn’t mind a second part.
I received an e-ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review for TheWriteReads blog tour.