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From the Ashes

(Fires of Redemption #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  217 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Sociopath. Killer. Deviant.

Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called this and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father's inhuman empire. Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford--antisocial graduate researcher, quiet underachiever
ebook, 2nd Edition, 239 pages
Published January 2nd 2017 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Select Otherworld) (first published September 6th 2012)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Free for the month of March 2018 from Instafreebie. I'm supporting Own Voices queer authors right now.
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰

That's the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book. The writing style is both emotive and evocative qualities that I found very satisfying. Sanders puts sentences together in clever and beautiful ways that put you in this world immediately.

I give him pieces of myself, as if only his hands can arrange the puzzle of them into something human.

Tobias tells this story from his perspective. He's an aberrant (think X-Men) and he's lonely. The loneliness he feels is pervasive and

A man that feels nothing and one that feels too much…

Tobias Rutherford just seems like a normal graduate researcher. He’s unassuming, antisocial and draws no attention. Which works in his favour, because who he is really would scare the ever living hell out of those that surround him. He is “Spark” the destroyer, monster, a man with no humanity, a man without love and hope. He is on mission to stop research that would cause the destruction of his kind, research that would erase all that
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
I love a book that has me perched on the edge of my seat, and Xen Sanders hits the ground running with From the Ashes , bringing us a paranormal M/M story, told from the protagonists POV, with diverse characters and filled with the unpredictable, action, passion, intimacy and emotion.


Tobias Rutherford is far from your stereotypical hero or in this case, anti-hero. He's a character with many layers and such a breath of fresh air to discover; he may be a killer but he's adorable and with a real e
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superheroic
I picture Tobias' father as Raul Julia playing Bison.

Only Thai, I guess. Or did he just conquer Thailand? Who is the Thai Raul Julia?

Anyway, Infernus Blaze is not laughable, aside from his costume and posturing speeches. But neither was Bison, actually. The audience may find him risable, but there's nothing funny about his program of conquest and murder to the people who've lost their families or homes. Which is actually an element I think the film adaptation did a good job with, but that's neit
Great m/m urban fantasy with a slight super-hero bent. Ever since the advent of genetic modification of human foetuses, some babies have been born with the aberrant gene. This strips them of emotion at the same time as it gives them dangerous powers. The battle between Aberrants and humans is coming to a head. Spark (Tobias) is the son of the Aberrant leader, his right hand man, and his assassin. He is working undercover at a U.S. university, secretly sabotaging a professor who is working on a c ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vio by: Td
4.5 stars
An excellent urban fantasy, it surprised me a lot and what a page turner. Tobias is a fascinating, complex character and even when this cold blooded killer is talking death I felt for him. I loved his voice, compelling and believable it's the struggle and soul searching he goes through that makes the story work so well. Sean and Tobias had great chemistry together, I like these two and cant wait to see where the author will take us in the next installment.
The blurb is good enough for a "recap" and can help me to remember things; so I am just going straight to my opinion ...

I would never know about this story, if not for MandyM posting her review and it appeared on my timeline. At first, I wonder whether I could feel sympathy for a serial killer. In the first chapter, Tobias says that he is his father's (Lord High General Infernus Blaze) shadow. That as Spark, he conquered Laos (and killed million of people). But quickly, Tobias's voice reeled me
Joy (joyous reads)
This was amazing. How the author managed to cram so much in such a slight novel and not leave any stone unturned is truly a feat not a lot of writers can achieve. The author endeavoured (and was successful) to write a full story in a novella that did not leave his readers feeling gypped. Oh and it had a nice twist in the end to boot!

From the Ashes tells a story of Tobias Rutherford, the son of a ruthless aberrant whose primary goal was to rule the world. At first glance, his father was every bit
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I just put this book down and thought to myself: "That was so much fun!"

"From the Ashes" is basically X-men w/ a M/M romance in the backdrop. It's about a mutant population (aberrants) and the humans who fear them. (Sound familiar?) The prince of the aberrants, Blaze/Tobias, lives among the humans (in Berkeley, town!) and falls in love w/ a professor at his school. He's torn between his duties as an aberrant and his love for the human.

The book unravels a bit slowly in the beginning but h
Kira Decker
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone! This is an amazing story. A true must read!
Shelves: reviewed, m-m, fantasy
Where do I start. This story was amazing! The sparks that fly between Tobias and Sean reach out and steal the wind out of your lungs. The anti-hero who you root for is a hard character to write, but Adrien-Luc Sanders does it to perfection.

Too often novellas leave you wanting more. The only thing From the Ashes left me wanting is a sequel.
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.25 STARS. I received this ARC from NETGALLEY, I went into this story not knowing anything other than enjoying the Xen Sanders last book. Great addicting read, I was so caught up, wonderfully done & look forward to more.
Really liked this one, a very welcome freebie from the author [whose other work I am now stalking...😉] but a story for which I would've gladly shelled out money....had I known about it. 😊 I love all things X-Men and Superhero, and the anti-hero in this one, Tobias aka Spark, is a very complex character indeed. 4.5 stars.

Beautifully written, the story focuses on Tobias's struggles...both with himself and his father [whom I didn't like one little bit]. Tobias is an aberrant, a dangerous human gen
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pnr, dark, anti-hero
First of all, I really liked this book. Before I get into it though, let me say it is a rerelease from a book titled, From the Ashes by Adrien-Luc Sanders released in 2012.

The blurb completely drew me into this one:

Sociopath. Killer. Deviant.

Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called this and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father's inhuman empire. Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearso
Fenriz Angelo
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Torn between "I liked it" "I really liked it", let it be the latter.

Again...i went in the book without reading the blurb, so i didn't know what was this exactly about, until i read "latex suit" and "powers" i realized this was a book about superheroes, like X-Men with the fight over races, etc. Cool, i haven't read a Marvel/DC comic in ages and it's the first time i read about superheroes and villains in a book format so this was going to be an interesting experience.

I evalued the book as a su
Joseph Tonlet
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-bdsm
Loved it. Writing so beautiful it reads like poetry. Just stunning!
Buffy Armstrong
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books-read
One of those rare books that I got so caught up in that I forgot to breathe. More than once. Loved it. Enough said.
Jane super booklover📚
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
This is a really good story. Im not big on pnr and sci fi books but this one i liked. It took me long because im busy with remodeling our new house but that wasnt the Book. I read this Book for the Reading challenge of the amazing group turning pages at midnight. It was my last one. I loved Tobias. Even spark. And especcialy Sean. To let someone see the beauty of things when they only can see hate is a powerful and beautiful thing.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my second Xen Sanders book and since I loved Shatterproof , I was raring to go when I saw this.

This story/book? It. Was . Intense.

It's set in a world where we have a subset of people with genes that differentiates them from plain humans. These people are called Aberrants and they have great & sometimes terrible powers. They also tend to have deviant minds, deviant pleasures, are cruel & are always hungry for violence. They have no moral code or ethics. Basically, villains.

I found them t
~nikki the recovering book addict
This felt pretty epic. It also touched all the feels! Omg, I mean, it was like reading an X-man movie with all the fighting and heroics. But it was also very vulnerable. Although, the author drove the point across one too many times, that as an aberrant,
Tobias felt like he couldn’t have feelings or incapable of feelings.

We get it, he’s an aberrant who apparently is like every other aberrant who are monsters. It’s didn’t need to be brought up at every chapter. Sometimes several times
Rafa Brewster
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic antihero by Xen Sanders/Cole McCade. If you like superheroes, and particularly complex, broody supervillains who are struggling to find love and humanity within themselves, look no further. Tobias offers a fascinating look into the mind of a so-called monster, and Sean is the perfect foil to his destructive tendencies. The plot and twists had me on the edge of my seat, and at the same time I was weeping from Tobias' childhood memories growing up in Thailand. The Southeast Asian ...more
I love this story. LOVE. Novellas are difficult because they are so short but I felt this one was perfect and I was never left feeling like I didn't get enough story. Tobias is such an interesting character--he's an anti-hero and an all around bad guy. He has trouble feeling emotions like normal people and his father, the biggest villain around, uses Tobias to do his bidding. Tobias, who has destroyed entire nations, just wants to be left alone. I loved his struggle to understand morals and what ...more
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-urban
This was not at all what I was expecting, it was much better. I was immediately drawn in by Tobias' voice and his story. Thanks to MandyM's for coming to the rescue with yet another wonderful review. Take a look for more details. ...more
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Paranormal mm romance with an anti-hero I couldn't love more!

This story is such an unusual read and I enjoyed it so much. It's Xen Sanders' second book, and in a way there are some similarities with Shatterproof which I also loved.

We have Tobias, a dark and broody antihero, supervillan who hides a human heart who tells the story and I found his voice was powerful and absolutely fascinating. It's not easy to make the reader fall in love with someone like him, he's killed millions, is (for mo
Pianka *call me PIU*
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 stars

Well. Who would've thought from that cover, eh. I did read the blurb prior to reading; but - having never read Xen Sanders's works before - have absolutely no clue what to expect from the book. It's certainly not a black and white story, our MC being a villain of sort. This action-packed, steamy, anti-hero paranormal tale is a nice introduction to a new-to-me author.

From the Ashes is the first book of Fires of Redemption series, an AU where aberrant or people with supernatural powers l
Excellent new world building and something I hadn't read before. Tobias and Sean are aberrants and successfully hiding the fact from everyone including each other. Unknownst to them they are fighting on opposites sides, Sean for good and Tobias for evil although that is not a choice Tobias made for himself.

Tobias has been trained from a very young age that this is his purpose in life and his destiny to fulfil whether he likes it or not. In reality he would just like to live a normal life and no
Kerry Schafer
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a tightly and beautifully written novella. Sanders is not afraid to craft characters who are not mainstream - Tobias is a brown, gay, villanous superhero who still manages to escape fitting any sort of stereotype. As a "straight" reader, I still found the m/m love scenes moving and steamy and my heart was fully engaged with the love story. So much of what I want to say would involve spoilers, so I'll end here. I will definitely be watching for any other books from this writer. ...more
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an excellent read. It's nice to read a book where there is a gay hero without it having to be the focus of the story. And there are some tastefully done sex scenes as icing on the cake. :) ...more
Well, I always love a good redemption story. Gorgeously written, as always. More fun than I expected. At first I thought that was because I recently read C. B. Lee's "Not Your Villian" and "Not Your Sidekick" and those kept coming to mind as I read this. But there was also something over the top about this that kept tickling me. And when I went to reread it, to figure out what that was, I saw it was written into every paragraph, this dry humor. I was trying to find a good quote but I just got su ...more
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