A.B. Gayle's Reviews > From the Ashes

From the Ashes by Marshall Thornton
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it was amazing

This series justs gets better and better.

You don't have to have read the previous ones to follow the plot, but the ongoing saga surrounding Nick's personal life is better appreciated if you have read them all in sequence.

I loved the way AIDS was handled in this book. In the previous ones we saw the growing awareness of it in the community.

In this one, we see the different ways gay men coped with it emotionally and physically. Some turn to religion and rejection of their former life, seeing it as penance for their sins. Others become celibate in fear of catching the disease. Others research how to have sex safely and yet others live in denial.

The characters are what makes this series stand out. Nick remains the solid core of the story, a mostly reliable narrator. Yet even he changes and grows from episode to episode as he is affected by the people he encounters and the mysteries he has to solve. Even if he doesn't want to change.

There were some memorable lines about how people had betrayed him in different ways and moments later, recognising that he has also betrayed them in a way.

The episode with Daniel was perhaps the most painful of all. I had held out hope that the lovers would one day be reconciled, but this story shows how people can and do change. You can't go back, as they say.

We didn't meet all the fabulous characters in this story, some are obviously waiting on the sidelines: Sugar Pilson, Jimmy English, Christian, but we did meet some great new ones. A parish priest who is obviously struggling with the fact he is gay. An underage boy who is very quick to offer blowjobs because he enjoys them so much.

Then finally, Mrs Harker. Bert's mother could be the stereotypical character from hell. Yet, even Nick is starting to dent her armor creating a fragile truce between two people who loved and lost the same person.

Once again, the city of Chicago provides a chilling backdrop. The seediness of certain areas. The weather.

This series offers so much and is such an easy read. I hope they are easy to write, as I'm eagerly looking forward to the next instalment.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 26, 2014 – Shelved

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