“You stabbed Casteel?” Jasper repeated. “In the heart? With bloodstone. And you thought it would kill him?”
“In my defense, I felt bad afterward.”
“She did cry,” Casteel remarked.
I was going to stab him again.
What’s this about?
A proposal. A journey. Secret’s unveiled. Biting smut. (Let’s be real, we are are just in this for the biting smut 😏).
My Rating: 5/5 stars
I enjoyed FROM BLOOD AND ASH but I seriously wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I do!!!
I was not expecting this to be one of my favorite JLA books to date.
This book had great banter. Amazing sexual tension. Great sex scenes. A fun plot. And it makes me super super excited for the next book in the series!!
Like all JLA books, the ‘twists’ you can see coming a mile away, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable! I also like how this plot seemed more cohesive than the first book. I felt like FBAA was two books smooshed into one.
While I do like this story, JLA relies pretty heavily on Poppy asking a million and one questions to do her worldbuilding. Which at times I enjoyed because it helped to break up long portions of info dump, but at other times it was infuriating. I can see why Kieran sometimes hates her lol 😂
Also this book is 100% a filler. It’s mostly used to enhance the worldbuilding, set up the next book, and further develop Cas/Poppy’s relationship. I still found it fun as hell, even as a filler! It’s just a bit slower than the first book.
I really think JLA should just stick to writing NA books instead of YA since clearly this is where her talent lies. I know her YA SFF definitely tends to lean towards upper YA and be steamy-ish (nowhere near ACOTAR level), but this was just *chef’s kiss*. And this was wayyy steamier and the sex scenes wayyyy better than those in her Titans series (her other NA series). Or maybe JLA should just stick to writing sexual tension filled, trope-y af vampire inspired NA books. Because that shit was 💯
Also…..is anyone really hoping the Joining happens in the next book or is that just me….😏💦🥵
I mean that scene where Cas bit Poppy and grinded on her while smooshing Kieran against the wall making a hot Poppy sandwich was…..🥵
Also Cas/Poppy whole ‘let’s just pretend’ thing they have going on has such Jude/Cardan ‘I want to tell you so many lies’ energy and I am so here for it.
I want to tell people that Poppy/Cas have a pretty physically violent relationship (Poppy towards Cas) but he is super turned on by it so it’s chill. Their violence seems consensual so have at it lol. (I know some will be bothered by it, but if it’s consensual I don’t see the big deal tbh)
This isn’t the first time that JLA has tried to have some political allegories in her work (the Origin series is probably the most obvious to-date), but usually while I see what she’s trying to get at, her execution ends up a bit flawed because she oversimplifies the problems/solutions. I feel like the political allegories that she writes about in this book are handled so much better than her other books have.
Basically in this book Poppy recognizes that she was complicit in an environment that hurt innocent people. And that while she was also a victim/product of that environment, she still has to take responsibility for how she enabled it to still occur.
“But you know what else is true? Right now, you are destroying an intricate section of the system that has chained an entire kingdom for hundreds of years,” he added. “You should never forget that you were once an accessory, but you also shouldn’t forget what you are now a part of.”
It was really cool and I thought handled pretty well. I really wasn’t expecting JLA to have the range to pull off the imagery but she does. I also love how there was zero victim blaming of what Poppy suffered through and what Cas suffered through.
I also think the book handled really well what it’s like to have someone be your first everything when you aren’t their first anything (not their first love nor kiss nor sex nor anything). Her acceptance. Her insecurities. It was all handled super well. I’m so glad Poppy didn’t act like an over jealous YA heroine. Poppy was so chill about all of it.
I really enjoyed the character growth in this book. The ending was a tad….odd? But would it be a JLA book if it didn’t end on a cliffhanger?!?!?!?!?!
All in all this series definitely going to be one of my go to rereads when I’m in a book slump.
It’s streamy. It’s fun. It’s so fucking trope-y in the best possible way.
Would totally recommend.
I am, and forever will be, JLA trash.
Content Warnings: mentions of rape, gore, violence, murder, alcohol consumption, abuse, mentions of suicide