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Out of the Ashes by R.W. Day

This is not an easy sequel to like, above all if you loved the first book, and now I understand why, while many friends recommended me A Strong and Sudden Thaw, the release of Out of the Ashes went almost unnoticed. I understand the reason, and I hear all the complaints about cheating, about not being faithful to your lover when you know he is in danger, about the absolute taboo of falling in love with another man (sex is one thing, but love? Absolutely unacceptable!), but again I have to tell readers, take a step back and try to understand the reasons, of the characters and the author.

In the first book, R.W. Day broke a taboo, the main character, David, was “only” 16 years old and he fell in love with Callan, who was 23 years old. Truth be told, I didn’t feel at the time as that was an issue, considering the time and the setting, David was an adult, and Callan was of course still young, their age difference was almost non-existent, if not for the fact that Callan was sexually experienced and David instead wasn’t. To the same readers complaining that David falls in love with another man in this sequel, I’d like to remember that Callan himself had a relationship with another man in that first book. Truth it was not love, but still, it’s not like these two men never looked to another one as soon as they meet each other.

Anyway I highlighted again the age difference since, of the many complaints I heard about this second novel, not one highlighted the fact that Sterling, the “other man” is 63 years old! And David is only 18… so, do you really believe this love is possible? Sure, I’m not questioning David’s feelings for Sterling, but well, I think the author “used” Sterling as an expedient to prove that love is complex, and mostly doesn’t care about age, class and gender, but I have never thought that David and Callan were not destined together.

People complained it was not possible that David really loved Sterling, or that it was not possible that his love for Callan was real; someone saw as “convenient” as David and Sterling’s relationship evolved, since if not like that, there was no way for David to be able to go back to Callan. I simply think there were different love; David looked upon Sterling, and he really loved him, but their differences were clear and big, the love between them was almost reverence, a little like the Greek love were an older one teaches to a younger one the way of life. With Callan instead David has a more balanced relationship, and Callan’s disability (he lost an arm) makes them even more near, almost cancelling their different social status; even the highlighting of how Callan has great difficulty to write with his left hand is a way, to me, to level him to David’s illiteracy or bad accent.

So yes, I’m not sure I would recommend this novel to “all” readers, mostly since it’s a dark romance which doesn’t play according the rules. But if you are aware of that, than I think this one will test your willingness to try something different.


Buy Here

Amazon: Out of the Ashes
Amazon Kindle: Out of the Ashes
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (September 25, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590210646
ISBN-13: 978-1590210642

1) A Strong and Sudden Thaw: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1281982.html
2) Out of the Ashes

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 24th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
In the 2nd book, Brock Anderson invoked strong emotional reaction reaction from me. Damn good writing.
Oct. 24th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
it's difficult to not give out much of the book (I tried at least), but yes, Brock is a wonderful, and heroic, character
Oct. 24th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)

I had found out only late about the existence of ''Out of the Ashes''. And then I've forgotten about it, probably also because I read diverging opinions about the sequel to that wonderful book which is ''A Strong and Sudden Thaw''.

Thank you for reminding everybody that such sequel exists. Just a little concrit: I would have appreciated a warning about spoilers at the beginning of your review. Then I would have had the option to wait before reading it.

For the rest, I really don't know what to do. Even people who find the book relatively good say they won't re-read it.


Oct. 24th, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
Well, I didn't say how and if the relationship between David and Sterling will end ;-) maybe they will find a threesome sort of way... or maybe not... It was important to say that David had someone else since, well, that is most of the book, I think more than 3/4 of the book David and Callan are separated.
Oct. 24th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
I agree with you as I loved the book to bits. Who say that we can only love once? With this time-line and with all the hardship our two men goes through, I think it was kind of a solace that there was love along the way. Not every book can be a romantic dream where everything is perfect and love is strong and singular. With all the menage books out there I think the readers should be able to accept that.
Oct. 24th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
I'm playing the advocate devil here, since me first was able to like since, in my mind, I convinced myself that there was still hope for David and Callan
Oct. 25th, 2011 09:01 am (UTC)
Being an eternal optimist, I never gave up on them. Now I just want more I think. XD
Oct. 24th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
I loved this book. "Dark romance" is a perfect description. Although I thought it was every bit as outstanding as Thaw, I can understand how it might not be for all readers. But then again, what book is? =)
Oct. 24th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
No one book is perfect for everyone (I hope I wrote it down rightly :-) )
Oct. 25th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
oh, wow
now i have to read A Strong and Sudden Thaw asap ._.
Oct. 25th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
meaning that you want to read the first before the sequel? that is probably a good idea ;-)
Penny McKeever
Dec. 28th, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)
Sequel to the sequel?
Hi, I'm assuming you don't know either, but as I haven't been able to find out any information about R W Day post-July 2011 (she has a wordpress account, but the last entry is from last year and I can't find anything about whether she's moved to a new site, or what) and since I just read (and ate up) Ashes in a day and a half, I was really curious if there was any chance of Day writing another sequel, as I'm sure I'm not the only one disappointed in how quick the epilogue tried to wrap everything up. I feel that there is more than enough material to cover Callan's slow return to wellness, not to mention the unfinished business about the government plot, etc. It's really so unlike the first 303 pages of the book, almost like she was forced to finish the book very quickly, maybe to meet a tight schedule. I wanted to write her perhaps and wish her encouragement (reading some of these reviews by stupid anime fangirls who think any kind of gay fiction that involves more drama than "will he or won't he take me to the prom?!" trashing on the book would really put me off my game, if I was Day. Anyway, I guess I'll go back to seeing if I can find any information, maybe write Lethe Press, though their site is very 1995 and not easy to navigate (and I've gotten malware warnings on more than one of their pages, wtf.) But yeah if you know anything about a third book and/or how to contact Day...I would really appreciate you sharing the knowledge. :)

Edited at 2011-12-28 06:33 am (UTC)
Dec. 28th, 2011 09:09 am (UTC)
Re: Sequel to the sequel?
Ciao Penny. No I don't have any way to contact Day, but contacting Lethe is probably a good move. I'm sure she would be glad to read your comment.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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