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Mist, Metal, and Ash

Review

Mist, Metal, and Ash

For a sequel to an amazing first book, MIST, METAL, AND ASH was facing some very high expectations from me. Unfortunately, it did not meet as many of them as I had hoped, but was ultimately a good book.

Leo is reunited with his family and has to delve deep into the secrets regarding his and his family’s history. The horrifying truth about what he discovers and his older brother’s impervious reaction to it will shake Leo to the core. Despite the controlling atmosphere, Leo finds himself enjoying being with his family again, and when the time comes, he has to decide whether to side with the family that abandoned him for the greater good or the family that cared for him in the aftermath.

"MIST, METAL, AND ASH was facing some very high expectations from me. Unfortunately, it did not meet as many of them as I had hoped, but was ultimately a good book."

Meanwhile, Elsa now feels abandoned by Leo and struggles with trusting anyone else in the house. Just when Elsa is conflicted enough, Reven shows up from her homeworld, ready to help Elsa when he isn’t disappearing. Similar to Leo, Elsa has to make a choice or find another solution to choosing either the world she was raised in or the world that she has become a part of.

Old and new memories swirl together in this sequel to create an ending that will leave you stunned. Personally, this book was really slow for me in the beginning. The conversations seemed to drag on about things that I didn’t see as very important to the plot. It wasn’t until the middle of the book that things started to pick up speed and that is a very long time to read without getting anything exciting. I understand the need to set up Leo and Elsa’s positioning, but it took a terribly long time to explain everything.

Faraz felt more pushed to the side in the first half of the book than I really would have liked since there was so much potential to use the slow build up as a way to get to know Faraz better. I love Faraz as a character, but in what we have seen so far of alchemists in this world, they aren’t very useful. Most of what Faraz has done is be an emotional support character and I think there is a lot of room for him to grow. Porzia, on the other hand, has grown into a better character without losing her main principles. You better understand how her family works and the story clarifies her beliefs, from what we previously believed to be blind faith, into a relationship with her family that she feels the desire to protect from any harm.

I believe that part of the reason for my slight disappointment is due to how I flew through the first book and loved it. When a first book is so good, like INK, IRON, AND GLASS was, it is really difficult for writers to create a second book that meets the high standards set by their own writing.

Reviewed by Lauren F., Teen Board Member on February 28, 2019

Mist, Metal, and Ash
by Gwendolyn Clare