Will From Ashes (Book #2) by Mark Minson
Blurb (from amazon.com):
Life for Will O'Reilly has become a mess. MAIM is killing extraordinary talents. He requires permission to even leave his house and he has fallen in love with a member of The Council of Magic. Although violence is repugnant to him, his survival starts depending on it. The chaos bends him to the breaking point. When he finally snaps, he finds himself without the official protection of The Council.
Unfortunately, what Will thought was just a battle is about to turn into all out war.
With his friends dying around him, Will fights for his own life. Can he find a way to stop MAIM? Will the cost of survival be too high to pay?
As you may recall from my review of Mark Minson's first book Kyle By Fire, we have been friends since high school. He talks about this creative writing class he took in high school; well, I was in that class with him. So, I might be a little biased because he's my friend, but I promise my review will be honest. I enjoyed Kyle, so I kept bugging Mark about finishing book number two. I know, I may or may not have annoyed him just a little bit because I kept asking him if it was finished yet. I might have acted a bit like a three-year-old on a long road trip..."Is it finished yet? Is it finished yet? Is it finished yet?" Hahaha...oh well, it worked! I have read the book and it did not disappoint! In fact, I may have liked this one even better than the first one. I just really liked Will's character. I loved his voice in the book. You could tell that he was a good guy. I liked that when he fought with the bad guys he purposefully would cast spells to disable his opponents, but not kill them. That shifts just a little toward the middle and end of the book, but you see what he's up against and you feel for him. You can tell that it bothers him too. I think the magic in this book is so fun. When Will uses the elements of the earth around him in spells I think it is so cool. Another part I really like is when Will makes up new spells. I like seeing his thought processes and his trial and error. I like how it's logical, and yet it's not at the same time. The magical fights in this book are very intense and fun to read. Nicole was a good supporting character in the story. Her character does good job of adding a different angle to the story and softening it a little bit. Mark did a good job writing these characters. Also, the bad guys are really bad. Wow! They're evil. Although the ending may have been a bit predictable, there were some twists and turns along the way that made it exciting. This book is well written, exciting, and so fun. If you liked book number one, you'll definitely enjoy book number two!
There isn't any profanity in this book (yay!), and there isn't any "intimacy." There might be a kiss or two, but that's as far as it goes. There is quite a bit of violence. Will has to fight a lot of bad guys in this book. He tries not to kill anyone, but there are a few deaths, and some of the scenes are quite intense. It's not over-the-top gory and graphic though. The only thing I told Mark was that there were still some grammatical errors and a few typos in the book. He promised me he'd go through it again, so those should be fixed.
Rating: PG+ (There isn't any profanity or "intimacy," except for a few kisses. There is quite a bit of violence with a lot of magical fighting. There are a few deaths.)
Recommendation: Fifth grade and up (10-11 years-old and up)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Also, the author happens to be my really good friend, but I promise my review is honest and fair.