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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash is a work of fiction in the historical epic sub-genre. It is suitable for all ages and was penned by author Tammy Pasterick. The story follows a married pair of immigrants living in Pittsburgh in the early 20th century, both being stretched to breaking point by their exploitive employers. The husband, Janos, has been working a physically demanding job 12 hours a day every day for ten years, whilst his wife Karina is forced to tolerate the unwanted advances of her new employer or be returned to the boarding house. In the aftermath of their breaking point, all that remains is to try to put the pieces of their family back together once more.
Author Tammy Pasterick delivers a powerful and emotional work that I really took to heart. One of my favorite things about this novel was the author's keen eye for the historical details; the story felt well researched and the setting felt rich. Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash exudes atmosphere and intrigue and gripped me from the very first page. The Kovacs' journey is powerful, emotional, and real, and Pasterick does a masterful job of paying homage to the past sacrifices that people like the Kovacs made. The storytelling in this novel is second to none, telling a gripping story of the struggle immigrants faced, whilst keeping twists and turns you won’t see coming that served to keep the story engaging throughout. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend this novel to fans of action-packed fiction in a historical setting, and those looking for a meaningful story about mental health and the cost of facing our demons.