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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Of Ashes and Dust is a work in the thriller, apocalyptic action, and alternate-history subgenres. It is best suited to mature adult readers owing to the presence of explicit language and some scenes of graphic violence, and moderate sexual references. Penned by Ron Roman, this thrilling tale takes us back to the millennium on an alternate timeline where the world is about to plummet into global Armageddon. Professor Will Watson takes center stage as our protagonist, a tortured veteran selected for the top-secret Vietnam war project: Project Sixty-Seven. As the world around him collapses, Will must face painful truths about himself and work together with his lover to survive it all.
Ron Roman has crafted a recent-historical disaster novel that works on so many levels and manages to incorporate so much thoughtful theming and emotion into its relatively concise plot. One of the most striking things about the work for me was the presentation of social issues, attitudes, and global ideas that were brewing dangerously during the time of the millennium that is still a threat now, which brings huge relevance to the action-packed conspiracy storyline. The issues which explore LGBTQ+ themes in the American military are also poignantly discussed and interesting to see as Will rakes over his past. As a central protagonist, Will has much to offer us in his vulnerability, openness, and capability as an unlikely hero. Overall, I recommend Of Ashes and Dust to fans of apocalyptic dramas with a deeply rooted emotive character story at the core.