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Reviewed by JC Minnaar for Readers' Favorite
Ash and Gold by Lydia R. Outland is a phenomenal addition to paranormal books. Briar Rose Pierce, or as her friends have come to affectionately call her – Buggy – due to her large eyes, is a young woman with a hard past, abandoned at birth in a cold, dark alley, plagued by vivid nightmares of dying in horrible ways and with a growing void in her chest. She recently celebrated her twenty-fourth birthday and everything became a whole lot worse. Along with her nightmares of being burnt alive, suicide, and being stabbed to death, she starts hallucinating, drinking more often, and she feels the void in her chest grow as if it is a dark, tangible thing. Buggy must discover the root of her burdens and her past before irreparably destroying her life or, even worse, being consumed by the void.
Lydia R. Outland’s Ash and Gold is a book I would rate 10 overall if I could. I originally planned on finishing Ash and Gold within 5 to 6 days but here I am writing the review 4 days later. The slow-start pace of the book invested me so thoroughly into Buggy’s life that when the floodgates of her life and past were opened, one-third of the way in, I was utterly hooked and blown away. Buggy is exceptionally well-written, as are the supporting characters and antagonists, and I felt every moment of joy, suspense, shock, and setback that Buggy felt, which is a testament to Lydia R. Outland’s outstanding writing ability. The story is one of the most unique paranormal adventures I have had the pleasure of reading. I absolutely loved the descriptive details of the environments, violent scenes, and emotions displayed. I struggle to compare Ash and Gold to other works because I have truly not read anything like it. A literary masterpiece.