River of Ashes by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
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River of Ashes by Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor is a gripping thriller and horror novel. The bone-chilling and contemporary morality tale draws inspiration from real-life events, leaving readers breathless in its wake. With its meticulously crafted suspense, morally complex characters, and an atmospheric ambiance that harkens back to the golden age of horror, River of Ashes creeps under your skin making it hard to stop frantically reading until the end.
Set against the haunting backdrop of the abandoned St. Francis Seminary along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River in Louisiana, the story centers around Beau Devereaux, the star quarterback and Mr. Popular of the town. Beau is charming, handsome, and seemingly flawless. Readers quickly see though, that beneath his charming façade lies a sinister young man, capable of unthinkable acts.
Beau and his friends spend their time along the river in the woods, drinking and partying. Nearby lies The Abbey, and in its depths, a small cell that contains all of Beau’s dark secrets. This is where Beau unleashes his evil, committing unspeakable violence and using threats and intimidation to ensure his victims silence. But will his victims stay silent forever, or will someone be able to stop Beau?
Throughout the story we see that Beau’s sights are set on Leslie, the headstrong twin sister of his girlfriend, Dawn. Leslie’s disinterest in Beau, smart wit, and cleverness makes her compelling. He wants Leslie for the very simple fact that she hates and refuses him. Leslie sees through Beau’s mask, along with readers who get a glimpse into Beau’s troubling thoughts. As the story progresses Beau’s obsession becomes clear and to satiate his psychotic tendencies, he unleashes his true self on innocent women.
Within the chilling pages this haunting excerpt caught my attention, “His figure grew smaller in the rearview mirror, but the predatory expression on his face was unmistakable. A shiver ran through Dawn. She’d pushed Beau too far. Dawn knew his well-hidden bad side, and she feared what he would do. Beau looked like a guy about to lose control,”. As readers, we are gripped by the hope that Dawn will take off her rose colored glasses and recognize Beau’s true nature. However, lurking beneath this hope is an unsettling realization that things will take a sinister turn. It is within this delicate balance of hope and impending doom that the true power of the story unfolds.
River of Ashes transports readers into a world where appearances deceive, and truths lie buried. The story unearths the complexities of human nature and confronts readers with the compelling question; what is the duty of a victim to speak out? This story reminds us that in the face of darkness, we must be brave enough to raise our voices, break the cycle of silence, and stand united against evil. This book implores us to trust our instincts, and to never underestimate the power of speaking out against injustice. As the final pages turn, the echoes of the cautionary tale reverberate, compelling us to support one another, believe in victims, and keep vigilant. River of Ashes is not just a book—it is a haunting wake-up call that we must speak out and believe all victims.
“This story reminds us that in the face of darkness, we must be brave enough to raise our voices, break the cycle of silence, and stand united against evil.”
“With its meticulously crafted suspense, morally complex characters, and an atmospheric ambiance that harkens back to the golden age of horror, River of Ashes creeps under your skin making it hard to stop frantically reading until the end.”