Review: Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on July 17, 2013 | 9 Comments

Review: Ashes on the Waves by Mary LindseyAshes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey
Published by Philomel (6.27.2013)
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Format: ARC, 387 pages
Source: For Tour
Buy on Amazon

1.5 Stars

Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make awager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem, "Annabel Lee," Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.

My thoughts

It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of romance, but I do enjoy them occasionally if they’re done well. Sadly, this one fell flat for me.

My main problem was the characters. I couldn’t connect to Liam or Anna – in fact, they annoyed the crap out of me – and therefore I couldn’t bring myself to care about anything that was happening to them. It’s really not a good thing when you’re rooting for them to fail. 

Sometimes the characters would say or do something that was either totally lame or just downright absurd. Many times I stopped and raised my hands up, looking around me (even though no one was there) with a what the eff? look on my face. 



“Well, I have a satellite phone, but it is quite old and awkward; I’ll have to work it for you,” Francine answered.
“I don’t care if you have to use smoke signals; I need to get hold of my parents.”
I smiled. She was quick witted.

Um….yeah wow, that’s SO witty! Smoke signals, how did she ever think of that?! Golly, I wish I was that quick-witted.

Don’t even get me started on the romance. First of all, why did they call each other Princess Anna and Prince Leem? They weren’t actually royalty, and there was no explanation for it. Silly pet names I suppose? They supposedly spent one summer together as children, and Liam decides he’s ‘in love’ with Anna, even though he barely knows her. It was more like lust and obsession…and if I had to hear one more time how beautiful Anna was, I would have puked. I was reminded basically on every page how appealing Anna was to Liam, and that’s what made this ‘romance’ too much for me. 

[…] I couldn’t keep my eyes from taking in the perfect alabaster skin of her long, slender legs.

She […] tied the hem in a knot at the top of her thigh, exposing her her pale, slender legs, nearly causing my heart to stop.

She was a little out of breath, which added a whole new appeal to her voice.

She was constantly ‘flashing her gorgeous grin’ and he kept talking about her amazing blue eyes – or to be specific, ‘the dazzling azure of a tide pool.’ I’m pretty sure both of those things were mentioned at least a dozen times. Like I could forget.

Her kisses tasted of apples and sunshine and…hope, something I’d never tasted before.

Gee, neither have I. What the hell does sunshine and hope taste like, anyway? Anybody? Guess no one has ever been to the sun and licked its surface.

My body reacted viscerally to the sight of her bare expanse of flesh and black lace bra.

It’s just a bra, dude. And that was just her back. He’d probably have had a coronary if she flashed the front and he actually saw cleavage. He was always talking about his ‘hammering heart’ and how it was painful to be around her. Seriously, I can understand it at the beginning when he first gets to talk to her, but not through half the freaking book. Or over and over and OVER again. We get it. Really. 

And the way they acted was ridiculous. At one point they’re just together, having coffee (keep in mind this is only 39 pages in, when they’ve had maybe 2 total interactions), then this:

I watched with fascination as she lifted the cup to her lips and blew before taking a sip – so soft and feminine. How would it feel to touch those lips, to feel them on mine? 
“Kiss me,” I whispered, unsure whether I’d actually said it out loud. “Kiss me, Anna, and I swear I’ll never ask it of you again.”
I had indeed said it out loud because she lowered her cup and met my gaze straight on. “Well, this is unexpected, Prince Leem. What brought this on?”

Then he calls himself a fool and runs away and is all ‘Oh well I’ll never see her again after that.’ Overdramatic much? It’s not like she was like NO I WON’T YOU DISGUSTING CREATURE GET AWAY FROM ME. Which is what he acted like she said. *eye roll*

She stomped her foot. “You’re frustrating, Liam!”
“You’re beautiful, Anna.” Time stopped – as did my breathing. Oh, God. I’d done it again. Without waiting for a reaction, I retreated to the other side of the light housing. Stupid, stupid, impulsive idiot.
She approached from the opposite side of the deck. “I think I know why you do that,” she said with a smile, running her fingers along the rail.
I did too. “Enlighten me.”
“Well, I though about it a lot last night.” She clasped her hands behind her back. “You’ve never been around this girl, have you? I mean a girl your own age.”
Unwilling to make eye contact, I stared out at the harbor. “No.”
“So, you’re just kind of freaking out because you’re outside your comfort zone. You’ve never been up against the real deal before.”

And then he apologizes. For calling her beautiful. Arrogant much, Anna? A simple ‘thank you’ when someone compliments you is appropriate. Then he says something about her ‘moving the topic away from his faux pas’….so it’s a faux pas to call someone beautiful? I really didn’t understand what Liam saw in Anna. She was vapid and prim. My pinkie finger has more personality than her. Oh yeah, because she was sooo beautiful and lovely and gorgeous and pretty and appealing and beautiful. How could I have forgotten? But I guess they’re perfect for each other, because Liam was an equally vapid idiot. No really – he didn’t know what a ‘green eyed monster’ was. He was too stiff and formal and about as 3-dimensional as a cardboard cutout.

Did I mention that he said was in lust I mean LOVE before it even hit 100 pages? Yep. One summer together when they were children, a few awkward scenes together, and one makeout session, and they’re magically IN LOVE. Because that’s what love is.

There was basically nothing happening in the beginning besides Liam doting on Anna, and Anna constantly saying how ‘strange’ Liam is. Probably because they have totally ridiculous and awkward conversations.

Despite being horrendously picky about romance, I still picked this one up because of the lore. I was excited for the scenes with the Otherworlders and Bean Sidhes, but sadly they were few and far between. The only one we saw a decent amount of was Muireann, who was the only character that I even remotely liked. And even still, her driving point was her ‘love’ for Liam, someone she’d only seen before. Sigh.

I was expecting plenty of action and lore, but it ended up being horribly boring. The pacing was slow to the point of painful – there wasn’t much happening in the first half besides pointless conversation and kissing. The first scene where something exciting actually happened came out of nowhere and was so abrupt that I couldn’t bring myself to care. Which is unfortunate, because it was an important scene. I think there should have been way more focus on that. 

All in all, I couldn’t stand the main characters, found the writing style awkward and cumbersome and the story boring. The problem here may be that it just wasn’t for me. But, plenty of people enjoyed this one so if you’re a fan of romance you may like it anyway. May be worth a shot at least!


The ONLY quote I liked from the book:

“I want this because when we’re apart, I can’t breathe. You’re like oxygen. You love me for who I am and you let me be who I am, which no one has ever done before. I can’t imagine life without you. I don’t want a life without you. And I will do everything in my power to never be without you again.”

Overall Assessment

Plot: 2.5/5
Writing style: 2.5/5
Originality: 3/5
Characters: 1/5
Pace: 1.5/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall rating: 1.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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9 responses to “Review: Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey

  1. My heart broke when I saw your rating but now I’m just cracking up laughing after reading those quotes. I’ll lower my expectations as I simply must read this for the cover is gorgeous- despite the characters being crappy.

    Hope your next read is better, hon! <33

  2. Ugh! These characters sounds dreadful. I don’t mind a little romance, but there needs to be something else going on! And the characters need to be likeable! I think I’ll pass on this one.

  3. Hahaha, those quotes are the best examples of annoying and horrible romances. I HATE it when a book is all about the beauty of the MC and the love between them. That’s not what I’m looking for, helloooo. Real life isn’t like that either (thank God. I think I’ll puke over my boyfriend if he starts talking like that :p) Add the fact that the characters aren’t likable either and I’m done. Thanks for the warning. I’m so disappointed now :(

    • Right?! Lmao my boyfriend talks like that in a joking manner, to make fun of things like that! (Especially the moon rock reference in September Girls bahaha)
      You should give it a try anyway, lots of people loved it!

  4. OH MY GOD this is such a funny review I can’t even the dialogue sounds absolutely atrocious and his inner dialogue is so infuriating, I can definitely see why you didn’t enjoy this one. I’m sorry that the plot was slow, too, and a lot of things just didn’t live up to your expectations D:

    Fantastic review, though, Jessi! I will definitely make sure to stay away from this one :)

  5. BLECH. AND: POUT. I have been so so so looking forward to this one for what feels like so long. But those quotes, erm, they’re a bit off-putting, TBH. Some of it I could probably look past, but otherwise the romance just seems insta-love-y and silly, and NOT at all like something I’d enjoy reading about. And also a LOT of “tell” and not much “show,” from what you gave us in the quotes. Blah. :(

    • Yeah, it was pretty horrible for me D: You might like it though, there’s been a few others that you enjoyed when I didn’t, and vice versa. May want to give it a try anyway! At least a couple chapters :)

  6. haha I knew I was right now to be sucked in by the cover! The cover sounds very gothic, but it just didn’t really appeal to me. I’m glad I decided to stay away! Loved your review! haha even if I’d liked it before, now all I’ll notice is these little quotes, which will annoy me to now end if I ever read it!

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