Jamie: I'm having to redo this one because I can't find it on my shelf anywhere. I don't know if I just didn't add it although I could have swore that I did. I had it on my currently reading widget and have two posts in my blog but no book on my shelf. So weird. Just doing the text version this time. Sorry to all those who have already seen this one.
Ash: Action, Suspense and Humor. A Perfect Combination!!!
NOTE: Very Minor Spoilers. Nothing Specific: Just a bit about the plot.
Okay, well first of all after recently reading Devoured and Consumed: the first two books in The Hunger by Jason Brant I was very much looking forward to Ash. I've only read four of Jason Bran'ts books (One of them co-authored with another author) but they were more than enough for him to become one of my new favorite authors and earned him his very own folder on my Kindle which pretty much means I will be buying every single book he has out or will one day put out. His books are just that good and Ash...Ash was something else entirely. It is in a league of it's own Aka in JamieSpeak: it was Freaking Amazing!!!
While serving his country, Ash who is the main hero of the tale was wounded and while recovering at the hospital he started hearing voices in his head only he wasn't going crazy like he initially thought he was but was actually hearing other people's thoughts. Think Professor X of the X-Men only it's not quite as cool as you would think. Imagine being able to constantly hear what everyone was thinking around you. Just think about some of the things that runs through your mind at times, all of your most private thoughts, all of the bad things about other people not to mention all of the insane and crazy things that happen to go through your mind each and every day, Just imagine what it would be like to be privy to all of that. Do you really want to know that your coworkers hate you or that they think you're ugly? What about the people who think you're sexy? That wouldn't be much better honestly. I can only imagine what it would be like and I doubt it would be very pleasant especially if you couldn't tune them out or shut it off at will.
Fast forward a few years and Ash is pretty much living like a bum. He found that alcohol can help dampen the echoes (that's what he calls hearing other people's thoughts) that constantly bombard him. The more exhausted he is the harder time he has shutting out other people's thoughts. When he first wakes up it's not so bad but as the day progresses he has to drink in order to literally stay sane. I don't know if I'd consider him an alcoholic at least not now, maybe back when he first started hearing the thoughts of others but an old army buddy named Drew (who also happens to be the only person who knows of his ability) has been helping him. He's been getting him back into the real world, helping him to exercise and stay in shape which seems to help hone his ability.
Fortunately for us Ash is a good person. He doesn't use his powers to harm others or to make himself rich. He doesn't like intruding on other peoples private thoughts so he pretty much lives like a bum. What little money he has from his Service Disability he spends on rent and beer. So on one very ordinary morning our extraordinary hero heads out to buy some beer and on his way home he happens to be passing by a bank that is being robbed. He knows he should just keep on going, to just not worry about it but that's just not the person Ash is. He was born to help others. He enlisted in the military to help make a difference so using his unique abilities he strolls right into danger with nothing more than a case of beer in his hands and a snarky attitude and ends up setting off a chain of events that will have far reaching consequences for our hero, his best friend and the most hilarious and unlikely group of ragtag heroes ever to grace the pages of a book. The rest is just one pure adrenaline ride of pure awesomeness.
Once again Jason Brant shows that he can not only write some of the best action scenes ever but also how well he can walk that fine line between action and character depth/character development. The pacing is perfect and the characters (both good and bad) are the heart and soul of this book and Ash is at their center. All of the characters were rich and had their own distinct personalities and the dialogue between Ash and his friends had me cracking up throughout the whole book. Ash has one heck of a sense of humor and some of his interactions with Drew who happens to be his best friend and only friend were just priceless. Then there's Sammy who is just an innocent bystander (and a really hot one at that) who gets sucked into the middle of everything along with Nami whom I'm not even going to say anything about other than every single scene with her in it was just too much fun. You'll just have to read for yourself but she's just larger than life and had me laughing so hard I thought I'd broken something. Jason Brant has a wicked sense of humor and his characters really shine because of it.
After Ash's heroic's at the bank, the government sends some agents to get him and unfortunately for Ash they know all about his abilities so he ends up at a government facility where he learns that he is not quite as unique as he'd thought he was. It seems that there are other people out there with similar abilities and one of them is a rogue agent named Murdock. Murdock is one scary dude and is the main villain of the tale. He's very similar to Ash in alot of ways but his power is just off the charts. Not only can he read minds but he can also control them and force people to do what he wants. He's made destroying our nation his number one priority. Ash is the only man who can track him down because of the unique abilities they both share. Poor Ash really has a pretty cruddy life and his day just goes from bad to worse. Seriously, the dude's a great guy but really deserves a break. Anyone else would have just snapped well before now but not him. He just keeps on trying no matter how bad life treats him.
There's just so many things to love about this book. The storyline was excellent with plenty of action, the pacing was perfect with awesome humor, witty dialogue and characters you will be thinking about long after you've finished reading the book. This is not only the best book by Jason Brant that I've read but one of the best books I've read period. The man has a real knack for telling a great story. I literally could not put my kindle down. I'd been having a bit of a reading slump because I've had so much going on but this book officially ended my slump. I loved this book and cannot wait to read more about Ash. The ending leaves it off in such an excellent place for a sequel and I am eagerly looking forward to the day that I get to continue my adventures with Ash along with all his friends. I really hope Nami and Sammy will be in the sequels. They were just too much fun and I would love to know more about both characters.
I cannot recommend this book enough. If you love any type of paranormal, action/adventure or action/adventure-thrillers then this book will be right up your alley. Even if that's not your normal cup of tea then I'd still urge you to give Ash a try. It's just written in such a unique voice that I think this tale will pretty much appeal to everyone It's just that good! Stories like this are why I read. I say it every single time I find a great book but it's the truth. I love the escape. I love identifying with characters on an emotional level and I love the way a good book makes me feel. Ash was a pure pleasure to read and that alone makes it priceless.
The Ending of this book just flat out rocked!!! I'd love to say more but don't want to ruin it. Seriously though it was so freaking awesome!