A Dream of Ashes by Orlando A. Sanchez

A Dream of Ashes (Chronicles of the Modern Mystics #1) by Orlando A. Sanchez
Series: Chronicles of the Modern Mystics #1
Published by OM Publishing on April 27, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 160
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble
Add to: Goodreads

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Ava James is a fire mystic with the Mystic Investigative Division. As a branch of the Enclave, a worldwide mystic organization, the MID is feared, respected and reviled.
When the half-charred body of a Mystic is found, the Enclave sends her to investigate the strange death. Ava finds that all the clues point to the killer being a fire mystic, one of her own. Accused by the Enclave of working with the killer she must solve the case before a secret buried in her past is revealed and destroys her world.
Can she save herself? Will she find the murderer?
If you like hardcore, fast-moving action, complex mystical powers and an unstoppable heroine, then you’ll love Orlando A. Sanchez’ thrilling new Chronicles of the Modern Mystics.


Kick ass heroines racing to exonerate themselves is much beloved trope/genre for me. I mean, I’ve loved reading all about Anita Blake’s antics (before it all went to hell in a harem), as well as Sookie Stackhouse’s adventures. So, when I was approached to review A Dream of Ashes by Orlando A Sanchez, I was really excited! Not only was I getting the kick ass heroine, but also a book written by a local author! The novel was certainly fast-paced, sometimes a bit too much so, but the characters were engaging, and the world was interesting, if a bit lacking.

For such a short novel, just shy of 300 pages, the plot moved quickly. There was never a dull point in the story and everything that happened was for a reason that quickly propelled the story. This was great, but did have its downfall, mainly being that there wasn’t enough time for the reader to catch their breath. So much happened in so little time that everything seemed to blur together with information not having enough time to sink in.

This small issue bleeds into the larger issue of world building. It’s certain that author Orlando Sanchez knows this world he’s creating. It feels solid. But as a reader, I felt lost. I didn’t know what the enclaves were, what the mystics were, what those special sticks were about. If the action and plot were slowed down just a little to offer some world building explanations, the book would have been tremendously improved.

Character-wise, however, Sanchez was right on point. Ava was strong, but still had her weaknesses and moments of vulnerability. She wasn’t a super-woman, and I loved this. Ghost and his daughter were mysterious and I’d love to know more about them. I’d love to know more about warders and mystics in general, which goes back to slowing the book down a little just go give more world information.

A Dream of Ashes by Orlando A Sanchez is a good first book in a series. The action seems real and well thought out, and the characters are relateable and well developed. The pacing is fast, but hopefully subsequent books in the series will slow it down a little to help readers get a firmer grasp of the world Sanchez has created because it looks to be a good one!


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