By R'Lee Coffey
Faerie Tale, Ashen by R'Lee Coffey, a part of a surprisingly awesome series of paranormal romance books, is gifted with a remarkably great storyline. Packed full of interesting characters-each with depth and their own story to tell-and beautiful imagery at times, it's one of those books you look forward to picking up to read again and again and not put down until it's finished. Unfortunately, that's where my praise ends and the hopefully helpful critique begins.
First, the good news…As aforementioned, I truly loved the story Coffey told through the eyes of Ashen Black, a faerie who plays an intricate role in a guild of faeries to which she is the conduit. We meet her as she regains consciousness on a bluff alone with no recollection of how or why she is there other than a note warning her not to trust anyone. To top it off she realizes rather quickly that she remembers next to nothing at all about anything.
Faerie Tale, Ashen-being the first in the series-is not only an introduction to Ashen Black but to the other faeries in the guild. We learn a bit about each of them while Ashen struggles along trying to figure out not only what happened to her but also who she can and cannot trust. As we learn about the guild from Ashen's often confused POV or observations, a bit of chaos ensues for the reader when trying to comprehend the actual level of experience each of them has with their abilities or knowledge about the past, present and future as it pertains to being a faerie. At one point it seems like the entire guild is inexperienced and need to learn so much, then the next moment they're controlling the elements like old pros.
Unfortunately we must go on to the not-so-good and bad news. Faerie Tale, Ashen has more errors than I can count on my fingers and toes. Coffey's book is a colossal grammar mess. From incorrect usage of the em dash, to the separation of compound words; it appears to lack any type of proofreading or editing. Careless mistakes such as leaving a word out of a quote by Tony Robbins or the misspelling of one crucial paranormal group of beings; this book is littered with them.
Typically if the errors don't really impact the flow of a storyline I try to only mention it briefly, but the multitude of obvious errors in this one I couldn't just let go of-especially since I'm in love with the storyline and characters. In this case, I became exasperated with having to read a sentence and then read it again to make sure I understood the meaning. I think with editing Faerie Tale, Ashen could be the beginning of a truly amazing series with limitless possibilities for more books to follow. If I were to rate it based on storyline alone it would receive a perfect score. But, unfortunately when it comes to the written word, storyline alone isn’t all that counts!