Book Review: Kelly Gay’s The Hour of Dust and Ashes

Posted March 16, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Kelly Gay’s The Hour of Dust and Ashes

The Hour of Dust and Ashes


Kelly Gay

urban fantasy in Paperback edition that was published by Pocket Books on August 30, 2011 and has 324 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Darkest Edge of Dawn

Third in the Charlie Madigan urban fantasy series revolving around Charlie and her friends and family in Atlanta in an alternate world.

My Take

They just keep hammering the poor girl with one disaster after another. One of the few bright spots is the change in her relationship with Hank, well, if she can just get past her own feelings of inadequacy. And all the messes she needs his help in cleaning up, LOL.

I keep thinking I’ve figured out who/what is Charbydon, and I keep finding out that I’m clueless.

I dunno about this one. Yeah, there’s lots of action and I like most of the characters. Charlie, though, she keeps irritating me. She’s an intelligent woman who is starting to get all high-schooly-girly. It is not attractive. It could be all the stress she’s under…we’ll see.

The Story

The danger has increased with those suicides and Charlie is frantic to find a way to save Bryn. To exorcise whatever is inside her, and there’s only one way to do it.

One that will require Charlie to die four times.

The Characters

Charlie Madigan, probably evolving into one of the First Ones, has settled into her new job along with her siren partner, Hank Williams. With a certain amount of glee, I might add. He’s considered a traitor in his homeland, Fiallan. Lidi was the young girl who kept Hank sane when he was functioning as a guardian. Edan was the sidhé fae Elder who took Hank in. Emma is Charlie’s twelve-year-old daughter with newly revealed powers as well as a new, HUGE pet: Brim, a hellhound.

Bryn Madigan is her earth mage sister who is addicted to ash after events in Darkest Edge of Dawn, 2. She owns Hodgepodge, a magic shop, in Underground Atlanta. Aaron is a Magnus warrior mage and Bryn’s boyfriend. Well, he was before she tried to kill him.

Rex is a Revenant, a result of his jinn warrior soul being detached at the time of his death. He’s currently possessing Charlie’s ex-husband’s body and fitting in very well at the Madigan household. Hey, that was the deal Will Garrity made back in The Better Part of Darkness, 1.

Charlie has pretty much forgiven her boss, Chief Abernathy, for the choice he made when she was dying in The Better Part of Darkness. He’s assigned to the same unit as Hank and Charlie along with Sian, a Jinn-human hybrid and Grigori’s daughter.

Detective Ashton Perry hates and despises Charlie. He’d like to be in her spot. Liz is the medical examiner with a lot of experience in supernatural bodies thanks to her necromancy. Officer Finley Holbrook mans the gate into Charbydon.

Other ash addicts include Casey Lewis, Mike Everton, Amanda Mott (Emma’s best friend; Marti is her mom; Titus is her uncle), Kyle, and Grace, the belligerent one. Dr. Titus Mott is the one who opened the gates and now he spends all his time trying to help cope with the influx.

Alessandra is an Oracle who has been around for 2,000 years and she is fitting into the materialistic world of Atlanta much too well. She owns a theater and the club next door in Underground Atlanta. Tuni, a rogue jinn warrior, is her guard.

Pendaran is the Druid King, a dragon shifter, based in Piedmont Park. He’s, um, storing the body of a First One, Ahkneri, keeping it from the rebels. There are four sylph who aren’t too happy with humans: water; earth is Emain, air, and Melki is fire.

Carreg is a noble, the Lord Lieutenant from the House of Astarot on Charbydon. Matsul is a noble on Charbydon. Grigori Tennin is a Jinn tribal boss who runs Atlanta’s crime scene. Malek Murr was the jinn High Chief in biblical times; he fathered King Solomon with Bathsheba.

Pig-Pens are black mages, dirty with their power. Elysians who gave in to the Charbydon magic.

The Sons of Dawn are a long-lived organization created by King Solomon whose intention is war. The First Ones are divine beings said to have created the three noble races: the Elysian Adonai, the Charbydon nobles, and humans. Elysians think they are gods and are the ruling elite, the House of Astarot. They and the Charbydon (the House of Abaddon, think demons) exist on a parallel plane and share the ruling of their planet. Warlocks are a warrior sect of Elysian mage. The League of Mages is based at Mordecai House where a number of mages live. Underground Atlanta is where most of the aliens congregate. The Kinfolk are part of Celtic mythology — the Druids, nymphs, sidhé fae, darkling fae, and shapeshifters — who have purchased a chunk of Piedmont Park for their realm.

The Cover and Title

The cover is golds and browns with a fierce Charlie and a determined Hank firing their guns against a fiery backdrop.

I think the title refers to two different things: the temple through which Charlie, Hank, Rex, and Bryn escape and the drug. It’s more than The Hour of Dust and Ashes.