Ashstorm (A Seventeen Series Novel: An Action Adventure Thriller Book 4) - AD Starrling

[I received a copy of this novel through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

I read the first three books in this series last year, and found them enjoyable—not the best, but definitely enjoyable, and making me feel like checking if book 4 was out. Which it was.

New characters are introduced here, some of them bearing birth marks (and displaying powers) like the main characters in the previous installments, leading more and more to the gathering of a kind of “league” who, no doubt, will have to fight more and more dangerous odds. Olivia and Ethan complement and enhance each other’s powers nicely, while Asgard is tied to quite a few people among the most important ones, owing to his own birth. If there's one thing, it's how little we see of the others as the cast keeps on growing. I can't help but feel impatient regarding the moment when they're finally all together (is this book it, or will others appear in the next one?). Such a group is bound to have an impressive dynamics.

The focus was less on Kronos in general, and more on one specific antagonist pursuing goals tied partly to it and partly to his own ambitions. The idea of a secret base and secret experiments was a bit basic, though, so I hope later developments—the kind hinted at by the end of the novel—will go deeper. That Kronos isn't "only that". I'm sure it's not.

I’m a bit torn, too, regarding relationships between the characters. Although the idea of soulmates finding each other is nice, it’s starting to feel like every set of people is meant to find their own love interest in each story. Maybe it’s just me, but at some point I’d like to see something different, bonds that would run very deep without necessary being “couple-love”. We have some of this here with Ethan and Asgard, and I wish we could see more: after all, they fought Jonah for decades, and their loyalty to each other is unswerving. Comrades to death, and all that.

I still enjoyed the blend of action and quieter moments nonetheless, all the more because the characters didn’t completely forget about their predicament (something that tends to happen too often in many books: as soon as the love interest appears, the impending end of the world doesn’t seem so important anymore, and too much time is spent on trifles).

Once again, I’m not rating this novel higher… yet I’ll still seek out volume 5.