Published by Createspace Independent Pub on August 16, 2013
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: ecopy from Author
Reading Challenges: Clean Sweep ARC
Eighteen-year-old Ally Watson arrives home from high school graduation, more than a little annoyed that her Uncle Argyle—Ally’s legal guardian and only surviving relative—didn’t even bother showing up. But instead of berating him for his forgetfulness, Ally finds him in a life-or-death battle with a monster. Argyle manages to kill the creature, and gives Ally a parcel containing a destiny she never knew existed.
Ally, along with her best friends Michael, Jessica, and David, hurry to Georgia to uncover the truth of Uncle Argyle’s secrets, and the meaning of the mysterious marks that Ally bears. Are the marks related to the blacksmith mythology of her ancestors? Who are these heavenly warriors who show up in the oddest of places? And will an ancient gypsy curse destroy the very things Ally fights to save?
Black Amaranth: a simple flower, a symbol with an ancient legacy, a conduit for prophecy…while faith and hope are essential to the journey, Ally soon discovers that love is the most powerful force of all.
Black Amaranth is a classic young adult paranormal storyline. Girl has lost her parents and has had secrets galore kept from her. Girl turns out to have some sort of powers and goes off to fulfill some sort of destiny/prophecy. It may be cliche, but it is a formula that works for me. I enjoy it because I like to see what the author can do with that basic plotline and how they can make it their own. I think Sasha Hibbs did a really good job creating interesting races of creatures and made a compelling history and story for them. Plus, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing right up until the end.
I liked Ally and her gang of friends. I thought it was a little convenient and easy how everyone surrounding her ended up playing a role in her world, but overall it was interesting to see how they each fit in. I appreciated how inquisitive Ally was. She did not just stand for a simple explanation. She kept demanding until she got the answers she wanted, and she was smart enough to know to keep some pieces of information to herself. Too many times I see characters that are too trusting and a little naive. Ally was neither of those things. It was refreshing.
I loved Michael and the twins. I thought they were a great group of friends. I was on the fence about Marik for almost all of the story, and there were more than a few times that I wanted to kick Ally for her choices, but I will leave all of that for you to find out for yourself. I liked the various relationships, but everything was so obvious and in your face. Like with Eli, for instance. I would have liked a little bit more subtlety worked into his feelings. It would have made it seem more realistic to me. I hope that gets developed a bit more in the next book.
Because the world that Sasha Hibbs created is complex, and because we are seeing this through Ally’s eyes and she is so new to all of this, parts of the book were pretty confusing. I think since we now know who most of the players are and what the creatures are, that won’t be an issue in the next book. Even though I want to see some of the characters and relationships fleshed out a bit in the next book, the world and plot has grabbed my attention so much that I know I will be continuing the series. The ending of this book killed me! I did not see it coming at all, and I really have no idea how Ally will get herself out of this pickle. But I know one thing, I have to tune in to find out.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: