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Smoke and Ashes by Tanya  Huff
Review by Gayle Surrette
DAW Hardcover Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0756403472
Date: 06 June, 2006 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

I first met Tony Foster when he was introduced as a snitch for Vicki in the Blood books. He grew more confident as the series continued. When he and Henry Fitzroy moved to Vancouver, Tony found a job as a Production Assistant for "Darkest Night", a TV show about a vampire detective. He moved out on his own and built a life for himself. Now in this third book, we see a mature Tony Foster taking charge, learning to plan ahead rather than reacting to the environment and controlling his powers. He's learned two of the life's hardest lessons: to ask for help when he needs it and to trust himself.

It's not every author that can make you care about their characters and look forward to spending time with them when a new book comes out. Many readers prefer stand-alone books and you can read each of the Smoke and… books as a stand-alone. But if you read them as a series you find the characters grow in relation to their actions and experiences. While the situations are extreme they are, in the context of the story, consistent and believable within that universe. There's also a strong thread of humor that I enjoy. Perhaps I enjoy the stories so much because of the way Tony uses humor to keep from crying or running screaming from the room when things go horribly pear-shaped.

If your looking to spend some time in an environment with quirky people dealing with outrageously weird X-Files-type events then this is the book for you. But don't start it on a weeknight if you have to get up for work. Trust me, start it on Friday night so you can read it straight through to the finish.

Recommended.

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