Audiobook Review: Out of the Ashes (Asheville Arcana #1) by Ari McKay

In their differences, they’ll find strength—and love.

Alpha werewolf Eli Hammond returns from a fishing trip to discover a nasty surprise—five members of his pack murdered and the rest missing. He needs help locating and rescuing his pack mates, but the supernatural council in Asheville, North Carolina, turns him away.

Except for one man.

As they work together, Eli is stunned—and not especially thrilled—to discover half-elf Arden Gilmarin is his destined mate. But as Arden and his friends struggle to help Eli in his quest, Eli surrenders to the demands of his body—and his heart. They’ll need to bond together, because the forces opposing them are stronger and more sinister than anyone predicted. The evil has its sights set on Arden, and if Eli wants to save his mate and the people he is entrusted with protecting, he’s in for the fight of his life.

Listening Length: 5 hours and 47 minutes
Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Not bad. Not bad at all.

As the blurb says, strange and sinister things are afoot, and werewolf Eli is desperate to get help in order to avenge and rescue his pack. He comes to Asheville to seek aid, and gets a cold shoulder from the supernatural council except for Arden, who surprisingly is whom Eli’s wolf claims as his mate. However, the last thing Eli wants or needs is any distractions, but he can’t say no to the half human/half elf’s help no matter the complications. As Eli and Arden look for clues, they soon discover that it’s more than just a hostile takeover. Something evil is building towards horrific proportions, something that has been brewing for decades.

Overall, this was a pretty good paranormal story, not too simple, not too cheesy. Granted it takes an inordinate amount of time for Eli to unstick his head outta his ass, but once he accepts his fate, things progress quickly for him and Arden, showcasing a decent amount of smexy heat all tied up in that lovely mate bond we have to have in our shifter stories.

This was also nicely narrated by Andrew McFerrin, and I have not one complaint as he does voice distinction, accents and emotion all very well. Obviously, this is just the set up for a series, and though the main story arc is resolved, there are definitely some loose threads hanging. I enjoyed the world building, and the supporting characters were likeable and intriguing, making me look forward to seeing them get their happy ending as they fight the evil that’s sure to return.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the audio in exchange for an honest review.

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