By: Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Publication Date: August 2, 2022
Reviewed by: Katie Specht
Review Date: June 2, 2022
From author duo Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor comes the first book in the St. Benedict series entitled River of Ashes. This psychological thriller chronicles the teenagers from St. Benedict High School, and specifically, the mischief that occurs at parties held at the abandoned seminary by the river in their town.
Beau Devereaux, the son of the most powerful family in town, is seemingly untouchable and he knows it. His family has hidden his dirty secret for years, allowing his evil to continue. During his senior year, he focuses all of his energy on his girlfriend’s twin sister, Leslie, while continuing to accumulate victims along the way as collateral damage.
Leslie is not fooled by Beau’s façade and tries her best to convince her sister, Dawn, to stay away from him. Unfortunately, Leslie is unable to convince her sister of Beau's hidden side. Dawn is convinced that she has found the ultimate catch in Beau and is always in disbelief that he has chosen to be with her.
The situation becomes more complicated when Beau torments a new girl at St. Benedict High, along with a girl from out of town who shows up a river party one night. Despite Beau’s intimidation and threats to keep quiet, the girls share their stories with each other, and together with Leslie and eventually Dawn, they all devise a plan to stop Beau’s evil actions once and for all.
Weis and Astor have created a truly disturbing, yet thrilling story with River of Ashes. It is the type of story that the reader cannot help but feel disgusted about at certain times; however, the reader will be unable to put the book down until discovering how the story is resolved. The riveting writing will draw the reader in and keep a strong hold until the very last page is turned.
As a reader who was, for lack of a better term, slightly turned off, during the course of reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised to see a note from author Weis at the end of the book explaining why she chose to write such a disturbing and violent story. I appreciated her sharing her rationale and thoughts regarding this, as well as providing statistics regarding violence against women.
Quill says: River of Ashes is a psychological thriller of epic proportions that will keep the reader captivated until the very end. Impressive author duo Weis and Astor have achieved another success with their impressive and enthralling opening to the St. Benedict book series.
For more information on River of Ashes (St. Benedict Series), please visit the website: alexandreaweis.com/books/adult-titles/st-benedict-series/