Ash by Jason Brant

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A review by Terri Kinckner

Synopsis from Amazon:  

Some things should remain a secret.

My name is Asher Benson, and I can read your mind. Sounds great, right? It’s a nightmare. Every skeleton in your closet, every condescending thought flitting through your head, blares in my mind like a foghorn when you get close to me. I’ve been living in relative solitude for half a decade, scraping by with copious amounts of alcohol and self-loathing.

This morning was like any other, until a senator shot himself on live television and an entire floor of government analysts committed mass suicide. That was the rough start of a horrible day.

Now, I’m on the run with my only friend, an old Army buddy-turned-detective, as cops, spies, and a mind-controlling terrorist chase us through Baltimore’s violent streets. The government discovered my secret, and they’re upending Heaven and Hell to take me out. 

My take:

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I honestly loved it!  I read the original novella, Echos, a long time ago and enjoyed it tremendously, but thought there could have been so much more to Asher Benson.  I was hoping for a sequel, but this is so much better!  I really got to know Ash better in this book, and his “friends” in this story are completely original and wonderful characters!

Ash is a horribly flawed person, though not through any fault of his own.   He’s an alcoholic who lives in squalor, and barely gets by on his disability check.  After suffering an injury in Afghanistan, he awakes to the realization he can hear people’s thoughts.  All of them.  Alcohol and isolation helps him to drown them out and numb himself.  A routine beer run changed his life when he walked past a bank and heard the terrified thoughts of the bank patrons as the bank was being robbed.  He stepped into the bank and his world turned on its axis.

Government corruption, espionage, a mass-murdering psychic, and a whole lot of action make up this book.  It was incredibly well written and had me on the edge of my seat (literally).  The thing I love the most about Jason Brants book is that his characters always make me laugh, even in the worst situations.  This book is no different.  The characters are completely different, yet meld together perfectly to create a comedic masterpiece in the midst of complete terror.  That’s the only way I can think to describe them.  Brilliant!

I am really hoping to see more of Asher Benson and his interesting group of friends, and the ending of this book seems to leave that possibility open.  I have my fingers crossed for many sequels!

I give this book 5 stars out of 5!

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