AVA, THE DEBUT NOVEL of indie author Ashley Barron, marks the start of a series slated for 26 books where each chronicle will focus on the situations experienced by a different character. Barron’s Priya group of women live, love, and work in Washington, D.C. and the depth of their bonds know no bounds.
Admittedly, I began the book with some trepidation. The scope of the novel is huge, but the author’s careful plotting shows. This first book centers on Ava, a woman in her early 30’s, who is the successful owner of an event planning business. As such, along with a high-powered family, Ava maintains ties to very important people. Those ties bring the inevitable ploy for money and domination which drives the many twists and turns of the plot.Ava’s decision to step-down from her business coincides with a situation that places her life in peril. Along the way, the reader follows the well-crafted clues regarding a missing employee, computer hackers, and Ava’s rekindled romance with Kader Thornton. The sudden decision to want to drop her trappings of success didn’t feel completely in line with Ava’s character, which may leave readers to wonder if the decision is being used as a plot device to drive the action of future books in the series.
The choice of an all-knowing narrator is perhaps the riskiest aspect of the novel. Barron handles the intricacies required by an omniscient narrator amazingly well. However, since the story centers on Ava, a limited third-person point of view could have tamed the occasional unwieldiness of the narrative a bit. At times, it felt like huge passages could be omitted if it were not for the choice of narrator. I also found the consistent use of word repetition intended to add emphasis and heighten the drama of the story did just the opposite.
Ashley Barron has an uncanny ability for communicating the intricacies of human relationships. For that reason alone, I am looking forward to her next installment. Her growth as a writer, marketer, and blogger has been, and will continue to be, fascinating to watch.
You can connect with Ashley on her blog.
What series have you read that span many more book than just a few novels?
For more insight, read my Book Review Criteria. Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2012.
Wow… another new author. Very cool… Interesting choice for a cover. 26 books… how do you even plan for that? 🙂
Ashley just recently rolled-out a new cover that replaces the pink one featured here. I’ve learned a lot about self-publishing by following her journey. You should check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.
Gosh, So many book and so little time. This series is one I know I would very much enjoy. Having grown up in the DC area, that alone would draw me to her series. As always, such a great review. 🙂
DC is one of the few major American cities I still have yet to see, and with the way Ashley captures the city, it only makes me want to visit the area even more.
Wow, I can’t imagine planning out 26 books into the future. I have enough work planning out day to day.
Yeah, I know 😉 Ashley excels in that regard as does her helpful blog for writers.
I;m not sure if I would read the book – not really my style. However, the review is a fantastic lesson in writing in itself. Good job.
Thanks for stopping by Edward. It’s great to meet you!
Your review wants me to read the book. I always welcome new plots, the simpler the book cover is, the more interesting it is to me.
Covers can be so tricky. I do like the simplicity of Ashley’s former cover, but all that pink probably did turn some potential readers away.
This sounds like a very interesting story and it is a great review, Jeri.
Sounds like a good plot in the style of writers like Candace Bushnell and Lauren Weisberger. Just set in D.C. instead of New York.
Love reading that kind of books after a heavy intellectual one. May just get it.
I like the new cover SO much bettter! And a 26 book series?! This author has got her work cut out for her.
I’m impressed by anyone who commits to writing 26 books – I’d be afraid to commit to READING 26 books! Love your review, very thoughtful and detailed. Are you going to read and review all 26? I’ll be back to check them out!
Based on the first book in the series, I am willing to give the second and possibly third book a try.