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Air and Ash

TIDES, Book 1
Narrated by: Kaitlin Bellamy
Series: TIDES, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

Master and Commander meets Sarah J Maas in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess's quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms.

After a lifetime of training, 17-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission - and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battle worthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile's blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

Air and Ash is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and David Weber.

©2017 Alex Lidell (P)2017 Alex Lidell

What listeners say about Air and Ash

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Fabulous fantasy

The story is fabulous, with a kickass heroine in Ash and a simply gorgeous world. Kaitlin's narration was excellent and easy to listen to. Highly recommended.

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An excellent book, fabulously narrated. Highly recommended!

I listened to this as an audiobook, narrated by Kaitlin Bellamy, and she was an excellent narrator, really bringing the story to life. It's a great story, well-written, with characters that really help to drive the action, and full of drama. I really enjoyed the book, and would definitely recommend it to others who like fantasy books, or are just looking for something a bit different. And I'll definitely be reading or listening to the rest of the series as soon as I get the chance! NB I received a complimentary copy of this book, but I always give an HONEST review based wholly on my own opinions

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Profile Image for HeatherY
  • HeatherY
  • 15-09-17

Bloody Amazing!

Nile Greysik of Ashing isn't a typical princess. Nearly the last of her siblings in line to inherit the throne, she's been training since she was eight years old to be an officer in Ashing's respected naval fleet. Her dream is to be appointed to an Admiral position, and with her discipline and training she might someday achieve it. But a battle at sea causes Nile to lose her position and the respect of Ashing's allies.

Returning home, Nile's only solace is her twin brother Clay. Clay is Gifted, able to attract an element to him, but at a horrific cost to his mind. When Nile learns that her only value to her kingdom is as a brood mare, she decides it's time to find a cure for Clay. She enlists as a seaman on the warship Aurora.

THIS BOOK WAS BLOODY AMAZING!! I'm trying to write a review and the only coherent thought sloshing around in my head is how awesome this book was! It kept me so enthralled that I finished it in one marathon listening session. The plot was action packed and fascinating, but I think it was the author's writing style that had me hooked. Her pacing was perfect, and the elements of action, magic, character development, world building, and the little bit of romance were all there in perfect proportions.

Nile was a strong female lead who consistently stood up for those around her. She didn't achieve things too easily, each small victory was hard won and more worth it. She'd make a powerful role model for teens, and the misogyny shown by several of the characters (and the patriarchal countries) would make great talking points for teen readers. The magic system was interesting. Rather than a trope that could be used to get Nile out of bad situations, this magic took its toll on the user.

I absolutely loved Nile and Domenic's connection. It was so subtle it couldn't even really be called a romance. So many books rely on the female character's inner dialogue gushing about the male character's looks to build a semblance of romance with no true foundation. This book was different, Nile didn't dwell on Domenic's looks, and she didn't even think or wonder if she's attracted to him. That's just not how she's built. They had a connection built on mutual respect. It was really well written.

The narration was expertly done. Kaitlin Bellamy performed dramatically and with an animation in her voice that kept the action fresh. She performed different speaking voices for each character, as well as accents that were consistent for each country. It was a really impressive performance. I requested a copy of this audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review. I'm going to resist picking up the second book in the series now, and wait for it to come out on audio, because this narrator/author combo is worth the wait!

7 people found this helpful

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  • D. Scannell
  • 14-09-17

Incredible start for newcomers!

I was all set to play a Critical Role and give this audiobook a lower rating due to the fact that this is the first audiobook for both the author and narrator, but was denied the opportunity by how well they both did. Alex Lidell did a great job. She told an incredible story that made me care about most of the characters and not just to main characters. She did an awesome job of making a runaway princess trope into a story about someone who clawed and scraped her way TO THE BOTTOM so she could fight her way back up. I didn't expect to be as moved by Nile's development. I think I'm going to have to get the prequel novella so I can learn more about her time on her first ship.

Alex Lidell also did a great job with the magic system she employed. So many times authors use it as a crutch and make the whole story about the magic. Alex used the magic the way a chef uses salt, in just the right proportion and at the proper time. She also did something that a lot of young authors forget. She made magic have a consequence. In fact, the consequences were arguably more important the story than the magic was. Incredibly well done!

As for Kaitlin Bellamy's performance, all I can say is WOW!!!! The story was very good, but she truly brought it to life. She had a cast of characters to deal with and somehow she was able to give each one a unique and (most importantly) consistent voice. There are narrators with much more experience that have a hard time with that feat. I can't wait to listen to the next audiobook she narrates. If Matt Mercer were to listen to her performance, I'm sure he'd ask Kaitlin, "How do you want to do this?" because she killed it!

If I had to give the book any criticism, I would say it felt like it was 3/4s of a story. The hook at the end of the book was unexpected and absolutely vital to the story, but it felt like the next part of the series should have been part of this one. But then again, I'm going to buy the next audiobook as soon as it comes out, so maybe Alex Lidell knows exactly what she's doing and I just need to not be critical. :-)

7 people found this helpful

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  • MelHay
  • 24-10-17

High seas adventures to learn about life

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

The story starts fast with battle at sea with Nile Greysik part of the crew. There is mention of a decade war and that the ship carries a code book of the enemy which could help end the war. However, things fall apart and Nile's ship, Faithful, and crew takes the brunt of it.

Kaitlin is a new voice for me to listen to. She starts off strong with there being a battle at sea. She picks up on the quick thoughts and actions voicing it all so we are in that chaotic moment. She also voices different characters with adjusting her voice and tone so each sound to match the characters age and personality. Yes! She had my attention from the get go. Solid start! Kaitlin felt to be Nile in this book, which is a great feeling for the listener. The story comes to life and the narrator is part of it.

This book is Young Adult, but it reads stronger than that. I love how Nile speaks of many aspects and dynamics in honest and forward way, as she's dealt and talked about it openly her life so far. The relationship of men and woman on a ship and what happens to people that are Gifted. She doesn't shy from many topics, making them matter of fact feeling.

The Gifted. This is a special magic that comes out in some people in the world. It's based on elements and controlling them. But, there is great consequences that comes from having this ability. Heavy drawback on the body for being Gifted. I like the price for the ability, though no one has a choice to be gifted or not.

It felt that Nile's drive is true, and there are added reasons for that drive that affect her as well. Of course she runs for one reason, but her true desire was stated before that and is what becomes her main goal. I really like how these topics are written to overlap and the world and events drive her to do what she may not have done, or doing sooner than would have.

Alex has created an enticing story with Nile and her world. The way the story is told, there is much that can happen on the ship with the crew present. Nile's views of how things are handled in the world are firm, and there is much happening in the world to fight against. This is a huge story in it's own. It's also a stepping stone for Nile to get to where she wants to be, but has to do her time. Great blend of ultimate goal with immediate obstacles.

This is a storyline and characters I'd love to follow the story along when the books come out in audiobook in the future.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Aurora McMillian
  • 19-06-19

Surprisingly Good!

At the start of this story I was unsure what my thoughts were on it. My mind was able to drift away and I had to re listen when I realized I had missed a part. It took a little longer for me to understand the main character but I eventually did, The story drew me in and once that happened I was immersed in Niles life. I will be reading book 2 :). As for the narrator she did a reasonably good job but I would have liked to have heard a bit more versatility from her, it seemed like they were either Scottish or Irish lol which is why I gave her 4 stars. This audio book was a gift in exchange for my unbiased review. Thank you Alex Lidell for the opportunity to read your works.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zora Marie
  • 06-06-19

Rough Start, but Good Ending

The begging is disconnected and choppy like the rough waters of the sea, but things begin to smooth out after the first few chapters and that's when you'll begin to really be sucked into the story. The issue seemed to be a combination of the narrator settling into the characters and the disconnected feeling of the first bit of the story. Overall, the last part of the book redeemed itself and I was quite happy with the outcome of this fantasy story. I look forward to listing to the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • P.D. Pabst
  • 24-03-19

Interesting and Frustrating at the same time.

I was very intrigued by Nile's brother and the possibility of finding a way to help him control his magic. I thought he'd be in the book more as being an uncontrolled obstacle, but he wasn't. This somehow disappointed me. And though I found the tale of a princess journeying undercover as a common sailor interesting, I often had to remind myself that the author was, in fact, a woman and not a man, because I had a hard time believing some of the responses Nile would give. I felt disengaged with the character sometimes, but this might be from the telling narration, rather than showing. I cared more about her and her brother, than her journey on the ship with Domenic. I never felt true energy between them. And it took way to long for Nile to finally use her magic, like the next to last chapter, I think. And the cliffhanger was unsatisfactory because I believe the story ended to soon, and much of the middle could have been cut. However, I didn't dislike the story, it just wasn't a favorite. The audible narrations was VERY GOOD! The way Kaitlin Bellamy changed her voice with different characters made the story come to life, like watching a movie, which honestly might be what kept me listening. LoL

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lyssa R.
  • 05-03-19

Decent book

I found this book all right. The characters were very young, too young for their positions in the service but the story line was good and the characters were good but again acted much older.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kitty ranma
  • 12-10-17

More power to her.

I have both versions audio and e-book. I enjoyed being able to go between the two versions. Loved this book, this is the first book by Alex Lidell I've read or listened to but it won't be the last.
I hope they keep the same narrator she has wonderful voices she does for it.
This audio book was given to me for free at my request from the publisher or author or narrator and I provided this unbiased voluntary review.
Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Action-packed, Easy-to-read, Entertaining, Great world building, Original, Page-turner, Unpredictable, Wonderful characters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • alias11
  • 26-09-17

Absolutely LOVE this story!

I absolutely loved this audiobook, and I can't wait to hear the rest of the story. The concept of an alternative world where being gifted is actually a curse is unique and interesting. Nile/Ash is such an incredible character. I enjoy a kick-a** heroine, and Nile certainly fits the bill. She is strong, fearless, bold, smart, and loyal. The other characters are equally engaging and well-drawn. The action and adventure are exciting, and the writing really hooked me in and made me care about what happens to the characters (except maybe the captain; he's a jerk. LOL). It doesn't matter your age either - I think whether you are 9 or 99, you will love this story. (Let's just say I am well past the YA stage;D)

The narration was fantastic and really added to my enjoyment of the story. The delivery was well-paced and flowed extremely smoothly. I thought Ms. Bellamy did an excellent job of voicing both the female and male characters.

Storms and Hail, indeed!

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Irene
  • 23-09-17

Unexpectedly strong narration

What other book might you compare Air and Ash to and why?

Sarah J Maas audiobooks come to mind, both in terms of the story (strong female, magic, adventure) and in terms of narration (a ton of well done accents).

What does Kaitlin Bellamy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The cultural feel she brings to each character - their personality and backstory shines through her voice. I had read Air and Ash in ebook before listening and enjoyed it anew in Ms. Bellamy's performance.

1 person found this helpful