Review of Ashes to Ashes and Cinder to Cinder (The Grimm Diaries Prequels #2) by Cameron Jace

Ashes to Ashes and Cinder to Cinder by Cameron Jace

My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication date: May 29th, 2012
Genres & Themes: YA, Fairy tale retellings, Paranormal, Shory story, Witches.


Seventeen-year-old Alice Grimm lives a dangerously enchanted life. Other than being distracted by a Dreamhunter called Loki Blackstar who has a heart of gold but acts like a jerk, she has a job to do. Being a descendant of the Brothers Grimm, she is one of few in the world who can locate the fairy tale characters and remind them of who they are. This time, Alice flies to Venice where an 800 hundred year old witch’s skeleton surrounded with seventeen glass slippers was found by archeologists in the city that invented the art of glassblowing. When Alice and Loki follow the lead, they find one of the fairy tale characters she had been searching for. It’s a famous girl character that you know by name, but never really knew what actually happened to her.


 Guys, you have to read this:

”Are you sexist or something?” He raises a single eyebrow. ”Besides, I’ve always wanted to be a girl.”

”Wow.” I take a step back and fold my arms in front of me. I can’t believe we’re having this conversation while a building is on fire in front of me. ”I didn’t expect that.”

”What? I always wanted to be a girl so I could find myself some awesome guy like me.”

*Shakes head* No no no no no.

I didn’t dig that guy’s humor.

Basically, what happens in this short prequel is Alice meeting a boy named Loki who is actually a Dreamhunter (the name says it all.) After that, she is using him in order to save Cinderella’s mom from being killed so she can give birth (of what I understood.)

The plot is not BAD but there were some things, again, that were confusing and happening too fast.

Also, there are some sentences I had to read three or four times before understanding a bit.

For example:

Ironically, I was flying to Venice to find the real Cinderella. The one everybody accidentally killed when they believed that she was a fairy tale character and didn’t exist.

Okay, so she went to find the real Cinderella. Who died. Who died because EVERYBODY ACCIDENTALY killed her. They killed her because they thought she was a fairy tale character. Okay, but what about the ‘and didn’t exist’ part? Does the author mean that people killed her BY NOT BELIEVING IN HER? I hope that is it, because I don’t have anything else.


”Believe me, she is dreaming. Immortal dreams are infinite and never stop as long as they are not awake in real life.”

It was said in the book that the witch died in her dreams. When you DIE, however you die, don’t you…die? Why is she still dreaming?

I absolutely don’t like Loki, especially the way he is talking. Another example since I have plenty of them:

”Yeah, I know. All girls don’t snort on the first night then it’s a Bambi the elephant sleeping next to me.”

No commentary.

Alice is not a likeable character but I do like her A BIT more than Loki. Although, she is kind of frustrating. There is this love/hate relationship between Alice and Loki but it’s all happening too fast since I’m pretty much sure the whole thing—finding Cinderella, entering the dream and saving the woman—took one hour.

The writing is okay-good. Really conflicted on that point but the book was fine to read. I mostly had problems with the characters then the writing that is for sure.

Why do I give this short story 1.5 stars then and not only 1?

Simply because the plot had its originality. It was too short, so I didn’t get much of it, but what I got felt promising enough.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.


36 thoughts on “Review of Ashes to Ashes and Cinder to Cinder (The Grimm Diaries Prequels #2) by Cameron Jace

  1. Hahahaah! Those tidbits of dialogue and your running commentary really made me laugh. The premise is really interesting you know. And maybe in some parallel universe, I would have picked up this one because I am such a sucker for fairy tale retellings. It’s just so sad that the author failed to properly execute the whole story.

    This is really weird story. It even has Bambi on it. How I missed watching that cartoon show? I was only four or five when I last seen it.

    If you don’t mind, try reading The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyers. IMO, Marissa is one of the best fairy tale retellers out there. She has a very unique take on our favorite fairy tale characters.

    I hope your next book will be a better read than this one. Lovely review, Lola!


    • I’m a sucker for fairy tale retellings as well that’s why I WILL keep reading this series. It’s impossible that one of those prequels won’t be good. 😉 I’ve read Cinder! 😀 Her book sure are unique! ^^
      Thank you very much, Charlotte!


  2. It’s sometimes difficult with short stories I agree. It’s too bad because I love the idea of the books and it’s always a pleasure for me to get into a retelling, I love them so much but it’s always difficult to make a good one. Sorry it wasn’t that good.


  3. I’m not sure I’m the biggest fan of his sense of humor either. I’m all for a cocky, self-assured guy in fiction, but I think that kind of humor is a tricky thing to pull off well. Sometimes it doesn’t come across as intended 😦 I love a good fairytale retelling, but these prequels seem to be missing the mark a bit for you Lola, so I think I’m going to pass. So enjoyed reading your thoughts though!


  4. Wow! Yeah, I would have lost interest after that first quote you shared too. There are a few authors out there whose humour just does not work for me, and I strongly suspect that Jace is one of them. Thanks for doing the dirty work for me, and for saving me from this one!


  5. Seriously I don’t even get these quote’s. These sentences are just so weirdly constructed.. I love fairytale’s and I certainly would have picked this.. Now? Not so much! I feel that there are so much better fairytale retellings out there! Good that you manage to pull through! I would have DNF’d :).


  6. This kind of sounds like it was more of a headache than maybe it was worth. I don’t think I would have liked the guys sense of humor either. Kind of cheesy and not very funny.


  7. Lola, I’m cringing a bit at those quotes. And I’m pretty sure this would have been a DNF for me. You are very courageous to have read until the very end. I’m actually shaking my head now that I went back up to re-read those quotes, especially the one about those people who killed the real cinderella o.O
    Great review!


  8. Ugh I can’t deal with these. Those quotes either had me rolling my eyes or gave me headaches.

    ”Believe me, she is dreaming. Immortal dreams are infinite and never stop as long as they are not awake in real life.”

    If it’s infinite… then by definition it goes on forever? How can she be dreaming and awake at the same time? I don’t understand GAH.


  9. Wait. Just hold on for a second. Bambi the elephant. I’m not sure if my whole life was a lie or what, but noooo. I think that someone here mixed up some really amazing fairy tales into something awful. Besides, why do you name your character Loki. Yes we all will think of Tom Hiddleson first, but boy the character has to deserve that name. This book sounds like something I will avoid. Sorry you had to go through this. Great review, Lola 🙂


  10. O_O I think I’m being a bad influence, XD. You are officially banned from reading my reviews for the Grimm Diaries Prequels, lol.

    Not that I can stop you of course… but if I go back to read the prequels, I might have a mind change. Or not. Not sure. :p I think I said something about Twilight. O_O


  11. The premise for this is certainly fascinating, but it’s a shame the characters and the dialogue / writing weren’t quite as good. I think I’m going to give this a miss because the things you’ve mentioned would probably bother me as well, but thanks for sharing regardless! ❤


  12. Loki’s lines are so bad they’re funny! That’s the humor in it. Well, at least the plot was at least decent and got you to continue reading the story. I hope you’d have more luck with the next one if you decide to continue on with the series.


  13. I’ve read (DNF’ed) a book my Cameron Jace in the past. Basically, it was…awful. I never really got over that so I haven’t tried again. I really don’t think he’s an author for me.


  14. Such a shame since the cover looks pretty appealing. It’s so hard to come by good retellings these days! I don’t think I dig the guy’s humor either. The more I reread the dialogues, the weirder they sound. Definitely a miss on my part since I cannot handle sloppy dialogues/characters. Really enjoyed your review! ^_^


  15. The premise of the book sounds interesting. I can see why you were confused at some parts. I think you are right about the Cinderella getting killed part. I think it means because no one believed in her she died. The wording could be more clear- but I think that is what is being said! Loved your commentary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  16. Sorry to hear you didn’t like this one! Those sentences confuse me too and Loki doesn’t seem like such a great guy, great review though!


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