Ashes of the Sun (The Gathering of the Sun #1)
It is the foundation of everything. I am taught to accept the unacceptable. To embrace the terrifying.
To give everything to my family.
To my church.
To my god.
Because I have a purpose. I have been trained for my calling for as long as I can remember. As an acolyte for the Gathering of the Sun, I am taught that my life isn’t my own. I worship. I serve. And when the time comes, I will greet my fate with open arms and a sin free heart.
People call us a cult.
We are judged. We are ridiculed and reviled. Pastor Carter tells me they will be lost when the end comes. So we hide ourselves away from their sick and dangerous world. And my soul is safe because I follow the path.
I am the perfect disciple. I am confident in my devotion.
Until doubt arrives wearing the face of a boy I never expected to love.
Bastian doesn’t follow the path. His destiny is his own. He paints me a picture of a beautiful world. His words contradict everything I have been told.
He invites me to live when I have been prepared to die.
He gives me something new to believe in.
Love becomes the ultimate crisis of faith and now I am torn between two futures.
One that saves my soul.
And one that saves my heart.
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Wow… this was a full read! I felt the heaviness of this book. The first 17% of the book is just getting to know who’s who and how they all live their life’s. It was pretty unbelievable that people in this day in age…grown people willingly believe something so crazy. Just put their trust in ones man vision of the Bible. It was hard to read. This book reminded me a lot of those documentaries that come on TV about cults. How one man… an outcast needs to find a way to get people to follow him.
“Feel the heat. Feel the fire. Without it, we will die. Without it we will cease to be. Glory in the sun. Glory in the day. It is our gift.”
Pastor Carter was your classic manipulator. He preyed on people’s weaknesses. He used the bible and twisted it to get his message across. People of all walks of life found him in their time of need. They were looking for way to see past their darkness. The pastor would welcome them in and started the process of slowly making them depend on him….on his words and his beliefs. It was shocking to read how these people were so willing to give up their rights to everything to a man they barely knew.
“I am God’s servant. I am his messenger. His will is mine. Mine is his. Trust in me, for what we do is holy.”
We get introduced to a bunch of characters in the beginning of this book. And some of their stories of how they came to be in The Gathering of the Sun.
“The Awakening. The moment when we reached spiritual perfection. The moment God welcomed us home”
That was the pastor’s number one message. That was his ultimate promise to his followers. The awakening. That’s what all his followers wanted to be worthy of. To ascend to the next level of life.
It was sad to read because of the kids. The kids learned this at an early age. Most of the kids/teenagers were there because of their parent/parents. They had no choice. Some were brought there at a young age and some were brought there already knowing what was happening. That was hard to read.
Because these kids fought so hard to get their parents to open their eyes in their early days of arriving at The Gathering of the Sun. They were all so traumatize by it. The pastor broke them down and brainwashed them. And these parents let it all happen because they were so caught up on their own needs.
“I was an unwilling acolyte. It took years of tears and unhappiness before I embraced all that I had been given.”
Sara really struggled throughout this book. I even felt she struggled when she was at her happiest. Deep down she knew certain things weren’t right. But she always prayed to make it right with god for her unholy thoughts.
Things started to change once David and Bastian came into their world. Brothers coming for two entirely different reasons. David was looking for help. He heard Pastor Carters words and he wanted to believe that this was his path in life. And Bastian was there to help his brother. He wasn’t a believer. But Bastian knew he couldn’t live with himself if he left his brother behind. So he stayed with his brother.
He tested Sara and her beliefs every step of the way. He gave Sara reason to question her beliefs.
“And maybe one day you’ll figure out that lying to yourself is almost worse than lying to someone else,”
There was a lot going on in this book. It was such an emotional roller coaster. There was a lot of anticipation of what’s to come… the build up of what was going to happen in this book that had me anxious to read faster!
The second book is going to be interesting to read. The aftermath of everything that went down in this book. I’m curious to see how it all turns out for everyone
This was an incredible book! Once agin Mrs. Walters has managed to sweep me off my feet! She has a way with words that leave me wanting more.
*ARC provided for an honest review*
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and New Adult romances including the Bad Rep, Find You in the Dark, Reclaiming the Sand, and Twisted Love series.
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