An Inch of Ashes by David Wingrove is the 6th installment of his remade Chung Kuo series. While the series is highly addicting, I’m starting to feel a bit lost due to the sheer length and characters of the story. I definitely praise the author for this series but it just feel so hard to keep up at times. There’s a bit of a stretch from one book to the next and so you can’t blame me when I”m having a hard time remembering just what the heck happened and I’m not just talking about the previous book! There are so many characters and so many events that you need to keep up with. With that being said, I still have to say that I had a decent time overall with An Inch of Ashes, though this one was the least enjoyable book so far out of the series.
Honestly, I don’t even know where to start when it comes to the overall story! Certain characters get their own section of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Li Yuan and Fei Yen, although some parts were a bit predictable. Where these two are concerned, you just know that something big is going to happen in the future. Well, to think about it, that could be said for pretty much every story development in this series! The next enjoyable section deals with the story of Haavikko and his guilt of what he thinks he has done. I think this was one of the only sections that got me on the edge of my seat. Next, we get to read about Kim Ward. In my opinion, Kim feels like a non-issue in this book and just a filler. Finally we round up on Ben Shepard. This part actually threw me off the most. It was a bit weird and I just couldn’t for the life of me remember how it is that he came to this place nor what happened to him in the previous book! His story captured me the least although I’m sure his character will play a much bigger role in the books to come.
At the end of every book I read in a series, I always ask myself if I will be continuing on. With the Chung Kuo series, I’ve answered that question seven times so far and I’m not even halfway through! But yes, I will be continuing on. However, I will not miss this book and was quite glad that it concluded. I thought I had ways more to go but turns out they were just notes from the author and of the characters. This book at times feel like a filler but there’s still some important things detailed here to make it feel as not. For the first time ever, I feel as if I should keep a book of notes of this series as I read along just so that I don’t get lost later on!