Book Review: The Charismatics ( Charismatics #1) by Ashley R. Carlson

Title: The Charismatics

Author: Ashley R. Carlson

Publication Date:

Format: ARC

 I can’t shake this feeling that I’ve been lied to, nor that I’m partly to blame. I’ve spent my life following orders, never questioning Legalia’s decisions for me, for the world. I had food, shelter, better living conditions than most-why rock the boat?Because you can choose between doing what is comfortable, or doing what is right, answers the small voice within me.

I was afraid of that.

An arranged marriage. A corrupt government called Legalia. A forbidden spiritual realm.

Duchess Ambrose Killaher was just seventeen years old when exiled to Shinery-a city of snow and darkness-to marry a man who despised her, finding her only solace in an invisible companion named Roan.

Now as the poor starve in the streets below and rebellious acts become a frequent occurrence, Shinery holds its yearly celebration to commemorate Legalia’s rule. But when Ambrose stumbles into a hidden courtroom and witnesses a violent murder, she is thrust into a secret world of the supernatural-one that could endanger everyone she’s grown to care for. With the help of a handsome stranger, Ambrose learns of the past Legalia has covered up, and that she alone possesses the power to stop their unspeakable plans for the future.


3 stars

**I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much! This doesn’t affect the review in any way. My opinions, as always, are my own.**


Originally, I had rated this book 3.5 stars.  While writing this review, however, I down-stared it to 3.

This review has been in the works since Friday. I sat in front of my laptop for hours, trying to decide about what I thought of this book.

Did I like it ?

Did I hate it?

It was certainly interesting to read, never boring with lots of action. But, on the other hand, it had things that made me scoff and roll my eyes.

(It might have also taken time to actually get my thoughts on paper laptop because I was knee deep in baking…see my instagram for photos)

okay okay review time.

I haven’t read a book where so many characters die since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (this isn’t a compliment btw). At the end of the book, literally half of the character cast is, bam, killed off. That was extremely unnecessary. Like, okay, maybe one, two would be okay but, lady, you killed off some of my fav characters!!!!!

Luckily we’ve only known these characters for one book so we aren’t extremely, extremely attached to them.

Another thing that annoyed me was how Ambrose kept on complaining about how “plain” she looked. Darling, you had an old man lusting after you (seriously ew), Vasser admiring your beauty every five effing seconds, your old nursemaid saying you looked like a daisy, and you still lamented about how ugly you are. I thought authors were over that trope. Seriously, how old school is that????

I just realized I made the book look bad. It’s not. It’s actually good. I was never bored, not even for a second. There was so much action, and Ambrose facing her fears and growing up, and swoony moments and funny moments and, even though there was a storm raging and evil kings were planing to kill their people and crazy uncles conducting experiments on others, there were still happy moments where you laugh and grin because there is just so much love in this world and the sense of comradeship between us people whether we are royalty or servants or beggars or just plain normal citizens is amazing. We might not have anything common, just like Ambrose didn’t have anything in common with her handmaidens and her body guard, but we are all human. And I think that’s enough.

Character Analysis


I am, and always will be, a firm believer that if you want something to change then you have to change it yourself. Ambrose wanted the lives of the denizens (poor people) to change; she just didn’t want to be the one to change it. This annoyed me a lot. Like dude, you are a freaking duchess for the love of God. Stop being so effing scared of your husband and that crap Senator. Then, then, while making a speech, she went down the stage and gave her coat to a mother and her child. HELL. YEAH. AMBROSE. YOU. ARE. FREAKING. AWESOME. I grinned like crazy.


My fav character in the book! He had such a wonderful sense of humor and I impatiently waited for him to appear whenever he wasn’t there.


I had zero compassion for this dude. Zero. I didn’t care about his sob story or whatever crap he had passed through. Just because he was forced to marry Ambrose didn’t give him the right to treat her like crap and when Ambrose stood up to him -finally- I wanted to high-five her.

And when she was rid of him – FINALLY- I was so happy. BYE. DON’T COME BACK, KAY?


I shipped him with Ambrose since the beginning, and even though they fell in love a bit too fast for my liking (it wasn’t insta-love but it wasn’t slow either) I still cheered for them and found their moments together to be swoony and perfect.


How I cry. Lakeman was my second fav character and what was implied of his story broke my heart. He was like a father to Ambrose, always protecting her, always trying to be there for her, which is something she really appreciated having not known her real father.

Bottom Line

Despite all the things I disliked and complained about, yes, this book was good. I just had some issues with it that seriously reduced my enjoyment. However, I will still be picking up the following book. I need to know what will happen.

Recommended to: People who want to read about a heroine’s rise to power and also those who don’t mind half of the cast dying.


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