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Peek Inside From the Ashes

The villain known as Spark has masterminded countless crimes to build his father's inhuman empire. Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford--antisocial graduate researcher and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve
By Xen

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Sociopath. Killer. Deviant.

Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called this and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded countless crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire. Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford–antisocial graduate researcher, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.

But one kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges everything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. When his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of humans and aberrants alike in Tobias’s hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile higher, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean–or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?

Previously released under the Ever After imprint. New material and now novel length!


"Everyone! This is an amazing story. A true must read!" - author, Kira Decker

"Fans of this author will notice that this book is a bit of a different writing style than we have seen in other works. That isn't a bad thing! I was grabbed right away by the back story and then had to sit down and read this one straight through." - Suzi from Obsessive Reading Disorder

"From the Ashes is a fantastical tale, but the beauty of this novel lies in that feeling of familiarity, whether in a character or the story itself. And maybe, by the end, it'll give you something to really think about. From the Ashes receives five-plus stars. ♥" - Jen Valencia, Amazon review

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781633757776
Series: Fires of Redemption, Book 1
Release Date: Jan 2, 2017
Page Count: 157
Imprint: amara next
Genre: lgbtq, sci-fi, urban fantasy
Tropes: forbidden love/off limits, opposites attract, overcoming odds

Select Featured Reviews

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By Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ January 31, 2017


That's the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book. The writing style is both emotive and evocative qualities that I found very satisfying. Sanders puts sentences together in clever and beautiful ways that put you in this world immediately.

I give him pieces of myself, as if...

By DarienMoya March 26, 2018


A man that feels nothing and one that feels too much…

Tobias Rutherford just seems like a normal graduate researcher. He’s unassuming, antisocial and draws no attention. Which works in his favour, because who he is really would scare the ever living hell out of those that surround him. He is... ...more

By Nicola January 01, 2017

I love a book that has me perched on the edge of my seat, and Xen Sanders hits the ground running with From the Ashes , bringing us a paranormal M/M story, told from the protagonists POV, with diverse characters and filled with the unpredictable, action, passion, intimacy and emotion.


Tobias Ruth... ...more

By Laxmama December 13, 2016

4.25 STARS. I received this ARC from NETGALLEY, I went into this story not knowing anything other than enjoying the Xen Sanders last book. Great addicting read, I was so caught up, wonderfully done & look forward to more. ...more

By Bev January 01, 2019

Really liked this one, a very welcome freebie from the author [whose other work I am now stalking...] but a story for which I would've gladly shelled out money....had I known about it. I love all things X-Men and Superhero, and the anti-hero in this one, Tobias aka Spark, is a very complex char... ...more

By Mandi January 09, 2017

First of all, I really liked this book. Before I get into it though, let me say it is a rerelease from a book titled, From the Ashes by Adrien-Luc Sanders released in 2012.

The blurb completely drew me into this one:

Sociopath. Killer. Deviant.

Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion....

By Fenriz April 05, 2018

Torn between "I liked it" "I really liked it", let it be the latter.

Again...i went in the book without reading the blurb, so i didn't know what was this exactly about, until i read "latex suit" and "powers" i realized this was a book about superheroes, like X-Men with the fight over races, etc.... ...more

By Joseph February 25, 2018

Loved it. Writing so beautiful it reads like poetry. Just stunning! ...more

This is a really good story. Im not big on pnr and sci fi books but this one i liked. It took me long because im busy with remodeling our new house but that wasnt the Book. I read this Book for the Reading challenge of the amazing group turning pages at midnight. It was my last one. I loved Tobia... ...more

By Santy February 06, 2017

This is my second Xen Sanders book and since I loved Shatterproof , I was raring to go when I saw this.

This story/book? It. Was . Intense.

It's set in a world where we have a subset of people with genes that differentiates them from plain humans. These people are called Aberrants and they have gr... ...more

This felt pretty epic. It also touched all the feels! Omg, I mean, it was like reading an X-man movie with all the fighting and heroics. But it was also very vulnerable. Although, the author drove the point across one too many times, that as an aberrant,
Tobias felt like he couldn’t have feelings... ...more

By Rafa January 10, 2017

Another fantastic antihero by Xen Sanders/Cole McCade. If you like superheroes, and particularly complex, broody supervillains who are struggling to find love and humanity within themselves, look no further. Tobias offers a fascinating look into the mind of a so-called monster, and Sean is the pe... ...more

By Ellie January 24, 2017

Wow! Paranormal mm romance with an anti-hero I couldn't love more!

This story is such an unusual read and I enjoyed it so much. It's Xen Sanders' second book, and in a way there are some similarities with Shatterproof which I also loved.

We have Tobias, a dark and broody antihero, supervillan who h... ...more

By Pianka *call me PIU* December 24, 2016

“From the Ashes” is the second mutant/genetically enhanced individual trope that I read this year and I was very impressed with how the author delves into the gray areas rather than sticking to the black and white. This book is dark and quite intense especially when one of the MCs is actually the... ...more

By S.A. January 30, 2018

Well, I always love a good redemption story. Gorgeously written, as always. More fun than I expected. At first I thought that was because I recently read C. B. Lee's "Not Your Villian" and "Not Your Sidekick" and those kept coming to mind as I read this. But there was also something over the top... ...more

By Clare March 23, 2018

Dammit. I did a massive review and he whole thing disappeared while I went to get ready for work Will attempt to write it up again later ...more

Fans of this author will notice that this book is a bit of a different writing style than we have seen in other works. That isn't a bad thing! I was grabbed right away by the back story and then had to sit down and read this one straight through.

What the big nerd in me enjoyed about the story li... ...more

By M July 01, 2017

So good. So *good*. Another all-time favorite, this one. Have to write a better review later, for now there is so much incoherent LOVE I have for this story and the characters.

And the one phrase that stays with me, always. "Don't say it if you don't mean it." PREACH. ...more

By Ekollon March 12, 2018

Hmm, how to explain how I felt about this book . . .

Well, first off, I really loved that it had a person of color (Thai) as the main character. There isn't enough diversity in the genre, and I'm always really happy when non-white characters are given some page time. Second, I like that being Thai... ...more

By Jennifer January 05, 2017

Whoa. This book was way more than I expected it to be. It was deep and made me stop and think several times. I love Tobias and Sean, and I cannot wait to see what happens next. No doubt it will be amazing.

Full review up on The Novel Approach shortly. ...more

By Annie January 29, 2017

Palpable emotion and complex characters

I picked From the Ashes up on a whim and am so very glad I did. It intrigued me from the first page and never loosened its grip. Every emotion was palpable and the story told so vibrantly, I couldn’t help but be lost in it. An urban fantasy romance with cros... ...more

By Kaa March 27, 2018

This is a very intense and engrossing book. Tobias's conflict and tension are very convincingly written. I had some trepidation based on the blurb, but this isn't a book about gratuitous violence. Instead, while there are some pretty brutal fight scenes and references to significant past death an... ...more

By Lisa January 09, 2017

Where do I even begin with a book like this? When I first received the book for review, I was excited by the premise. I mean, who doesn’t like superhero/supervillain stories? And one told from the eyes of the villain? I thought I was in for a wonderful treat. Dark, sure, but a fun read. I was not... ...more

By Natosha December 29, 2016

This book turned out to be so much better and so much more then I thought it would be. I am truly glad that I took the time to read this book.

If I had to describe this book in just a few words, I would describe this book as good versus evil.

What do you do when you are taught all your life that y... ...more

By Karen June 05, 2018

I've enjoyed other books written by Xen under the name Cole McCade (Autumn, His Cocky Valet) and this one sounded a little different and exactly what I was looking for.

I don't want to say too much because of spoilers but this was an interesting look at nature vs nurture and the power to choose on... ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.88 avg rating

About the author


Xen is a New Orleans-born Southern boy without the Southern accent, currently residing in Seattle. He spends his days as a suit-and-tie corporate consultant and business writer, and his nights writing genre-bending science fiction and fantasy tinged with a touch of horror and flavored by the influences of his multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual background—when he’s not being tackled by two hyperactive cats. He wavers between calling himself bisexual and calling himself queer, but no matter what word he uses he’s a staunch advocate of LGBTQIA representation and visibility in genre fiction. He also writes contemporary romance and erotica as Cole McCade. And while he spends more time than is healthy hiding in his writing cave instead of hanging around social media, you can sometimes coax him to come out and play for a Twitter party before he disappears into his hamster ball again.

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