House of Ashes takes an interesting new turn in regards to the plot. Instead of being on home turf and finding your characters somewhere they least expect to be, the tale follows soldiers in Iraq of all places. In the year of 2231 BC there was an ancient war between the Akkadians and the Gutian people. Blood sacrifices were a common practice with the Akkadian King who also happened to be battling a plague. Fast Forward to 2003, and the focus shifts to a group of soldiers in the middle of the Iraq War. Colonel Eric King joins a group of Marines led by Lt. Kolchek and Seargent Kay and briefs them on a mission to raid storage that supposedly contains weapons of mass destruction. There is also a focus on an Iraqui Soldier known as Salim, who is forced to return to a war that is already lost and intercept the group of soldiers. Little do they know they end up fighting over what seems to be a shepherd’s hut, but ends up being over the ruins of the Akkadian Temple. While they originally are trying to escape and fight the Iraqui Soldiers, they end up finding a more sinister enemy that seems to be vampiric creatures.
While every story had a great premise, this entry felt as if it delivered a full course meal rather than just an appetizer. The previous 2 stories felt rushed and ended up uncovering human hallucinations rather than monsters. The main characters usually felt young and immature, as well as even more selfish. I never expected the next entry to follow military personnel that works with an enemy just to survive an ancient evil that proved to be real. The story gave a sense of unity and bravery and showed the struggle of following orders and working with a man who originally was an enemy to them.