Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shards & Ashes

Shards and Ashes
Book description:Gripping original stories of dystopian worlds from nine New York Times bestselling authors, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong.

The world is gone, destroyed by human, ecological, or supernatural causes. Survivors dodge chemical warfare and cruel gods; they travel the reaches of space and inhabit underground caverns. Their enemies are disease, corrupt corporations, and one another; their resources are few, and their courage is tested.

Powerful original dystopian tales from nine bestselling authors offer bleak insight, prophetic visions, and precious glimmers of light among the shards and ashes of a ruined world.(taken from Goodreads)

Below are my notes and brief descriptions of each short story...I don't know if I'll begin to do this with all anthologies that I read, but it worked for this one. Please note that there are a lot of spoilers, practically in ever at your own risk :P Overall I really enjoyed this book, so far of the four anthologies that I have read this was my favorite. There were many great, intriguing stories written by great authors :) I would recommend to YA+ girls.

Veronica Roth- In this world there are terrorists trying to bring about the apocalypse and there are Hearkeners. People who can hear either death or life songs. Darya is faced with the decision of death or life Hearkener. This was a really interesting idea. I liked it and thought it was happy and apocalyptic at the same time. I liked the description of the Hearkeners and the whole death and life music thing. Poetic and tragic.

Kelley Armstrong- Inside the fortress Rayne plots with her boyfriend, Braeden a werewolf from outside the fortress, to escape and join the Branded. The Branded are supernaturals who were discovered in a fortress, were branded and thrown out of the fortress. I got a medieval feeling in this story....possibly because of the whole fortress thing. It's pretty much just like a castle. I liked the underground supernaturals that become the turning point for the world and apocalypse. The characters made a cute couple, even amongst the killing and cannibalistic survivors outside. I thought that it was really well written and thrilling.

Margaret Stohl- When some one's life beads or their "necklace of raindrops" run out they are taken to be dropped off in the remains of the Southlands. Jai's brother jumped because he was an adventurer and reckless, using up his beads. Now she is the only one from her family left. But a boy named Z helps her to love/live a little. I liked the idea and the new world. The future world. I liked the ending, hot it wasn't sad and actually had hope. while some parts didn't make as much sense (there were polish or some sort of Asian language mixed in) I overall liked it alright and it was pretty sweet with a nice twist at the ending.

Rachel Caine- The Corporate runs everything in a business like world with sectors with letter titles. Zay/Xavier from level K is given lottery tickets to a Cup game. On the rain many kids are killed. He and several others are saved and become dogsbodys. They're like slave for Corporate he grows in the ranks for hopes of reaching high enough rank to kill the man who murdered on the train. This story actually had a Hunger Games feel to it, I thought. Castes too. I wish that they had kissed, but the ending was nice and I liked the main characters. And the whole business ruling the world idea was pretty cool. And scary at the same time.

Nancy Holder- Dana is approached by someone names Alex who has strange Powers and knows about the other side of her family. He seems to think she can help him. But hat they find in Germany is tied to not only the supernatural but also the causes of what plunged their world into chaos. I liked the just seemed a tiny bit rushed. And the some parts were a bit fuzzy. I did like the whole goblin/fey baby switch that was messed up because of human interference :P It seemed realistic. The powers were cool and tied into the ending nicely!

Melissa Marr- This story was about Harmony who goes out and kills Nidos, reptilian minions of the "god" Nidhogg. He grows stronger by people believing in him. Even to hate something you need to believe in them. So she and her dead sister's old partner Chris hunt the Nidos. Well in some ways this reminds me of the Enclave series...mainly because of the monsters. In other ways it reminds me of something else with monsters that I can't put my finger on. The whole couple thing was sweet...I thought the world was believable. Definitely gruesome and creepy!

Kami Garcia- he world is too hot to live in and people were underground for 20 years! Now, in a sort of safe Dome, Phoenix tries to find and rescue her sister from The Abyss (underground) when she is kidnapped by Skinners who skin children and take other things to sell them to the rich who need skin grafts.  In some ways I'm reminded of Breathe(Sarah Crossan)...only dirtier. This is a world that I would like to read more about. Will they ever go back outside after all that heat and burning? I liked the kidnapping and sacrifice ending :)

Beth Revis- Orion has just been almost killed by Eldest and is hiding out. He takes refuge in the recorder hall with the newest recorder Mag. As he begins to plan a rebellion of sorts. Ahhh! An installation short story to the Across The Universe series! :) I was pretty happy and excited to hear a story from Orion's point of view and learn more about the "before" the series. The world and Godspeed I loved, of course! And I felt a little more sympathetic to Orion after reading this short story. Only a little though.

Carrie Ryan- Frankie is caring for her sick sister after their mother is taken away because she had gotten the plague. Now she is working her mother's job at a rich person's home filled with beautiful flowers that keep away the scent of the plague. She needs money to bribe the plague doctors with their plague eaters. And she meets a boy. Kinda. I liked this one. For some reason I got  a bit of a Poison Princess and something else feel from this story. Possibly a bayou feel because of the swamp in this story? I liked the whole flower elements and the plague doctors with their plague eating ferrets in this story.

Objectionable:3 for language. Also mentions of sex, drinking and smoking. Gruesome things, killing, death and magic. Supernatural creatures, fey and drugs (phydus). 
Cover:I loved it. It's beautiful and creepy at the same time. And I'm loving the trampled snow, some sort of sun activity in the background and the white, flowing hair.
Love, Sierra
(sorry for the long review)


  1. I've seen this around. Your descriptions of the stories makes them sound really good. Thanks.

  2. Yay anthologies! I've only read a couple but I think it's a really great reading experience to be able to jump in and out of multiple stories. Of course, when I love a story, I want it to go on FOREVER, but still :)

    All of these sound really great, tbh! I didn't read the descriptions for fear of spoilers but even just from your own thoughts that you shared... I'm excited.

    Thanks for the great review, Sierra! <3


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