Shards and Ashes

Shards and Ashes

4.0 8
by Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Veronica Roth, Kami Garcia

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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


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.

Stories from:
Kelley Armstrong
Rachel Caine
Kami Garcia
Nancy Holder
Melissa Marr
Beth Revis
Veronica Roth
Carrie Ryan
Margaret Stohl

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This collection of dystopian short stories features some of the genre's greatest voices along with the work of popular paranormal romance authors. The nine original tales all center on themes of revolution, class wars, and romance. Standouts include Veronica Roth's "Hearken," in which musical prodigies are schooled to hear the life songs-or death songs-of individuals with the help of an implant, Margaret Stohl's "Necklace of Raindrops," a lyrical piece about the value of truly living; and Rachel Caine's "Dogsbody," a tale of corporate control gone wrong. Along with selections by Beth Revis and Carrie Ryan, these pieces move quickly, make good use of the limited word count, and are likely to stick with readers. However, other offerings-Kelley Armstrong's "Branded," Nancy Holder's "Pale Rider," Melissa Marr's "Corpse Eaters," and Kami Garcia's "Burn 3"-are forgettable due to predictability, far-reaching plots, and unbelievable circumstances. All in all, the action is fast paced and the variety of storytelling tones appealing, making this an ideal addition to libraries in which dystopian and paranormal romance books are popular.—Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, OR
Publishers Weekly
Marr and Armstrong, fresh off their 2011 compilation, Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions, edit and headline this collection of dystopian fantasy and science fiction, featuring an all-female lineup of nine YA authors. While some offerings have romantic elements, there’s no guarantee of happy endings. Instead, readers are treated to stories like Rachel Caine’s powerful tale of revenge amid corporate warfare, “Dogsbody,” and Beth Revis’s “Love Is a Choice,” where the seeds of rebellion aboard a spaceship demand a heavy price. “Hearken” by Veronica Roth is poignant and powerful, proving that not all dystopias need corrupt governments or tyrannical leaders. The strength of these stories is their conjuring entire worlds; their weakness is that most of them end too soon, leaving readers wondering “what next?” Several stories feel like testing grounds for novels yet to come (or, as with the offerings from Revis or Carrie Ryan, teasers for existing books). However, with solid offerings all around, it’s a collection worth checking out. Ages 13–up. Agent: (for Armstrong) Sarah Heller, Helen Heller Agency; (for Marr) Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
An eclectic assortment of terrible futures. Viruses, terrorists, social collapse, disasters--this anthology offers variety in the horrors lurking ahead for humanity. Some protagonists rebel against invasive, controlling societies; others are just trying to get by in the chaotic ruins of civilization. The genres of individual stories are also scattered: A healthy dose of science fiction, some fantasy and even horror and paranormal romance are represented. Many of the entries read more like teasers for novels rather than fully realized and soundly structured stories. Among those, Veronica Roth's "Hearken" stands out for tight structure, an intriguing premise relying on a musical application of string theory and, most importantly, emotional resonance. It is the most successful of the offerings. Rachel Caine's "Dogsbody" and Margaret Stohl's "Necklace of Raindrops" offer different views of corporate-controlled nightmares--action-packed and murderous for the former, thoughtful for the latter. Readers seeking the grotesque and creepy find it in the Lovecraft-ian tale "Corpse Eaters," by editor Marr, involving a rebellion against an awoken reptilian god who eats the dead, or in the disease story "Miasma," by Carrie Ryan. Diversity of content goes some way to distract from unevenness of story quality. Just about any of these stories could easily be expanded into a novel--unfortunately, this makes them less satisfying as reads in the short story form, as many feel abridged and offer weak resolutions. Perhaps most appealing as a sampler for genre neophytes. (Post-apocalyptic/short stories. 13 & up)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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624 KB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Melissa Marr is the author of the bestselling Wicked Lovely series as well as the adult fantasy novels Graveminder and The Arrivals. When not writing, editing, or traveling, Melissa is buried under a plethora of books, dogs, and children in Virginia or online at

When librarians finally granted Kelley Armstrong an adult card, she made straight for the epic fantasy and horror shelves. She spent the rest of her childhood and teen years happily roaming fantastical and terrible worlds, and vowed that someday she'd write a story combining swords, sorcery, and the ravenous undead. That story began with the New York Times bestselling Sea of Shadows and continues with Empire of Night.

Armstrong's first works for teens were the New York Times bestselling Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising trilogies. She lives in rural Ontario with her husband, three children, and far too many pets.

Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection. Ms. Roth and her husband live in Chicago. You can visit her online at

Nancy Holder is the nationally bestselling author of forty-two novels and two hundred science fiction, fantasy and horror short stories. She has received four Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writers Association, and her latest novel, Ghost Roads, appeared on the USA Today Bestseller list. Her work has been translated into more than two dozen languages. She has spoken at World Fantasy conventions, and at World Horror conventions, among others. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband Wayne, her daughter Belle, and their three dogs, Mr. Ron, Maggie, and Dot.

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Shards and Ashes 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MY REVIEW I received a paperback of this book from the publishers Atom in exchange for my honest review. I love the cover, it's a dystopian, desolate image of an area talked about in one of the stories. I think the fairest way to review this book is to talk a little about each book, and give each tale a score out of 5. Hearken by Veronica Roth Darya is the main character in this tale. Darya hears songs, they can be people life songs or their death songs. Darya ends up going to an academy to train and she has to decide which type of songs she wants to hear, the life songs or the death songs. A special implant is put into the trained to determine which songs she hears a black dye is death songs a red dye is life songs. The city around is dangerous as people let off bio bombs, which if you inhale...well you die within days of inhaling them.   Score = 4/5 Branded by Kelley Armstrong In this dystopian world there are those who live by the rules inside the fortress and those who live in the wilderness. If you break a rule whilst living in the fortress your punishment is being branded and cast out into the wilderness. Also those cast out are anyone with supernatural tendencies such as weres etc. The main characters are Rayne and Braeden. Braeden is cast out, though it's not exactly as it seems as Rayne soon tries to join in on the outside. those in the fortress believe all their is out in the wilderness is eventual death . . .Are they right, or do other groups of people exist? Score = 5/5 Necklace Of Raindrops by Margaret Stohl In this tale everyone is given a necklace that contains what looks like beautiful raindrops on it. The more adventurous/risky things you do the more of the drops you use on the necklace.  Rama has decided to live life to the full and is on his last drop. He literally jumps from a plane with no parachute. Everyone that takes this way out of life with their last necklace drop leaves a letter for the family or dear friends they leave behind. Rama leaves his letter for his sister, Jai. The sister who is now all alone and has her necklace fully intact, she goes to work, then home, then back to work etc and takes no risks in life. . . Until she meets a guy at work . . .This is a very heartfelt and poignant tale. I really enjoyed it a lot even though it felt like one of the shorter tales in the book. The comparison of the necklace and the "chances" you take in life. Score = 4/5 Dogsbody by Rachel Caine Zay & Virtue are two orphans and are the two central characters of this short tale. They both come from the lower level zone of level K. Nothing exceptional or especially great happens to the kids in this level. Until. . . . one day they are all given tickets for a train journey to go watch a big match. Luck? or a trap of some sort? Both Virtue and Zay are suspicious, so much so Virtue decides not to get on the train, Zay decides to get on the train with the "nothing to lose" attitude but hey however poor you are there's usually something you have to lose like perhaps your life? This may be a short tale but it has twists and turns as well as lots of action and adventure within it too. Score = 3.5/5 Pale Rider by Nancy Holder The world has changed from what we know it to be. Dana has to go scavenging for batteries as there is no electricity, and she gets a feeling she is being followed. It turns out she is, she meets Ale Ritter who is German and has some sort of magic power. It turns out that Dana's Aunt has somehow sent Alex to find Dana. I liked this tale but at times found it a little confusing and felt it could have been longer and had a little more explanation here and there. Score = 3/5 Corpse Eaters by Melissa Marr In this tale gods called Nidhogg are ruling the world and having their monsters Nidos capture ill people and out them into large vats whilst still alive to make a strange soup that the monsters and gods live off. So fighting teams eist that go out and try to kill the monsters. That is what Chastity and Chris were once a fighting team, then Chastity was killed. Her younger sister Harmony has taken on Chastity's fighting role. Most fighters vow to each other that they will kill each other, rather than be taken alive and put into the vats. Taylor and his partner faced this decision, when Taylor was injured and captured. Jess his fighting partner took a risk and shot him with her gun which draws the monsters attention, she did manage to get away herself. Chris continually asks Harmony to leave and go to a safer place but she resists as her father is still alive. Then one day Harmony is betrayed, by someone she would never suspect . . . Score = 5/5 Burn 3 by Kami Garcia This tale is set in a dome. The dome protects from the strong rays of the sun that would otherwise burn everything they shine upon. Many people have burn scars. Children begin to go missing. Taken by the skinners. The skinners literally want the children's young unblemished skin to use for skin grafts for those badly disfigured from burns. When Phoenix's younger sister Sky goes missing, she is frantic . . . will she find Sky in time? If she finds her can she rescue her? Would also like this one to be a part of a series. Score = 5/5 Love Is A Choice by Beth Revis This is the only tale that I know of in this book that is a spin off from a book series that already exists. The book series this tale comes from is Beth Revis's Across The Universe. It has the character Orion in it. We meet the character Mag and learn how she has switched places with her grandfather and she is also free of the phydus and questioning Eldest and the way he rules the ship. Score = 4/5 Miasma by Carrie Ryan  In this tale the miasma is killing everyone, once you have been exposed to it, you become ill, then the beaked doctors come and take you away. In fact it's got to the point the beaked doctors seem to be taking some healthy people too. Is there a way to escape, or hide away from the beaked doctors and the ferret like animals they bring with them to sniff out the diseased. Would love this to be part of a larger series. Score = 5/5 So to sum up . . . .  I have to say that this anthology is up there with the best one's I have read. There are some fantastic and well known Authors in this anthology so to say I had high epectations was an understatment! As in my experience you usually get a few really good tales, a mediocre one and then the rest not so good. With this anthology I enjoyed reading all the short tales, obviously I liked some more than others but there wasn't one below a 3/5 so I think that's a great Anthology. So what should I give the overall anthology? Score = 4.5/5 (as there are no 0.5 stars on Goodreads I've given it 5/5)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to city of ashes res2 enter your first name and someone will answer im always on
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All my favorite authors together in one book. And it did not disappoint! I hope they do this again, it reminded me of Zombies vs Unicorns (another short story book) from a few years ago! Just a little lesss funny... but very good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*She moans and groans, grinding her hips against her*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the divergent books and i love them i cant wait till the third one comes out i love veronica roth she is amazing i am skiping dance (Nutcraker practice) to see her in SC we start very early so november is late to start practice for us so but i am going to see her in SC!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terrible stories! I have never written a review, but I bought this book because of the positive postings - big mistake!