Saturday, February 23, 2013

Shards and Ashes: Review


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.


This review only contains the short stories by Veronica Roth, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl and Beth Revis. And the review might contain spoilers
1. Hearken by Veronica Roth

  Hearken is written by NY Times #1 Bestseller Veronica Roth. I have to say the writing is just as beautiful as in Divergent and Insurgent. Her ability of writing the indecision of Darya, the main character of this story is beautiful. And there are the quotes which make people think. A lot. In this way, the story is successful.

The base of this story is Hearken, who can listen your life song or your death song. This is kind of mythical, considering we haven't heard anyone who can literally listen their life/death song. But then, they have to work for the government, so there's a more modern factor in the story. If this is a short story about mysterious abilities, this is a great story. But I think Shards and Ashes is an anthology of a dystopian world. That... there's few things that are related to dystopian stuff in the story. Based on this point, the story disappoints me a little.

Rating: 7.5/10

2. Necklace of Raindrops by Margaret Stohl.

Necklace of Raindrops is written by NY Times Bestseller Margaret Stohl. This is about the mysterious necklace of raindrops and the people holding onto it. The writing style of Margaret Stohl is different from Veronica Roth but just as beautiful. The words are simple yet can touch the deepest corners of your heart. They are beautiful and pure. I look forward to Icons, which is the first book of the Icons series.

In this short story there's a thing that none can ever imagine exist. It's the necklace, which is rumored to have great powers on people wearing them. The story reveals the true "nature" of those necklace, which is in fact, no more than a scientific stuff. But still, this is one crazy story. People risking their lives attempting to get their hands on those necklaces. And the great power that rest inside them is unfathomable in a good way. I love the idea of the story. And the last part of this short story is touching. Very touching. You will learn a lot from this one.

But, like Hearken, there's few dystopian elements in the short story. And like I said, Shards and Ashes is supposed to be an anthology of dystopian worlds.

Rating: 7/10

3. Burn 3 by Kami Garcia

Burn 3 is written by NY Times Bestseller Kami Garcia. Of all four short stories that I read in Shards and Ashes, I love this one most. Firstly, it contains almost every element that a dystopian story needs. The world is burnt by the sun and people can bare live in it. And once a big city in the world is nothing but dust and ashes. This is hell on Earth. It's a true dystopian story.

The idea of the story is not just any dystopian world. It's kinda like Breathe, where the essence of living is lacking. But the story contains more beautiful words. I always like Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's Caster Chronicles. But this time, the story goes deeper. Yep, there are no quotes that inspire you or great emotions. But the effect is just the same because of the thrill of the story. This is one that you will never forget.

Rating: 8/10

4. Love is a Choice by Beth Revis

Love is a Choice is written by NY Times Bestseller Beth Revis. It's a story about Orion's past, in which that he lives in the dark and attempting to seek out all the secrets that Eldest is fighting so hard to keep. I always love the idea of Across The Universe, about the endless list of secrets that one single ship is hiding. The short story does not contain any particular beautiful words or sophisticated sentences. But I think it works just fine for me.

This story is about Orion's life in Godspeed after everyone was told that he was dead. Then he met a girl who just wants to rebel as much as he does. This is a great plot for the story. But I think the story is just a little bit too long for me, even if the story explains why Orion is so desperate to reveal all the secrets.

Rating: 7.5/10

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