Shards and Ashes

Edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong. Harper, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-209845-0
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.)
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 02/01/2013
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