Gripping and powerful original stories of dystopian worlds from New York Times bestselling authors.
KELLEY ARMSTRONG (BRANDED) has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She’s the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising young adult series as well as the Otherworld and Nadia Stafford adult series. Kelley lives in Ontario, Canada, with her family. You can visit her online at http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com
RACHEL CAINE (DOGSBODY)is the New York Times, USA Today, and intermationally bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires young adult series, and the new Revivalist series in urban fantasy. She has published more than thirty novels and has been translated into more than twenty languages around the world. You can visit her online at http://www.rachelcaine.com and on Facebook and Twitter @rachelcaine.
KAMI GARCIA (BURN 3) is the New York Times and internationally bestselling coauthor (with Margaret Stohl) of the Beautiful Creatures novels. Beautiful Creatures, published in forty-four countries and translated in thirty-three languages, is currently in preproduction as a motion picture with Alcon Entertainment. She is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book in her solo series, The Legion (Little Brown 2013), which is currently being developed as a major motion picture by producer Mark Morgan (of the Twilight Saga) and Black Forest Film Group. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies or drinking Diet Coke. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and their dogs, Spike and Oz (named after characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer). You can visit her online at http://www.kamigarcia.com.
NANCY HOLDER (PALE RIDER) is the New York Times bestselling and multiple award-winning author of the Wicked Crusade, and Wolf Springs Chronicles series. She’s written tie-in projects for “universes” including Teen Wolf, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Hellboy, and Saving Grace. Hot Blooded and Vanquished are her newest young adult novels. She also writes comic books and teaches in Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. She and her daughter, Belle, are published coauthors, and they spend every dime they make together at Disneyland. You can visit Nancy online at http://www.nancyholder.com and on Facebook and Twitter @nancyholder.
MELISSA MARR (CORPSE EATER) is the author of the New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series, Graveminder, and Carnival of Souls as well as manga series (Wicked Lovely: Desert Tales) and various short stories. She is also the coauthor, with Kelley Armstrong, of the upcoming children’s series the Blackwell Pages and is coeditor of the Enthralled anthology (also with Kelley) and the ucoming Rags and Bones anthology (with Tim Pratt). When not writing, editing or traveling, Melissa is buried under a plethora of books, dogs and children in Virginia or online http://www.melissa-marr.com.
BETH REVIS (LOVE IS A CHOICE) is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult science fiction novel Across the Universe and its sequel, A Million Suns, as well as several other short stories set on the spaceship Godspeed. A former high school English teacher, Beth drew inspiration for her novels from her students and their lives – although she took the claustrophobic feeling of being trapped in a small town and enclosed her characters on a spaceship instead. Beth currently lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and dogs, and she believes space is nowhere near the final frontier. You can find out more about her online http://www.bethrevis.com.
VERONICA ROTH (HEARKEN) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the dystopian thriller Divergent and its sequel, Insurgent, the first two books of the Divergent trilogy. Her books are inspired in equal parts by her Chicagoland upbringing and her twisted imagination. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband and can be found online at http://www.veronicarothbooks.com and on Facebook and Twitter @veronicaroth.
CARRIE RYAN (MIASMA) is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimaed Forest of Hands and Teeth series, which has been translated into more than eighteen languages and is in development as a major motion picture. She is the editor of the anthology Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction as well as contributing author to the Infinity Ring series. A former litigator, Carrie now writes full-time and lives with her husband, two fat cats, and one large dog in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can visit her online at http://www.carrieryan.com.
MARGARET STOHL (NECKLACE OF RAINDROPS) is tha author of the forthcoming futuristic thriller Icons and is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author (with Kami Garcia) of the Beautiful Creatures novels, which sold more than a million copies in more than forty countries. Beautiful Creatures, named Amazon’s Top Teen Title of 2009, is currently in development at Warner Bros. Studios. Studying American Literature while living in Emily Dickinson’s street in Amherst and earning an MA at Stanford University, Margaret came to her love of the South much as she comes to her love of everything – through books. Margaret spends most of her free time traveling to faraway places with her husband and three daughters, who are internationally ranked fencers. She can be found onlineat http://www.margaret-stohl.com.
- YOUNG ADULT DYSTOPIAN (YAD) NOVELS HAVE TAKEN OVER THE PUBLISHING WORLD. The broad book genre has vanquished the reign of chic-lit tomes atop the bestseller chart. The Hunger Games series dusted the once unclear path for aspiring authors and their phalanx of reselient heroines – and the public keeps on extending their appreciation. The appeal is different from one reader to another. For me, the familiarities these novels share in real life is its finest attraction. Real life, but it is set in the distant future? Yes but the usual devices utilized – authoritarian rule, age/gender/socio-economic discrimination and rebellion – are all too familiar to all of us living in conflict-marred Earth. I guess these stories serve as cautionary tales, a peek to a possible dark future if the present is left unguarded. Female authors have cornered the largest chunk of the hottest book genre (Go girls!). In a demonstration of not just power but also camaraderie, some of the biggest names of YAD genre teamed-up to create a compendium of short stories. The result is Shards and Ashes, a collection of nine stories dealing with the bleak and distant future.
- Hearken (ROTH) is one of the best entries in the collection. The Earth is under constant threats of diseases and outbreaks, most people die before reaching the age of 50. A hearkener is one of the more important jobs for such a person can hear life or death. It is a bittersweet tale of acceptance and forgiveness between mothers, sisters and daughters. And although the idea of a hearkener is fascinating, it is nothing compared to the emotional turmoil the lead character suffered and survived all throughout. Unlike the other stories, Roth spun her tale without a conscious beginning, middle and end. It is a testament to her skill and development as a writer. Known for her action-packed Divergent series, she turned on the emotional knobs and succeeded in creating a tale anchored on character development.
- Corpse Eaters (MARR) at some point, is blasphemous BUT IN A GOOD WAY. New Faith has spread across continents with the arrival of a god. Unlike other religions, New Faith can claim their god is for real because it lives on Earth. However, the god’s predilection for human corpses posed problems and of course, deaths. A group of rebels swore to extinguish New Faith. The “arrival of a god” scenario is a real hoo-ha. Just think of the chaos it will bring to the world if one the gods of an existing religion appears to all mankind. Chaos not peace? Duh. Of course it is going to be chaotic. Blood has been spilled in the name of gods so just imagine if these gods appear to their faithfuls in real life. Corpse Eaters ended in a tragic manner and to add, a surprising conclusion. Its real selling point though is blurring the dichotomies of gods and monsters, of faithfuls and fanatics.
- Miasma (RYAN) felt too familiar. Not that it copied other stories. No. It felt familiar because the author utilized a number of common devices such as the suffering heroine, a Romeo and Juliet romance and the omnipresent cruel authorities. In short, it has all the characteristics of a standard YAD. The most incredible thing about Miasma is that in spite of its future setting, it conjured images of the past, the Medieval and the Industrial periods, in particular. Set in the future, at a time some parts of the Earth has reached alarming levels of pollution, people are under the truculent superintendence of “beaked” doctors. Think of them as similar to the “beaked”, “goggled”, and “masked” sketches of doctors in the Medieval period during outbreaks. As for the extreme pollution scenario, this has occurred during the Elizabethan Era. In this glorious age of British civilization, England doubled its population and rural-to-urban migration increased despite zero indoor plumbing. So just imagine the stench of human and animal fecal matters all throughout London combined with garbage dumped along Thames. Not so distant future? It happened before and OLD IS NEW INDEED. The author could start a fad here, re-imagining the past as our future.
- Other notable stories in Shards and Ashes are Branded and Burn 3. The rest is not as compelling compared to the abovementioned short stories. True fans will find this book as a nice addition to their YAD collection. The contributing writers is an all-star cast of the biggest names of the genre. Though some of the entries missed the mark, most of it delivers and surprises. YAD continues to flourish as a genre and it seems there js bi let-up in sight. Shards and Ashes II?