When you want to try a new dessert there is almost always a taster tray. The book Shards & Ashes was just like a taster tray. Taster trays are great except for the fact that a taste of each dessert is never quite enough of each dessert. After each short story I couldn't help but feel unfinished. I always wanted to know more.
Although the writing in the book was amazing, the plots didn’t seem finished. At the end of each story I wanted to flip the page and begin the next chapter. There was only one problem with that; there was no next chapter. All of them felt like an introduction into something bigger.
Many of the stories felt post-apocalyptic or almost dystopian. I wasn’t completely sure how some of the stories were related to the others. The first story, “Hearken,” was like a cheesecake while the rest of the stories were some sort of chocolate. It was my favorite but didn’t fit with the others very well.
The second story of the book is called “Branded.” It is about a girl named Rayne. In the world Rayne lives in there is the town and then the outside. She is in the town. The town walls protect those inside from werewolves and animal-human hybrids that live outside. Rayne’s friend, Braedon, was discovered to be a werewolf and forced out of the town. The rest of the story is about how Rayne uses another girl, Pricilla, to go into the outside. Both Rayne and Pricilla end up looking for Braedon. By the end, one leg of their journey is completed but not the rest. I wanted to know what happened after the story ended. The ending felt abrupt and not really like an ending.
All of the stories were really good until your spoon hit the bottom of the bowl and came up empty. If each story was longer I would have given the book a 4 but because none of them had a satisfactory conclusion this book is a 2.5.