A review by Nalini Haynes
Format: paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Atom (Hachette)
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
Shards and Ashes is an anthology edited by two New York Times bestselling fantasy authors who also contributed short stories. The standard of writing and editing is supremely high, particularly commendable as such a standard appears difficult to achieve.
Every story is set in a post-apocalyptic or otherwise doomed world, with characters contending for survival or seeking justice. Every world is unique, powerfully wrought yet supporting the story. Some stories are fantasy, some are science fiction.
A remarkable absence of fetching McGuffins is a refreshing change.
Of this entire book, only one short story didn’t rock my boat; all the others were interesting, exciting, twisty and left me wanting more. The one that didn’t rock my boat felt like it needed to be a novel and was cut to fit the format. As I’m more of a novel and less of a short story reader, my love for these stories surprised me.
I find it difficult to review individual short stories without feeling like I’m spoiling them for you so I’ll leave my review at this: every story I read and enjoyed, I put the book down, I paused, I thought about it… Later I returned to continue reading this anthology.
I highly recommend Shards and Ashes if you enjoy dystopian and post-apocalyptic short stories. The length of these stories makes them perfect for reading while commuting.