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Shards and Ashes

(Otherworld Stories)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  2,750 ratings  ·  478 reviews
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,
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by HarperCollins (first published February 13th 2013)
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Wolfkin Without reading it's sort of unclear. In the forward that's the only one that's confirmed. Roth, and Caine are confirmed original short stories unrela…moreWithout reading it's sort of unclear. In the forward that's the only one that's confirmed. Roth, and Caine are confirmed original short stories unrelated. Stohl and Holder are probably unrelated stories. I think Garcia is unrelated too. Ryan's might be related to The Forest of Hands and Teeth but probably not. As for Marr and Armstrong themselves.. probably yes on Armstrong but unknown on Marr. (less)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  2,750 ratings  ·  478 reviews

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Feb 21, 2013 marked it as to-read
I feel stupid, but I marked this book as to-read simply because Veronica Roth wrote it. Does that make me a follower? ...more
Since this is an anthology I reviewed it differently. I gave each story an individual rating and then averaged out those together to get the final rating for the book.

Hearken by Veronica Roth. 4 stars
This was a hauntingly beautiful story set in a world where bio-bombs have become a part of every day life. Our protagonist Darya has been hardened by this world. We follow her path as she becomes a hearkener-- a musically talented person with a brain implant that allows them to hear people's life
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
It wasn't terrible, but I wouldn't read any of these authors again had I first read their work in this anthology. For the most part, the stories here needed more background to work, and a couple just made absolutely no sense in the context of a post-apocalyptic world.

For example, the first story, The Hearkeners, had me scratching my head. Ok, so you have a world in which you have to wear gas masks to protect against some attacks that aren't really defined, by people whose agendas I don't quite u
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Basically every time I review an anthology, I do things differently. This time, since there aren't that many stories and they're a bit longer, I'm going to break it down with my thoughts about each story.

Story 1: "Hearken" by Veronica Roth
In all honesty, I was expecting to hate this story. I really was not impressed with Divergent and had no higher hopes for this short story. Well, it just goes to show that giving authors a second chance can be a good thing. I really did like this. The concept i
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won
I won this book from Bibliophila, Please, a great blog! Thanks to Kayla who sent this book to me.

Shards and Ashes is a collection of dystopian YA short stories, edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong. It's an interesting set of stories-- both from the perspective of just their content, and also, from the perspective of how authors who normally write full length novels try their hand at a shorter form.

There is varying success. All of the stories have interesting slants on the dystopian worl
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
“No life is easy. It's just a different kind of hard.”

I was excited to read this mainly due to the collective amount of authors who's books I already enjoy creating this anthology of sorts. With fairly popular authors all in their own right, and based on such a popular YA theme at the current time there wasn't much choice in the matter when it came to deciding whether to purchase and read this or not.

I should begin with my actual rating of the book which is not 4 stars but 3.5 due to a numbe
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick and Dirty: Nine heart breaking and creepy and all together compelling short stories tell the tales of the broken, the desperate and the clever.

Opening Sentence: “Black or red?”

The Review:

This is a great collection of dystopian tales – some old worlds and some new ones. Some leave you bawling and some just in awe of the authors’ ingenuity. All of these short stories have clever twists and heart-wrenching moments (whether from romance or family moments o
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Creepy, heartbreaking, compelling, extraordinary and so much more.

Veronica Roth

This is one of my favorites! I love the idea of hearkens especially the idea that music could be the only thing to save the world. I just think it was really fast paced and it would be better if it will be a book. I'd definitely read it!

Kelley Armstrong

The idea of the fortress was really great. What I liked the most was the reality in it that was presented. People getting tossed outside, b
Joanne Stievenart
Let me start this review by saying two things:

1. A short story is sometimes much harder to write than a story spanning many novels. You have a much more limited number of words to portray an entire idea. Dystopian short stories are to me even harder, as you have to fit an entire explanation of the end of the world and the world as it is after said end of the world (the systems of laws, population control, the classes etc), all while still trying to bring a well-rounded story out of sometimes as
Jul 03, 2012 added it
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This review will be broken into 3 parts: one, brief summaries of the stories; two, my personal favorites; three, an overview of the anthology.


1. Brief summaries of the stories
(view spoiler)
Shylee W.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
First I would like to thank Goodreads for sending me this free Uncorrected (not for sale) copy of the book!! I was so excited when it came in the mail and I probably wouldn't have gotten to read these stories without it. I Also would Like to thank all the authors for coming together and putting this amazing book together!!

but anyways... basically there are 9 different stories in this 362 page book all the stories are about 30-40 pages. Each is its own unique idea. So for this I will be individua
Sharon Mariampillai
The overall rating is 4/5, but the nine individual stories had different ratings.

1) Hearken by Veronica Roth
I gave this one a 5/5. I thought it was a beautiful story set in a world where bio-bombs have become a part of every day life. Veronica Roth gives us great character development and a wonderful message. This easily became one of my favorites out of the bunch.

2) Branded by Kelley Armstrong
I gave this one a 4/5. The story was beautifully written and the world building was great. It was har
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I mainly read this because of Veronica Roth and because I'm a dystopian junkie. I'm going to rate each story individually.

Hearken by Veronica Roth
Rating: 5 stars
Easily the best story in the anthology. I loved the writing and the whole concept was interesting.

Branded by Kelley Armstrong
Rating: 3 stars
I thought the story was cheesy and I didn't like the characters. I did like how it ended.

Necklace of Raindrops by Margaret Stohl
Rating: 4 stars
This was a beautifully sad well written story. I just th
♥ Becky  22
Jan 15, 2013 marked it as to-read
I love her so much and she wrote a short story for this!!!

"My story from this collection is called "Hearken," and it's about a girl who gets a brain implant to hear the music of the dying in the midst of an apocalypse. The anthology comes out February 19th, 2013."- Veronica Roth

Dec 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Short stories. Sometimes it's good to read them, so you don't get lost in 500 pages of feelings and soap operas. But sometimes 20 pages is not enough to fully understand the dystopian world.

In the case of these stories, few times I wanted to know more about what the hell is going on. It seems like they all were written just because dystopia is in trend now.
In this review I will talk about why I read this book and the category this book fits into collectively, but for each story will give my opinion on quotes, characters, things I have learned and general opinions on the story. Keep in mind each review may be a little smaller than my normal review size- these are short stories after all!

The cover of Shards and Ashes didn’t particularly stand out in a shelf full of dark and murky looking novels, but on closer inspection I couldn’t help but issue thi
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2018
Full of generally ok stories.

Hearken by Veronica Roth - 2.5/5 stars - Hearkeners can hear the life or death songs or people. This is about Darya growing up to be a Hearkener and dealing with her past.

Branded by Kelly Armstrong - 2.5/5 stars - Rayne lives inside a fortress - with fully human people. Her boyfriend, Braeden, is discovered to be a werewolf. This is about her leaving the fortress (view spoiler). Honestly, I wasn't too keen on the ending - it feels
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shards & Ashes, a collection of dystopian short stories penned by many of the prominent female authors in YA fiction, is an unsettling read that provides a solid sampling of the genre.

Starting out the book, we have Veronica Roth (of Divergent fame), with Hearken, the tale of 8 year old Darya, whose new-found musical aptitude has afforded her the opportunity to bring beauty to a world ravaged by doomsdayists hastening the apocalypse with biological warfare. Darya's kind are known as Hearkeners, m
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a great anthology. Since it is several stories I am going to rate them all separately and take the average.

Hearken - 5
Very cool idea and I liked Roth's writing.

Branded - 5
Armstrong didn't disappoint. Great world building and writing.

Necklace of Raindrops - 3.5
A little hard to follow and the main character was annoying, but the overall concept was cool.

Dogsbody - 5
This reminded me of the Knife of Never Letting Go for some reason? Anyways I really liked it.

Pale Rider - 2
I didn't like the
Sarah Elizabeth
Hearken by Veronica Roth - ★★★ - Bit weird. About a girl who has perfect pitch and is trained so that she can hear people's death songs. I didn't really get the point of the death songs though. Would people really pay so much and be that interested?

Branded by Kelley Armstrong - ★★★ - Another okay one. I didn't really like the way they tricked Priscilla and used her as leverage though. And I didn't really understand what they were going to do to her at the end.

Necklace of Raindrops by Margaret St
Chester Carstairs
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthologies
Overall rating:
3.5 stars

As a lover of the Dystopia genre, it was really a no-brainer to add Shards and Ashes in my tbr list. I was really excited to read it. And though it left me feeling meh a few times, there are wonderful stories to be found between those pages as well.

I've learned two things reading this. One, I really hate short stories. It always, always make me either want more or nauseous for being too fast-paced and leaving you so confused (and sometimes they don't. even make sense). Se
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Mixture of some stories I really liked and some I found a bit boring.
Apr 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Hearken by Veronica Roth 4/5

Favourite Quote: “Everyone was both dying and living at the same time”

I liked learning about the Hearken’s and I thought what they could do was beautiful, I would love to have that gift. I like the main character a lot, I felt her feelings and reactions were realistic. However I felt the rest of the world buildings was a little too minimal, and I didn’t fully understand what had happened to the world but this story was really good for only being 38 pages! Wouldn’t
just pretty average. and very hetero.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think I've read more novellas and short stories this year than in all my other reading years combined. So many authors that I really love are producing bridge novels -- novels that bridge a time span before, between or after points in a series -- that I just can't resist. And they're good. Really, really good. (Of course, there are some not-so-fabulous ones but, for the most part, they're really good.)

Two of my rockstar authors, Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong, got together a whole pile of f
Jodie "Bookish"  Cook
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Book Review
Title: Shards & Ashes
Author: Various
Genre: Anthology/Dystopian
Rating: ****
Review: This is a great collection of dystopian tales – some old worlds and some new ones. Some leave you bawling and some just in awe of the authors’ ingenuity. All of these short stories have clever twists and heart-wrenching moments (whether from romance or family moments or whatnot). Although this is only the second anthology I’ve ever read, this is the best one yet. There are no confusing plots or major cli
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Like albums and CDs of the past, where some tracks are good while others don't have the same vibrance or power, this anthology has some great stories mixed with some duds.

All stories are set in a dystopian society but that is where the similarities end. Definitely worth a read.

Hearken by Veronica Roth –4.75 stars
A well crafted short story about Hearkeners—those who hear the song of either life or death. The story, set in a dystopian Minnesota, centers around a young girl who has a gifted musica
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I received this through the First Reads giveaways. This is an excellent anthology. I usually find short stories to be - well - short. I have always preferred the long novel so I could wallow in the world/character/plot building. However, over the last few years short story anthologies in the fantasy/urban fantasy genres have become more popular and some of my favorite authors are usually participants so I have had a larger exposure to this type of writing. In general, I find myself li ...more
I was really looking to read a good story collection after the last one I read ended up falling flat for me. Luckily I love dystopian books and this anthology is all about the dystopian tales. I really liked most of the stories and can't think of one that I didn't enjoy at least some part of. Overall I really loved this collection and it's one that I'd definitely read all over again!

There are some big names in YA dystopia and other YA genres included in this assortment. While I think you should
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The Challenge Fac...: Lauren & Jaclynn - Shards and Ashes 16 17 Aug 29, 2014 03:44PM  
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Melissa Marr is a former university literature instructor who writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens, the Graveminder for adults, and her debut picturebook Bunny Roo, I Love You.

Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages and been bestsellers internationally as well as domestically (NY Times, Los Angeles Times, USA T

Other books in the series

Otherworld Stories (5 books)
  • Men of the Otherworld (Otherworld Stories, #1)
  • Tales of the Otherworld (Otherworld Stories, #2)
  • Otherworld Nights (Otherworld Stories, #3)
  • Otherworld Secrets (Otherworld Stories, #4)
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