Ash and Ruin Series by Shauna Granger – Review & $25 Giveaway

May 6, 2015 Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 18 ★★★★

Ash and Ruin Series by Shauna Granger - Review & $25 Giveaway

World of Ash by Shauna Granger world-of-ash
Series:
Ash and Ruin #1
Published on 12/2/13
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 263
Source: Won It!
My content rating: Very Mature YA/NA (Characters have sex, though it’s not explicit; Some violence)
My rating:
4-and-Half-Stars2

There are two inherent truths in the world: life as we know it is over, and monsters are real.

The Pestas came in the night, spreading their pox, a deadly plague that decimated the population. Kat, one of the unlucky few who survived, is determined to get to her last living relative and find shelter from the pox that continues to devastate the world. When it mutates and becomes airborne, Kat is desperate to avoid people because staying alone might be her only chance to stay alive.

That is, until she meets Dylan. Dylan, with his easy smile and dark, curly hair, has nowhere to go and no one to live for. He convinces Kat there can be safety in numbers, that they can watch out for each other. So the unlikely couple set off together through the barren wasteland to find a new life – if they can survive the roaming Pestas, bands of wild, gun-toting children, and piles of burning, pox-ridden bodies.

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Time of Ruin by Shauna GrangerTime of Ruin
Series: 
Ash and Ruin #2
Published on 7/22/14
Genres: Dystopian
Pages:302
Source: Blog Tour
My content rating: Very Mature YA/NA (Characters have sex, though it’s not explicit; Some violence)
My rating:
4-and-Half-Stars2

The world has ended, and hope is the most dangerous thing left.

Battered and bruised after barely escaping San Francisco with their lives, Kat, Dylan, and Blue press north – desperate to reach the possibility of a new home.

But strange, monstrous ravens are tracking the remaining survivors, food is becoming scarce, gasoline is running short, and people are becoming suicidal, making survival almost impossible.

And the Pestas are growing bolder. Somehow, their numbers are growing.

The further north they go, the harder it becomes to ignore the signs that they’ve made a fatal mistake. Kat must face the impossible truth that there is no escape, there is no safe haven, and their worst nightmares don’t come close to their new reality.

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Age of BloodAge of Blood by Shauna Granger
Series:
Ash and Ruin #3
Published on 5/5/15
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 230
Source: Blog Tour
My content rating: Very Mature YA/NA (Characters have sex, though it’s not explicit; Some violence)
My rating:
4-Stars

Hope is a dangerous thing, but powerful. Hope keeps you going. Hope can keep you alive.

But hope can shatter your world.

Kat and Dylan have found a home, but the monsters are still out there. The pox and plague still ravage the world. They have hope of finding a vaccine, but their encampment isn’t equipped to develop it.

Dylan is still too weak from the pox to leave the encampment, so Kat must decide between staying by his side and protecting her last remaining family member as he leaves to find supplies. Separated for the first time since they came together, Kat and Dylan will have to fight their own battles to save what is left of their bloody world.

Kat will have to hold on to hope that she has anything left to save and someone to come home to. If she can survive.

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My Take

I’m going to review this whole series all at once and then just break down a few specific things that I loved (or didn’t) about each book. I’m going to try not to post any spoilers for any of the books, though you might get some general information about the second or third book that you wouldn’t have known in the first.

The series follows Kat at the end of the world, after a strange pestilence has killed off most of the population of the world. The sickness is spread by mysterious creatures called Pestas, who seem intent on bringing mankind to its knees. When Kat’s family is part of the decimation of LA, she heads out to find her uncle, who has been living off the grid, and who Kat hopes is still safe. Along the way, she meets Dylan. At first, she doesn’t want to trust him – after all, in this new world, trust can get you killed – but she soon decides that warily heading out with a stranger is better than going it alone. But, while Dylan might not be a danger, there are plenty of people who are. And the Pestas are growing in numbers – and safety seems like an impossible dream.

What I LOVED: 

  • The danger. This is one of those series that is NOT safe. You never quite know what’s going to happen to Kat (or Dylan). You don’t know who they can trust (almost no one) or what kind of danger is lurking around the next corner. Kat and Dylan have to fight their way through this new world, and it definitely isn’t always pretty!
  • Moral quandaries. Throughout the series, Kat has to ask herself who she wants to be now that the world has been turned upside down. She sees that so many people have turned completely ruthless, bordering on evil, and she struggles to keep herself from becoming just like them (this is especially an important theme in the second book as Kat is just starting to grow and change). How do you hold onto your humanity when it’s survival of the fittest? How far would you be willing to go to protect the people you love? What are you willing to do to stay alive? And at what point do death and dying just become a fact of life – something you barely notice anymore. These are all questions that Kat is faced with, and she doesn’t always like her answers.
  • Kat and Dylan. I loved these two together! Dylan was perfect for Kat because he kind of softened her a little. He helped her hold onto her humanity when she felt it slipping away and reminded her that there was still hope for a future. Dylan was kind of perfect, in fact – he was strong and could definitely hold his own, but he never lost himself to the brutality of the world they lived in (which even Kat did in certain moments). Oh, and then there was Blue – their loyal dog! I LOVED Blue!!

The negatives:

  • Tiny things, really, except  in book three – (If you don’t want ANY spoilers at all, then just skip this section – it’s not major, but this could kind of be seen as a spoiler to some people.) Dylan wasn’t present for most of the third book, and I missed him, to be honest. I hadn’t realized how much his presence truly affected Kat’s character and kept her reined in until this last book. Without him, she just seemed a little too hard for me – rougher around the edges – and I missed his calming presence. I also just didn’t enjoy one section of extended action in this third book. There was one point in the book where Kat and her group were faced with a pretty serious threat and had to fight their way out, and it just went on a little too long for me. But this is a personal issue that I’ve recognized in my reading – long, drawn out action sequences and battle scenes just aren’t for me. I like the emotional fall-out and the more psychological aspects of these types of situations, but not the action itself usually.

This series was a fantastic read! If you’re at all interested in dystopians and the brutality and drama that goes along with apocalyptic storylines, you’ll certainly love this one!  Overall, I give the series 4.25/5 stars. (And, yes, that’s a first – I don’t usually do anything besides half stars, but I’m taking some liberties because I’m reviewing the whole series.)

***Disclosure: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

About the Author

shauna granger

Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, but it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. Five years ago, Shauna started work on her Elemental Series. She released the first installment, Earth, on May 1, 2011 and has since released four sequels, with the series coming to an end with Spirit. She is currently hard at work on a new Urban Fantasy series, staring a spunky witch with a smush-faced cat named Artemis.

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18 Responses to “Ash and Ruin Series by Shauna Granger – Review & $25 Giveaway”

    • Nicole

      I remembered seeing it make the rounds when the first book was out and people were raving about it. In fact, I actually won the first book in a giveaway, but I just never got around to reading it! I’m kicking myself a little now (though it was actually nice to read them all together).

  1. Catherine

    I have been avoiding the Dystopian genre ever since I read Matched by Ally Condie… but I love the sound of this series! Brilliant review Nicole, I think you have just convinced me to break my vow to stay away from this genre. 🙂

  2. Amber A.

    Sounds like a rough existence. I’m glad that Kat and Dylan stick together for most of it.

  3. Amy Pollard Woolard

    I am so glad I stopped by the blog today! This author & series are new to me but I plan to remedy that ASAP!!

  4. Linda Romer

    The Ash and Ruin series sounds great! Looking forward to reading it. Thank you

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