FicCentral received a free copy of this book from *the author*.
Series: Ash and Ruin #3
Publisher: Self-Published on May 5, 2015
Genre(s): Dystopian (YA)
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.
I’ve been dying know how it all ends, and Age of Blood did not disappoint!
After learning just how to survive and depend on each other in the first book to taking control of their futures in the second book, their journey has not been easy, but Kat and Dylan have had each other. In this final book in the series, everything comes to a terrifying climax, and the monsters they encounter along the way aren’t all of the non-human variety. The world is pretty bleak, and in some ways not cut out for those looking to hang on to a bit of their humanity, but Kat does her best to get through each day so she can still have a tomorrow.
Unfortunately for greedy old me, Dylan wasn’t present during much of the story. That was only disappointing in that I loved who Kat was when she was with him, and it was interesting to see two teenagers navigate a romance in a very dark, adult world. They didn’t always handle everything in the most mature way, but they always came back together, so I was looking forward to more of that in Age of Blood.
Looking back, it’s pretty easy to see a lot of character development, and this final book also gave us a much closer and more human look at some of the secondary characters. In fact, their roles were so pronounced that I kind of fell in love with them, too, so you can imagine how heartbreaking it was any time someone was lost to the Pestas or the more monstrous humans that remained. However, that’s not to say I couldn’t appreciate that aspect of the story. I would imagine it’s difficult for any author to kill off a character she’s built up in the minds of readers, not only because she now has so much invested in them but also because there’s always a chance of backlash. But as much as it hurt to lose some characters I had come to love, it also made me appreciate their story even more. The world was no longer the relatively safe one to which they’d been born, and no one was guaranteed survival.
I don’t want to write too much, since I’m afraid I’d give away some of the awesomeness best appreciated by reading it yourself, but I will say that this is one of the most creative and well-written post-apocalyptic stories I’ve ever picked up. There are certainly enough in the genre to choose from, but somehow Shauna Granger has eclipsed all those I’ve read that are aimed at young adults, somehow keeping it gritty and real while delivering fantastic supernatural elements and still keeping it clean. While I wouldn’t recommend this one for young teens, simply because it doesn’t gloss over pain and loss, I would absolutely recommend this to everyone else looking for a unique, entertainingly terrifying story of what happens when civilization as we know it ceases to exist.