Only Ashes Remain

Only Ashes Remain

After escaping her kidnappers and destroying the black market where she was held captive, all Nita wants is to find a way to live her life without looking over her shoulder. But with a video of her ability to self-heal all over the dark web, Nita knows she’s still a prime target on the black market.There’s only one way to keep herself safe.Nita must make herself so feared...

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Title:Only Ashes Remain
Author:Rebecca Schaeffer
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Only Ashes Remain Reviews

  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    Okay, so if you’ve been following my reviews for any length of time, you know that I basically NEVER give out 5-star ratings. Like, genuinely almost never. Especially to YA books.

    But this book and its predecessor, Not Even Bones, are the exception. They are absolutely brilliant.

    The series stars Nita, a 17-year-old ‘unnatural’ with the power to manipulate her own body. Having been captured in the previous book to be

    Okay, so if you’ve been following my reviews for any length of time, you know that I basically NEVER give out 5-star ratings. Like, genuinely almost never. Especially to YA books.

    But this book and its predecessor, Not Even Bones, are the exception. They are absolutely brilliant.

    The series stars Nita, a 17-year-old ‘unnatural’ with the power to manipulate her own body. Having been captured in the previous book to be sold to the highest bidder, we left her at the end of Not Even Bones under the protection of INHUP. She abruptly comes face-to-face with Fabricio – the boy who betrayed her after she saved his life.

    Of course, Nita wants revenge. But a run of bad luck means that every hunter in the world is now on her trail. The good news? She has Kovit, the twisted zannie, back as an ally, although his appetites make her uncomfortable. The book revolves around Nita and Kovit’s attempts to make Fabricio pay while eluding hunters, INHUP, and Kovit’s mafia Family, who are determined to regain their pet torturer.

    is a

    . Sometimes it’s about good people making bad choices; but it’s also about bad people making good choices. Or good people making good choices. And bad people making bad choices. You get the picture.

    Most importantly, it’s about Nita – who I think is

    , someone who’s neither all good nor all bad – and her choices, which are sometimes good and sometimes bad. Because she’s human. Maybe not in terms of her powers, but certainly in terms of how she thinks and acts. Sometimes she was conflicted, occasionally she tried to reassure herself she wasn’t a total monster – I’ve never seen a more compelling depiction of our desire to justify our choices to ourselves, no matter how evil they are.

    Kovit also was a fascinating study. He had a bad childhood, but as he points out, his decisions remain his own; it demeans him to say that his choice to get pain through torture rather than through sitting in hospitals is a result of his circumstances. I don’t know what it says about me that I really resonated with his character.

    As an added bonus, the book was also

    . Nita is half Chilean while Fabricio is Argentinian, and there were brief mentions of the kind of conflict this might result in. Meanwhile, Kovit is Thai, and there’s also an Iranian girl (whose story I’m dying to read).

    A sequel which will stay with me for a long time to come, and just as fabulous as the last one. Can’t wait for the third book!

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  • Erika Sarutobi

    4.75 stars.

    This was so gooood! ❤❤❤❤

    This was much darker than the first book, especially so since Nita's actions are what made the book darker more than the situations she was thrust in. There was more of Kovit too! I love this cute monster, though as with Nita, his actions do freak me out at times too. I'm really glad with both of their growths and with the improvement of Nita's relationship with her mom.

    The book focuses a lot on their personal growth, dealing with their inner demons and the acc

    4.75 stars.

    This was so gooood! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    This was much darker than the first book, especially so since Nita's actions are what made the book darker more than the situations she was thrust in. There was more of Kovit too! I love this cute monster, though as with Nita, his actions do freak me out at times too. I'm really glad with both of their growths and with the improvement of Nita's relationship with her mom.

    The book focuses a lot on their personal growth, dealing with their inner demons and the acceptance of their dark/evil side. Nita's original plan on how to deal with the black market was interesting but it wasn't probable. I'm really loving the new direction she took at the end of the book and her murder attempts with Fabricio. The story ends in a cliff hanger but compared to the first book, I can survive until the next book comes out. I remember when I just finished reading the first book, I couldn't wait until September because of Fabricio and couldn't stop thinking about the possibilities. The cliffhanger here was good and I'm really excited on what will happen next but it's not eating me from the inside compared to the first.

    Three other characters were added too. Adair is also a questionable character while Diana is a monster but a goody two shoes. Adair's whole character and the way he lives was really interesting. Despite how the relationship between him and Nita ended, he helped her a lot, got her mind thinking deeper and inspired her as well. Diana was nice but she was somewhat troupe. I'm not really sure what to feel about Gold just yet besides that she's in the way and that I couldn't care less about her.

    What I somewhat disliked about this book though is how repetitive some stuff is and how convenient some of Nita's wrongdoings went. Moreover, Nita's body modification was barely mentioned and I felt like it didn't contribute to much compared to the implications it could do in the beginning of the book.

    Overall, I ended loving the duo even more especially Kovit and I'm really excited for the next and final book! I can't wait for Nita to beat up the whole black market.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    Nita really found out the world would try to kill her for money and decided the best solution was to become so scary no one would try… icon

    This series is so interesting and new and revels so hard in being over the top and... occasionally kind of brutal? But it is

    . Schaeffer quickly gets you to root for people who are, on an objective level, awful; neither Nita nor any other character are particularly good, but almost all of the characters are strangely likable.

    Something I absolutely

    Nita really found out the world would try to kill her for money and decided the best solution was to become so scary no one would try… icon

    This series is so interesting and new and revels so hard in being over the top and... occasionally kind of brutal? But it is

    . Schaeffer quickly gets you to root for people who are, on an objective level, awful; neither Nita nor any other character are particularly good, but almost all of the characters are strangely likable.

    Something I absolutely adore about this story is the wide and interesting cast of side characters. This book adds a couple:

    , a pain-eater with a few morals.

    , a

    side character

    , a kelpie. he keeps telling everyone he’s going to murder them in the basement. every second he’s on the page is a fucking delight

    , a ghoul with morals and an excellent hacker

    Possibly the only thing I don’t like about this is that occasionally, the author needs to establish world or character further, and tends to do that in a somewhat infodumpy way that I don’t love.

    I’ve already gone over some of my favorite parts of this book in

    , so let me just get on into a good long spoiler section.

    :

    :

    :

    :

    Anyway. I absolutely loved this. When does book three come out again?

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  • Lola

    If you thought the first book was a cold knife to the spine, you don’t know what’s waiting for you here, because this sequel is twice as intense and deceptive as its predecessor. After the cruel cliff-hanger at the end of book one, I was DYING to get my hands on this one. Even now, I can’t keep my hands to myself. I love this messy story and its disturbing characters so damn much.

    Nita is not prisoner of the black market anymore. She’s at the organization that protects unnaturals, in the company

    If you thought the first book was a cold knife to the spine, you don’t know what’s waiting for you here, because this sequel is twice as intense and deceptive as its predecessor. After the cruel cliff-hanger at the end of book one, I was DYING to get my hands on this one. Even now, I can’t keep my hands to myself. I love this messy story and its disturbing characters so damn much.

    Nita is not prisoner of the black market anymore. She’s at the organization that protects unnaturals, in the company of the guy who sold her to the black market, and she is very eager to rip Fabricio’s heart out. Sadly, her murder attempt fails, so begins a game of cat and mouse between these two, each trying to kill the other.

    This was absolutely fantastic. I was surprised when I got to the end and read the author’s acknowledgments, in which she claims to have had many problems with this story, because I did not expect that. But this was such a carefully-written sequel, perfect in its complexity, with plenty of old and new faces introduced and developed, that I can imagine the author re-working it until it satisfied her and hopefully her readers. No worries there. I, for one, am wholly satisfied.

    The first book’s main flaw for me was its story’s limited location: the black market. It made sense, since Nita was stuck there, but I couldn’t wait for her to get out of there the whole time I was reading the book. Now that she is out and freer in her movements, she can do much more and while she is set on doing one thing again (before: escape the black market, now: kill Fabricio), she lets her mind wander to the future as well. We see more facets of her personality and she is even more humanized, despite her still-present love of dissection.

    I just know the final book is going to be GLORIOUS.

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  • Queen Cronut

    This book was darker than my soul...

    *RTC

  • ♠️ TABI ♠️

    I haven't been this emotionally gutted by a book in forever and I love this wonderful devastation.

    My love for this dark story about a messy, beautiful world is DRASTIC, okay?? I am

    in love, to quote one of my first YA crushes. Also, it is most unfair that I have to wait until th

    I haven't been this emotionally gutted by a book in forever and I love this wonderful devastation.

    My love for this dark story about a messy, beautiful world is DRASTIC, okay?? I am

    in love, to quote one of my first YA crushes. Also, it is most unfair that I have to wait until the finale of this series because I am beyond desperate.

    This book takes a different slant on Nita's struggle for survival.

    She has the luxury of not being in a literal cage and yet the stakes are still high for her. It's such a treat to read about her complicated story, but I what I truly loved the most in the sequel was

    She truly is one of the most fascinating, multi-faceted, realistic YA heroines I've ever read.

    trying to find a place in the world in the best way she knows without slipping too far into becoming a "bad" guy.

    Kovit is also such a complicated character.

    There was so much more of him in this sequel, and every moment was bloody gold.

    Along with the

    who added much to the plot, as well as a good deal of humor. I'd love to see more of them . . . and they're one of the reasons that solidified my opinion that this series would make a truly interesting mini-series.

    [

    ]

    Finally, I have to shriek about

    because they have one of the most interestingly-developed, fascinating interactions of all time. I love everything about them, from their dysfunctional backstories to their unwavering resolve to stand by each other, no matter what.

    and, oh, it is beautiful.

    Honestly,

    with Nita and Kovit like a Victoria Schwab version of Bellarke. You can't convince me otherwise, okay?? Anyways, I say this

    so to have everything like that in one series?? I'm half-dead from happiness, no one revive me.

  • Anti

    -Not Even Bones: ★★★★★ (million stars)

    -Only Ashes Remain: ★★★★★ (million stars)

    -Untitled: ???

    If the first book was dark, bloody and gruesome, this one was worse.

    There’s really a line?

    Not really, lots of teen characters in adults book and vice-versa.

    I’ve seen teen books with more on-page sex than adult ones.

    Depend

    -Not Even Bones: ★★★★★ (million stars)

    -Only Ashes Remain: ★★★★★ (million stars)

    -Untitled: ???

    If the first book was dark, bloody and gruesome, this one was worse.

    There’s really a line?

    Not really, lots of teen characters in adults book and vice-versa.

    I’ve seen teen books with more on-page sex than adult ones.

    Depends of the book and the level of violence.

    You won’t see sex on this book, but you will see bad language and the details on violence, amputations, blood, viscera, wounds and torture are

    I have to confess, I was slightly disturbed some times and I am a person who can withstand gore very good (only in books).

    But the book IS SO GOOD I don’t care about labels.

    and things get darker than in the first book.

    You will see them fight with their own morals, defining lines, putting and taking away rules about what it’s wrong and what’s not for them and their twisted and bloody lives. And seriously, what a bunch of gray and dark morals.

    The character development was amazing, and the fights and the wrongs they did to get to the end of the book were believable and exciting to see (as well and frustrating).

    Subtle, but not hidden or overlooked. It’s there, you can see it, you enjoy it, but it’s not all over the book, it doesn’t overwhelm the plot, it goes naturally, and the characters don’t think in kissing first and survive later.

    from an alliance, to friendship, to fights about morals, and to something more.

    AND I NEED THE THIRD BOOK NOW PLEASE.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    in exchange for

  • Nenia ✨ Literary Garbage Can ✨ Campbell

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    NOT EVEN BONES was one of the more disturbing YA books I've ever read, but I really enjoyed the tight storyline and strong female heroine. Even though there were parts that made me straight-up cringe, I couldn't help but applaud it for being daring and taking risks in a genre that's basically stagnated, with everyone trying to outrace each other to write the next over-hyped Sarah J. Maas clone. If you like SJM, that's on you, but I can't

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    NOT EVEN BONES was one of the more disturbing YA books I've ever read, but I really enjoyed the tight storyline and strong female heroine. Even though there were parts that made me straight-up cringe, I couldn't help but applaud it for being daring and taking risks in a genre that's basically stagnated, with everyone trying to outrace each other to write the next over-hyped Sarah J. Maas clone. If you like SJM, that's on you, but I can't stand those stock footage fantasy novels. Adventure, please!

    ONLY ASHES REMAIN begins where NOT EVEN BONES left off. Nita has just come in contact with the person who sold her out and caused her to be tortured/almost eaten. She still bears the wounds-- physical and psychological-- of that interaction, and is eager for revenge. However, her betrayer has ties to a secret organization that holds lots of power in the unnatural community, and her new zannie friend (a creature that feeds off pain) has a dark history that's about to return with a vengeance.

    This is not as dark or as brutal as its prequel, and there's a lot more running around. There's still suspense, but it didn't have the high stakes of the previous book. On the other hand, we get to meet some cool new characters, like a kelpie named Adair and a ghoul named Diana, as well as some INHUP agents and Nita's mom returning to act like the savage meanie she is. I think I liked the prequel more than this one in terms of plot and pacing, as this book definitely suffered from a mild case of second book syndrome. You can feel the sequel-baiting.

    That said, I enjoyed ONLY ASHES REMAIN because it's got unique world-building, morally-grey characters, conspiracies upon conspiracies, and some pretty solid writing. I'd recommend this urban fantasy series to anyone who likes grimdark or wants to read about more female characters who don't always think about looking pretty or acting sweet. The diverse cast and doomed romance are just an added bonus, especially since they're both basically villains cast in the role of reluctant heroes. YAS.

    3.5 stars

  • Ishmeen

    So pumped for this 👏🏼

  • Rebecca Schaeffer

    Here it is, the sequel to a book I never thought would sell. It's surreal to see this book on goodreads, with a cover and release date.

    I hope you enjoy my terrible children who are not all bad and not all good, and justify their terribleness to themselves with paper thin excuses and pleasant delusions as they embark on the second instalment of their adventure

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