I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this book to come out, so when I was chosen for the tour I screamed! I cannot wait for everyone to read this book and just maybe fall in love with the two monstrous babies!
ONLY ASHES REMAIN BY REBECCA SCHAEFFER
BOOK TWO OF MARKET OF MONSTERS
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 that no one would ever dare come after her again. And the best way to start building her reputation? Take her revenge on Fabricio, the boy who sold Nita to her kidnappers. But killing Fabricio is harder than Nita thought it would be, even with Kovit by her side. Now caught in a game of kill or be killed, Nita will do whatever it takes to win.
TRIGGER WARNING: TORTURE, BODY HORROR, MURDER
Not Even Bones is one of my favourite books to date, so I had really high expectations for book two. The storyline of Only Ashes Remain follows Nita and Kovit’s escape from the Market of Death, but being out of the market doesn’t mean freedom for our favourite unnaturals. Instead, Nita is being hunted by a powerful company and instead of hiding away, Nita decides that the best way to keep the monsters at bay is to become an even worse one herself.
What I love about Only Ashes Remain is that it never went overly expletive with its gore. I can’t say that ever death or torture happened for a reason in this book, but rather every violent action was decidedly done by the characters. Now, for a YA book to write characters that are wholly unrelatable and despicable is a bold move. No one wants to be the girl dissecting bodies or the monster who enjoys torturing people and yet with book two the author shows us a side of the characters that speak to us like Nita’s fear of police brutality for being a brown person or Kovit’s fear of isolation. It’s a bit discomforting to read about these characters who enjoy bloodshed and still feeling a sense of pity for them because even they have a certain set of morals. Except maybe Adair who just loves to bullshit people about eating them in his basement.
“I have rules not to break me.” Nita’s voice was soft. “You have rules to not break you. But I think we need rules to keep from breaking us.
The relationship between Nita and Kovit is explored more deeply in this book. Nita’s prejudice towards Kovit is called out. She expects him to be the torturer for her plan of vengeance and yet is disgusted when he becomes exactly what she wants. Kovit is biologically a zannie, a creature which feeds on people’s pain. How can she reconcile the good parts of him when he willingly chooses to inflict? Yet how different does that make Nita who chooses to acknowledge the murder victims on her dissecting table? I suppose it’s a question of what immorality are you willing to accept? If you’re born a “monster” and the world expects if of you, how do you even not be one?
Sometimes she could see the monster inside him. And sometimes he made her see the monster inside herself.
Plot-wise, the book was written a bit more loosely than Not Even Bones. Book two felt like it had a lot of things going on and was going round in circles for a while. There were parts in the book that seemed to be repeating itself like Nita trying to kill Fabricio. The pace moved a bit slower than book one which was frustrating especially if you’re just fresh out of Not Even Bones.
🌺 Related Post: An Inhuman World & Monsters with a Conscience || NOT EVEN BONES BY REBECCA SCHAEFFER
Yet the focus on the character and the moral questions that book two posed kept me reading on. I don’t care what anyone says but this book was emotionally gutting. We also have new characters like Adair and Diana who provided a more flighty side to the book. I must also mention Nita’s mother showed so much more emotional depth in Ashes that I just want more about her. Who is this woman?! I’m hoping for a prequel or even a separate standalone for Nita’s mother.
Only Ashes Remain has been an amazing read for me. The character relationship between Nita and Kovit was so interesting to read – their struggle of walking the line between being human and monster. Market of Monsters is more than just a fun read. In its entirety, it’s a book that questions humanity and how power is sometimes what controls our perceptions of monsters.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Have you read Only Ashes Remain? Do you know any book similar to it?
I received a free copy of ONLY ASHES REMAIN BY REBECCA SCHAEFFER from HMH Books for Young Readers in exchange for my participation in the blog tour. Thank you to the author, The Fantastic Flying Book Club and HMH Books for sending a copy my way. However, this did not influence my review in any way.
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