ARC Review: Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer

Title: Only Ashes Remain
(Market of Monsters #2)
Author: Rebecca Schaeffer 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Source: HMH Books via NetGalley 
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 3rd 2019

Dexter meets Victoria Schwab in this dark and compelling fantasy about a girl who seeks revenge on the boy who betrayed her, a sequel to the critically-acclaimed Not Even Bones. 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.
I really enjoyed Not Even Bones so I was super excited when HMH Teen approved me on NetGalley for Only Ashes Remain. After the end of Not Even Bones I was eager to see where Nita's story was going next. She destroyed the black market. She's "safe." But she is now in protective custody with Fabricio, the boy who sold her to the black market. Let the revenge begin.

Only Ashes Remain took a dark twist real early on in the book. The whole book was dark actually. The destroying black market and the things Nita had to do to save herself and Kovit toughened her. We see the darkness inside Nita come to the surface and how she battles and embraces it. Where in the first book she simply dissected the bodies her mother left for her, in Only Ashes Remain, Nita does her fair share of killing. 

I think the moral dilemma between Kovit and Nita was interesting to watch. Kovit is a Zannie, which means he feeds off of pain and if he doesn't he will weaken or die. Kovit use to be part of a Mob Family and was forced to do terrible things, not all of which he enjoyed. But Kovit has one rule: He won't cause pain to people he knows. Though Kovit doesn't seem to have a moral compass because of what he is, he does. The struggle between Nita's and Kovit's relationship is how Nita can kill who ever she wants, whenever but it bothered her when Kovit would torture to feed. It's messy and I am probably not describing it well, but I really enjoyed how Shaeffer included it all. 

Overall, I can't say too much about Only Ashes Remain with out spoiling it but I hope to see these characters again soon. There are a lot of unanswered questions and things that I am still eager to see resolved. 


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