Kat and Dylan are determined to get to Washington, where Kat hopes to find a safe haven with her uncle, a man who lives off the grid. But the further north they travel, the more trouble they find, from mysterious ravens to dangerous survivors to the chilling and deadly Pestas. With Blue as their protector and companion, the obstacles they face become more and more dangerous as they creep toward their destination, and with the sickness mutating, it's only a matter of time before their luck runs out.
The Verdict: Simply incredible. Shauna Granger has created a world so realistically desolate and horrifying, so vividly the world I know mixed with the world I fear, that even after finishing it, I find myself on edge.
After leaving the encampment we saw in World of Ash, Kat and Dylan are slowly and dangerously venturing north toward Washington, surviving on a combination of caution, determination, and dumb luck. Having been stripped of their supplies by the pox-ridden kids in a destroyed city from which they barely escaped, their situation is more dire than ever, and things are only getting worse. From page one until the very end, the tension rolls off the pages in gripping scenes of abject desperation and narrow escapes, and each time Kat worried, every time she hid or pressed on, each moment she spent in fear of losing Dylan, every muscle in my body tensed.
As you can no doubt tell, dystopian is not my usual genre, and anything supernatural is usually so far off my radar that I don't discover it until well after the avalanche of reviews have been posted. I normally read contemporary romances with anticipation and angst and chemistry and happily ever afters. But after reading World of Ash, there was no way I was going to go without reading Time of Ruin.
Kat's relationship with Dylan is both heartbreaking and beautiful, the kind of love borne of desperation, dependence, and that need to cling to one small ray of hope in an ever darkening world. But the story isn't about romance so much as it's about a relationship and a determination to survive. That Kat and Dylan have managed to stay alive is no small miracle, but it's eclipsed by their having found each other. Their devotion to each other bleeds thick in every gesture, and the sacrifices they make to protect each other are both terrifying and inspiring.
I don't want to give away the details or spoil the ending — it's far too great a story to whittle down in a short review. But there was not a word I didn't want to devour and not a single second that I was willing to skip ahead, even as I was dying to confirm that they – at the very least –might find some safety in what little world remained. It's sad and scary and sweet, written with just the right amount of detail to practically illustrate each apocalyptic scene in the reader's mind. Kat and Dylan are so clearly lost in this terrifying new world, though together they are adapting as best they can, and no matter how many guesses I made, each new turn was a surprise. There's romance and danger and white-knuckle suspense, and now that I've finally stopped holding my breath, I'm dying to get my hands on book #3.