The conclusion to the Ashes of Twilight trilogy misses the potential of its promised revolution, focusing on pining over punches.
Shadow of Glass (2013) left Wren imprisoned at the hands of her father, the Master General Enforcer of the dome. Now she waits in isolation for a chance to escape. An unexpected ally reveals the fate of her paramours, Pace and Levi, and soon enough, they’re reunited. However, Wren’s father quickly foils their getaway plan, and Wren and her friends are cast outside the dome, enslaved to a band of rovers. All but doomed in violent new territory, Wren must decide which boy she truly loves before it’s too late to tell him. The ensuing battles rip apart their old world as Wren finally confronts her father and greets the dawn of a new era. Tayler paints elaborate, engrossing settings and never shies from a well-orchestrated, bloody battle scene. However, Wren disappoints as a heroine. Though constantly told she inspires all around her, she lets her love interests lead in both the great battle for the dome and its aftermath. By the time Wren finally chooses a beau, readers will wish she’d chosen to focus on herself. Her flat, present-tense narration is meted out in short sentences, a choppy delivery that grates.
A heroine who places herself in the back seat during a revolution makes for an unsatisfying end to the series. (Steampunk. 14-16)