When Lauren talks about the Shape-Shifter Chronicles, she always mentions Blitz. But, of course, there is no character by that name in the first two books. Only here, in From the Ashes, do we finally get to meet the infamous woman.
If you can really call her that. Blitz has a female body, but she is a Grenich Corporation experiment. Brainwashed, modified, enhanced, she has no memory of her life before the Corporation, few emotions, and has been trained to be a living weapon. A super soldier in truth.
Of course, you can make some guesses about her previous life. After all, this is the third book in a series. And you’ll probably be right. But that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the buildup that goes into the big reveal.
With every entry into her series, Lauren’s work has improved measurably. There are still errors associated with self-publishing in From the Ashes, but again, there’s a number of reasons why it’s easy to tell a self-published book from a bigger company’s product. Each book is eassier to immerse myself into (barring the aforementioned errors) and the story becomes more captivating as we dive deeper into the world Lauren’s created.
As the reader begins to grasp the scope of the war to come, I find myself thinking of the Grenich Corporation, Set’s shadowy organization created to ultimately help him rule the world, as a virus. Sort of. My mental image is actually of this glowing blue space blob sitting on top of planet Earth, insinuating its tentacles just underneath the globe’s crust, where they spread and split and generally weave their way through everything. Over time they’ll drain the life force from the world, and then Set’s blob will squeeze and the planet will turn to debris. At least, that’s how my mental image goes. And if it sounds weird to you, I will blame the talking trees living on mitochondria. Because visuals don’t have to make sense when strange otherworldly powers are in play!
It’s also interesting to get a look at Lauren’s reading list. Several classic books are listed, including The Counte of Monte Cristo and Farenheit 451. I personally wouldn’t use a specific title in my own writing if I hadn’t read it already, so I’m assuming Lauren would do the same. I’d also guess that she either read or saw (or both) V for Vendetta, as there’s a scene in From the Ashes that strongly resonates to Evey in the rain, after V frees her from her mental and physical prison.
I’m trying very hard to stay away from spoilers because I think everyone should read Lauren Jankowski’s books if it’s up their alley. Though I completely understand if you’d want to wait for the rerelease of the first one at least. I promise, they get better.