Ashwin is the first in a new series set in a postapocalyptic, dystopian world already detailed in the Beyond series by the same author. While you don't HAVE to have read the Beyond series to understand what's going on (I haven't) there is an absolutely vast cast of characters and references to previous events that I suspect went right over my head because I didn't have the backstory.
The only thing I can compare it to is watching the Avengers movies without watching any of the Iron Man, Captain America or Thor movies. Yes, you can follow along with the story and be vastly entertained, but you don't really have a clue why the characters are behaving as they are, because you don't have the backstory.
Ashwin is an excellent example of a dystopian romance, but as the first in a series, it leaves something to be desired.
Four stars, because although it's thoroughly enjoyable, I wouldn't recommend picking this up as an introduction to the author's work.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.