Title: Shadows (Ashes #2)
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Release date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Egmont USA
Reading level: YA
The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive.
Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love.
But she was wrong.
Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don’t trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive.
Shadows, the second book in the Ashes trilogy, is one of the best sequels I have read and the ending is killer! It is everything readers could want and more. The stakes are higher, the plot is even more fast-paced, and the writing has only improved.
The ending of Ashes was one of the worse cliffhangers EVER. Ilsa J. Bick was just plain cruel with that ending. What’s even more cruel is that Shadows doesn’t start immediately with that storyline. The way Shadows is written, it’s like there’s a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter. The chapters alternate point-of-views and crazy stuff is happening, not just to Alex but to the rest of the Spared like Lena, Chris, Peter, and Tom. Yes, that’s right Tom is back. Hell to the yes! (Don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler, you find out in the first chapter what happened to him.) Seriously though, these kids are going through some crazy stuff and there is always a point-of-view switch right when the craziest stuff happens. It was impossible to stop reading.
Alex, Lena, Chris, Tom, and Peter are the main characters in this book. Readers get to see each of their point-of-views. Alex is just as bad-ass as ever. She knows how to fight, how to shoot, how to protect, and how to heal. And she is not afraid to kill someone before they get the chance to kill her. Lena is a bit of a whiner but she’s learning how to take care of herself. Chris is a really good guy. He’s a protector figure and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to save his town. Tom is Tom. I love him just as much as I did in the first book. He’s very broken but he’s still there for the people who need him. Peter is the character I feel most sorry for. Deep down he’s a good guy but he made some bad decisions. And now he’s being punished for them. Readers’ hearts will break for every one of these characters but Peter the most.
The stakes are even higher in Shadows than they were in Ashes. Every single Spared’s life is one the line. The Change isn’t over and any one of them could be the next to Change. If that’s not bad enough there are also bounty hunters out looking for Spared to turn in to militia groups. The militia groups want to find out what is causing the Change and they will do absolutely anything to find any answer.
The plot really is super fast-paced. Some of the chapters are a little slow but not many. Shadows is a 528 page book and I read it in a day because there was no way I could go to sleep not knowing how things ended. And let me tell you, the last 100-150 pages will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s one ending readers will never see coming!
Warning: Shadows is not for the faint of heart. There is graphic cannibalism as well as mutilation. I definitely found myself grossed out at times but it’s worth it.
Overall, Shadows is one of the strongest sequels I have read. Fans of Ashes will adore it!
Looking for more reviews of Shadows?
Presenting Lenore’s review
Willa’s Ramblings’ review
Ashes (Ashes #1)
Shadows (Ashes #2)
Monsters (Ashes #3) – 2013