Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Review: Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick

Shadows (Ashes Trilogy #2)
Author:  Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher:  Egmont USA, 528 pages
Publication Date:  September 25, 2012

From Goodreads:
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. 

Welcome to Shadows, the second book in the haunting apocalyptic Ashes Trilogy: where no one is safe and humans may be the worst of the monsters.

Fast-paced, on the edge of your seat, horrific, tense, grim, gripping, depressing, disgusting, gross, thrilling, action-packed, gory, and terrifying.  That's how I would describe this book.  Basically, nothing good happens to these poor people.  Just when you think they may catch a break, they don't.  I just wanted to scream:  "Don't trust anyone!"  This book was incredibly hard to read sometimes because it was so dark and absolutely disgusting (the author does not hold back from her descriptions of the gore).  

Although Ashes was told from Alex's POV, this book switches back and forth with multiple POVs, which could be very frustrating.  A particular chapter would end with a cliffhanger, and then the next chapter switched to someone else.  Ahhhh!  I wish the author would have labeled the chapters with whose POV it was because sometimes I didn't know for a page or two (it would just be"she" or "he" instead of using a name).

This book does suffer a bit from middle book syndrome because if I stop and think about it, not a lot happens to move the story forward.  And the book just ends with everything unresolved.  That said, I am compelled to read the last book because I just have to know what happens to these people.  

And Ilsa J. Bick's website has a summary of Ashes (So You Read Ashes a Year Ago) if it's been awhile since you've read it.  Why don't more authors do that?

Posted by:  Pam


  1. While I really enjoyed Ashes, I felt like this one was a little slow. Like you, I'm still curious to see what happens to the characters so I might pick up the last book. Actually, I think it's available on Netgalley :)

    1. The last one is available and you can just download it without even requesting it. That review will be posted Thursday. ~Pam

  2. I have heard such mixed things about this series. Most of the things you've mentioned here in your review--the slow pacing, not much happening to move the story forward--are also things I see used to describe Ashes. Ugh. This is disappointing. I hope her upcoming White Space is better than this!

    1. It seems like there are a lot of middle books that suffer some of the same things. I do hope I like White Space, it sounds really interesting! ~Pam

  3. So funny because I just came from a review of another one of this author's books. That one was about not holding your punches back either on difficult subjects, and here it's the gore, I guess. Your descriptions remind me of a mix between GLOW (not trusting anyone) and ANGELFALL (gore-gore-gore), which is immediately intriguing to me :).

    "A particular chapter would end with a cliffhanger, and then the next chapter switched to someone else." <--- Haha, so frustrating. Especially in action sequences. It makes the flow get all weird when they're trying too hard to keep your attention with the various cliffhangers.

    "labeled the chapters with whose POV" <-- What a shame. That's such an easy thing to have fixed... But then again, it's a tad that the writing wouldn't have been distinguished enough so that the labels weren't necessary.

    Hope you enjoy the last book! I haven't seen a lot of authors post summaries like that -- maybe it's because they're afraid people might just read the spoilers and not get the book? I don't know.

    1. Having so many cliffhangers at the end of chapters did make me read faster! :) I would love it if more authors posted summaries, maybe even in the beginning of the next book I forget so much that I have to re-read earlier books, which cuts into my reading new books time! ~Pam

  4. You have me so excited about this series! I'm supposed to be getting copies soon to read!

    1. They're all definitely action-packed (and grim and gory, so be prepared). I was frantically flipping the pages. I hope you enjoy them! ~Pam