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.
A Long Story Short:
I had a few issues with Shadows and the author made me a bit mad at times, but overall I can only recommend the sequel to Ashes, as well. It's not completely free from second book syndrome, yet one of the most gripping novels I've read in a while.
RATING: 3/3 Smarties
Review for You:
The general opinion seems to be that Shadows, the second book in the Ashes trilogy, can not keep up with the brilliance of the first book.
Being the last one reading it, of course, I was warned and I do think that's why my own disappointment wasn't too harsh. I can't say I loved Shadows as much as I loved Ashes, but it's still one of the best books I've read this year.
The good thing about the book was Bick's writing, her ability to create suspense, to think in the mind of her characters, to never, ever draw an unrealistic plot line or twist and to keep you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know what happens.
Shadows could still have been amazing for all those qualities - if they hadn't been so familiar already. With Ashes I had the benefit of surprise, I was astonished by Bick's skills and that tied me over and kept me amazed until the end.
Shadows, though, had to score in plot and character development in order to wow me again. And while the latter is totally one of Bick's strenghts, I had my problems with the plot.
I can only agree with the masses when they say that Bick relied on too many points of view. In the beginning, it didn't bother me much that she went from one perspective only, Alex's, to several more. I can't name them all (spoilers), but I think at the end we were at at least five. Which is a lot.
Still, it's not the number of perspectives we had, but what they did to the novel, I think.
Peter's and Alex's plotline were cut short, in my opinion, and then stagnitized throughout the middle of the book. Orange's (substitute for he who shall not be named) perspective kept me entertained, but wasn't enough to stick through the other parts of the book without getting bored.
Jumping to a completely different topic, I think Bick went overboard with her realistic and descriptive writing style. This book, my dears, can hardly be considered YA anymore. That's my opinion, at least. If it was a movie, I'm sure anyone under sixteen (maybe even eighteen) wouldn't be allowed to see it. It's not just the violence that's going on in Shadows, it's mostly just the things the characters do to stay alive.
I mean, I get that in a situation like the one described in the book, people would probably behave that way. But I really do find it problematic to still call Shadows YA.
On a more positive side, the ending was fantastic and the novel left off at a really interestsing point. Also, Monsters is coming out soon, so if you haven't started the trilogy yet (and if you think you can handle it), I definitely recommend you go and pick it up.