Shadows by Ilsa Bick

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Shadows by Ilsa Bick

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: This sequel to Ashes has no scene-setting and little explanation. Instead, it's an explosion of fear, violence and gore - and it's sometimes difficult to know where you are. But if you like your books to smash and grab you without pity, you'll love it!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Quercus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 0857382640

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Beware: it's impossible to review Shadows without giving spoilers for Ashes, the first book in this dystopian trilogy, which ended on a huge cliffhanger.

The world has been devastated by a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse. Many of the young have become Changed - cannabilistic monsters with a penchant for violence. Alex was hiking in the wilderness when it all happened and although she isn't Changed, her senses have heightened and it seems the progression of her terminal brain tumour may have halted. As Ashes ended, Alex had been thrown out of Rule - a township that survived the zap, at least in part - as an offering to the Changed. The power struggle in Rule had reached catastrophic proportions and there were so many lies and so much deceit it was difficult to know who was betraying who.

Shadows takes us back to Tom. Alex believes that he died months ago, but he was taken in by an elderly couple and nursed back to health. He is desperate to find Alex but the journey back to her is fraught with the danger of bounty hunters in search of the young - both Changed and unChanged. Lena and Chris escape Rule - but to what end? Peter is captured by the militia who offer him no protection at all. Alex, left among the Changed, must simply try to survive. And, back in Rule, it's difficult to know who is for the Elders and who is working against them...

Shadows has a very different feel to the first book in this trilogy. Ashes spent a lot of time thinking about things - about Alex's brain tumour, about life in the wilderness, about relationships, about how the world would organise itself after a catastrophic event. But Shadows is all about the action - it's a series of scenes full of gore, violence and frenzy. It's tremendously exciting for that and I turned its page barely pausing to take a breath. But its breakneck speed does mean that the reader loses a degree of connection with the characters. And sometimes it's quite difficult to know exactly where you are. But secrets and lies will do that to you. And none of the characters in this book - even the ones you're rooting for - ever tell the truth, let alone the whole truth.

If you like your books to smash and grab you without pity, you'll love Shadows. I enjoyed it, but I can't help feeling that I'd have liked a pause or two along the way.

Obviously, you should read the first book in the series first, but if violence and frenzy is the aspect that most appeals to you in dystopian fiction, you'll also like D4rk Inside by Jeyn Roberts.

Buy Shadows by Ilsa Bick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Shadows by Ilsa Bick at

Buy Shadows by Ilsa Bick at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Shadows by Ilsa Bick at


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