Monday, September 17, 2012

Review - Shadows by Ilsa J Bick

I encourage everyone even thinking about reading Shadows, to read Ashes first. I am saying this with nothing but affection for those who may read my reviews and comment on them. I am saying this because Bick doesn’t do a good job of going back and reminding her readers what happened in Ashes to the world and the characters, and why Alex, Tom, et al are the main characters of this book and not someone else who ends up getting lots of exposure in Shadows.

As Shadows begins, Tom is healing from being shot in the leg while Alex has found herself in a pickle of a situation. Having left the Village of the Damned aka Rule, she abruptly finds herself in the middle of the Changed as a prisoner of their every whim. For some reason, she is picked out to survive, instead of being eaten like the rest of the humans that are sent out to be cannon fodder for the Changed. Alex’s ability to survive at all costs is severely tested time and time again, especially in the end where we are left wondering what the hell just happened.

As for Tom, he faces his own challenges and difficulties in trying to make his way back to Alex. He has no idea what she’s been through since he has been relatively safe with an elderly couple who took him in and helped him heal. In the end, Tom has made a fateful decision that will tear him apart and leave you wondering what will happen next.

As for the Changed, we find out that they are evolving and working together in packs. We also get a brief glimpse into what they were prior to the EMP detonation going off. The main culprits are Wolf, Leopard, and Spider. It seems that Wolf has taken a shine to Alex and therefore when it’s time to eat human casserole, Alex is safe.

The ending of Shadows leaves almost every single character in limbo or on death's doorstep. The story is told not only from Alex's POV, but Tom, Chris, Lena and Peter’s as well. There are TONS of other characters introduced as well who play important or not so important roles in the lives of the main characters. Trust me when I say you might need to get out a pad of paper and pen in order to keep track of the massive amounts of characters that are introduced.

“Shadows” is an extremely gory story with some gratuitous sex scenes between the Changed thrown in for good measure. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone under the age of 16, but, that’s just me. This book probably fits in the New Young Adult category. Parts of the book did get bogged down with too much information and character introductions. Yet, the story does flow in a decent groove even for a book with 518 pages.

Questions I'm dying to learn the answers to: What happened to Alex? Will she survive, till the end of the trilogy? Why are the changed suddenly working in packs like wolves and arming themselves like militias? Will the town of Rule survive an all-out assault until the end of this series? Are all the survivors actually Changing like their brethren? Who will ultimately survive until the last page is written?

*ARC Recvd 08/13/2012 via NetGalley* Expected publication: September 25th 2012 by EgmontUSA

Author - Ilsa J Bick
Title - Shadows
Publisher - EdmontUSA
Releases - September 25, 2012


  1. I passed up on this but thanks for the warning, maybe Birck really wants people to get the entire series and not skip to book 2 right away. Smart marketing ploy if you ask me :)

  2. I totally agree with you! I had a lot of trouble getting back into it at first because it had been so long since I'd read the first one. But once I got into it and figured out most of what I was missing, I really enjoyed it. You can read my review HERE.