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Shadows Paperback – August 6, 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Seventeen-year-old Alex thought the postapocalyptic town of Rule was safe, but its most prominent citizens are involved in a deadly deception that forces her back out on the road, where she battles zombielike “Changed” and citizen militias. Bick’s vivid descriptions of zombie meals and fight scenes are her strength and will continue to please horror fans interested in action over characterization; this is no story for the queasy. But readers will need the background from the first book, Ashes (2011), to contextualize the various characters and story lines in this second book of the trilogy. Grades 7-10. --Cindy Welch --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

LSA J. BICK is a child psychiatrist, film scholar, former Air Force major, and now a full-time author. Her critically acclaimed, award-winning YA novels include Draw the Dark, Drowning Instinct, Ashes (a 2011 VOYA Perfect Ten), and Shadows. Ilsa currently lives in rural Wisconsin, near a Hebrew cemetery. One thing she loves about the neighbors: they're very quiet and only come around for sugar once in a blue moon. Visit her online at www.ilsajbick.com or adr3nalin3.blogspot.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @ilsajbick.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ashes (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA; Reprint edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606844458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606844458
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of this book should not be "Shadows"--it should be GORE. As in dripping, slurping blood on every page. I loved Ashes. I was excited to discover a new author I liked, and I couldn't wait to read the next installment. Sadly, it was only the character development done in the first book that kept me going through the second. I genuinely cared about Alex and Tom enough to read through pages and pages of action so fast-paced that it was boring. It was like reading a screenplay for a movie that had absolutely no content except chase scenes and fight scenes. After forcing myself to wade through it all, I was a whole lot less interested in Alex and Tom. And if I never read another description of "Chuckies" slurping eyeballs or chomping on dripping strips of living muscle, it will be too soon!

The only thing I didn't like about Ashes was the predictable teen novel element of two hunky guys in love with the heroine. By the end of Shadows, if I had ever been inclined to be on Team Tom or Team Chris, I had long since stopped caring.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I thought the Fate's were smiling down on me when I got an advanced copy of this book to review but now that I'm finished I think they are just snickering cause it is going to be absolute torture waiting for the 3rd book in the trilogy to be released. This book starts off right where the last one left off. It did start a little slow but once it got going there was no way I could put it down. Without giving too much away, the plot in this story is very deep and masterfully written and is quite graphic at times. Just when you get a couple of questions answered and you think you might know the direction the story is taking you get your legs knocked out from under you. One minute you think your rooting for the good guys and then you realize yeah they might not be so good after all and you're just left with more questions. The author takes you on a wild and crazy ride and every time you tell yourself one more chapter, I can promise it wont stop at that. As she did throughout the book, she leaves you with a wonderful cliff hanger that has your mind jumbled and thinking I cant believe this just happened.

You might want to review the first book in the trilogy before diving into this one, so you can get your bearings on what's going on. Or better yet, read Ashes for the first time and read them back to back.

Ilsa J. Bick is quicly becoming one of my favorite authors.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's been a long time since I have been this conflicted about a novel. I was up until 2 AM last night and with three kids that are up by 6:30, you better be hotter than Johnny Depp or one of the best books I have ever read. While I can attest this book was unfortunately neither, I was up!

I enjoyed the expected journey we took in Ashes and fell in love with Alex, Tom, Ellie, even some of the Rule folk. That is the number one thing that kept me reading furiously. It wasn't the book's own inherent quality, which I felt declined somewhat towards the end, especially as we strained the plot points well beyond any hope of plausibility. A few of the characters I didn't really care for the first time around (like Lena) made me converts. And I am certainly a "secret society isn't always what it seems" kinda gal. However, be warned, there is a whole cast of new characters and frankly, many of them are just unlikeable. And when I finally found out what was going on in Rule (really, Alex realizes this in the last line of Ashes...does she forget she knows this???), well I kinda, sorta felt like we already knew that and the details filled in were a bit too convenient.

The book attempts more to show the limits of human depravity than the story of the characters we learned to love. This was an unfortunate direction because it lost much of its focus and my interest in it. How the "changed" were addressed was the most disappointing to me. MINOR SPOILERS - The movement of the "changed" from raw creatures to highly functional cannibals with supernatural powers made no sense to me. At all. Sure they were still scary, but I can't imagine that they would gain almost all their abilities back, but lack any ounce of compassion. It was easier for me to imagine them as feral.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Title: Shadows: The Ashes Trilogy
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Rating: 3 Stars

My Review
Wow there is a LOT going on here. It had been a while so I had to go back and re-read most of Ashes to figure out what was going on. And that's because in this title Bick uses many more characters and POVs than in Ashes. In fact, the overall cast is pretty darned huge. It's definitely a bridge book. You get the sense that she has all these pieces, people, and places that she's weaving together...but they are mostly so disjointed that the story jumping can be a little challenging to follow.

Also, it gets hard to hold onto your love for the original main characters because you don't get to hear from them as much. I did like that there was still plenty of Alex. Without that, I'm not even sure if I would have been interested in the rest of the story. The first book gets you very invested in Alex's character and well-being and you wouldn't care for anyone else at all, I think, if you didn't get a lot of her perspective in this book.

Ungodly disgusting things happen in this book. Unspeakable, horrifying, nauseating things. It adds to the terror, but for me it pushes it so far into the *yuk* category that it was sometimes hard to take. Alex is always smelling something rotten, or fetid, or putrid. I swear, I've never seen the word *snot* used more in a single book in my life. I know Bick's purposefully pushing the envelope and for real zombie lovers, that will probably go over well. For me it was a little too much phlegm, pus, blood, blowback, etc. in general and not enough love or triumph or peace to balance it. When nothing but bad things happen with no in-between, I get a little fatigued.
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