Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Quercus Publishing

Pages: 518pgs

The Story

Alex has escaped from Rule - but what new horrors face her in the ravaged world outside?

Tom is safe - but what will he risk to find Alex?

Chris - how much does he really know about the terrible darkness of Rule? And what are his true feelings for Alex?

Ellie - where is she?

The terrifying follow-up to the hugely popular Ashes.

The Review

SHADOWS is the much anticipated sequel to Ilsa J. Bick's debut novel Ashes. After having read and LOVED the first book of the YA dystopian trilogy, I was super keen - not to mention super excited - in picking up the sequel because for one, I was dying to know what was going to happen next to our favourite cast of characters, and two, I desperately wanted to know whether all of them - if any - would manage to survive in the end and live to tell the tale in this very bleak world of Bick's. But given that it takes quite a lot to impress me, especially when it comes to sequels to some of my favourite book series, I just knew this one had a lot of expectations to meet up with and it surely did because (oh I hate to say this even now . . . ) I just didn't fall in love with this book nor did I have the same passion as I had for the first book, even when it did have its awesome guts and glory moments that I love so, so much!

Even when I'm still so conflicted with how I truly felt about this book, but what managed to keep me there was the characters alone. The ones I love and adore. Alex, our main heroine, is stronger than ever before and kick-ass in so many ways. Unlike the damsels in distress, Alex actually knows how to survive - to fight, to shoot, to adapt to constant changes and to live - and for those readers who had actually read the first book in the series and remember the character we had meet early on, Tom, readers will definitely be pleased to know that we finally get to know what happens to him and whether he's still alive or not. Trust me you don't want to miss out on his perspective because he was a sure delight to read about despite the dire circumstances he was surrounded with much like what Alex is surrounded with also.

As for why didn't love this sequel as much as the first, I can't really put my finger on it to be honest with you. Whether it had something to do with me finding the book lacking something at times or because it just simply didn't have the same feel as I'd experienced from the first book, I don't really know . . . but I think part of the problem for me had more to do with how the storyline unfolded and what actually happened in the book. Sometimes it was slowly-paced and other times it was really fast, so I guess for me the book, SHADOWS, had this up and down thing going on - something I didn't like - and there were certain events where I wanted an explanation for it already, rather than be left with having no idea of what was actually going on and wishing something good would happen for a change, you know? Yeah . . . I guess we'll see what happens in the next installment and see whether something good will actually come along for the characters and perhaps change their awful and 'uncomfortable' circumstances.

Overall, SHADOWS was a very promising sequel but it had a very different feel compared to the first book, Ashes. That 'different feel' is not necessarily a bad thing, it just was something that didn't compel me as much nor entertained me so. With plenty of blood and gore, fans of the dystopian genre and pretty much anything with an edge to it will definitely love this sequel no matter what, or if you have not yet picked up the first book in the series then definitely do so . . . it's a real hit!

The Rating
3/5 stars

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