L.j. Duett's Reviews > Shadows

Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick
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's review
Sep 02, 2012

liked it
Read from August 21 to 31, 2012

Actually, three and a half stars!

So, what can I say about Shadow's book cover? Ugh, I like that it relates to the book's plot, and I find that the colors are beautiful but for some reason this cover just doesn't do it for me. The first book, Ashes', cover drew my eye every time I laid eyes on it. Shadows doesn't hold that ability.

So lets get into the story itself by starting with the plot.

First, let me say that I adored the first book, Ashes. I know others complained of it being too gory and horrifying. I did not have such an issue. For me, the first book ROCKED and I was super thrilled to be approved for it's sequel, no matter how much gore. The first book was on level with some Chuck Norris greatness and I was hoping that book two would hold true to the formula!

As for Shadows, let me just share the it's plot line is just as good as the first's. Still, it's way more horrifying than the first book, so those who were squeamish from the git go, Beware. A lot of bloody detail and death can be found within Ms. Bicks' book. If you are easily sickened by just the hint of torture, death, cannibalism, etc. This book is not for you.

I found the plot line more complicated in book two, seeing how A LOT of stratagems, secrets, and conspiracies lurk within it's pages. So much so, that you might be better off re-reading the first book for a re-fresher. If not, there is a good chance you might become too confused to even enjoy the good parts of the book due to all the different characters motives and actions.

Which brings me to the bad points, the writing style.

I had major issue with the style of writing Bick used for the second installment of her Ashes series. In book one, we follow Alex in the first person. There was no switching POV, which allowed us to form a bond with the heroine and become use to that particular style.

Well, I hate to disappoint but in book two, you get to become acquainted with too many first person individuals. (I think this also adds to that confusion that arose from too much of a time lapse of reading book one and book two.) The jumping between characters was off putting and exasperating to the point that it took me awhile to really get into the book itself. I had to re-attach myself to the characters when I had already made a connection in the first book. I guess

Also, Bick kept leaving her chapters on cliffhangers which highly annoyed me. Luckily, her descriptive skills and pacing made up for this major issue and saved this book from being a total flop for me. I do wish though that she would have kept one main point of view. Too many here to even count. I kept getting the same vibe that Justin Cronin had in his book, The Passage (which is also awesome but confusing with the different points of view).

As for the characters, well they were just as good in the second book as the first and though I got to really get to KNOWN most of the characters through their multiple points of view, I didn't appreciate it. Still, I do give props to Bick for making commonplace choices for realistic characters in such a world as the one they now inhabit. Good job, Ms. Bick!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The plot itself was captivating and I was able to ignore the abrupt switch in narration techniques. Still, if not for this major issue with the points of view, this book would have made five starts on my grading scale. It was the only real problem I had with the book.

Yes, it is gory. Yes, the POV's suck, and Yes, even then it's still a decent read. I will be anxiously waiting for book three.

E-galley was kindly provided by the publisher for a honest review. Thanks, Egmont USA!

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