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Shadows: Ashes Trilogy, Book 2 | [Ilsa J. Bick]

Shadows: Ashes Trilogy, Book 2

The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive. Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love. But she was wrong. Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don’t trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive....
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Publisher's Summary

The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive.

Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love.

But she was wrong.

Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don’t trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive. Welcome to Shadows, the second book in the haunting, apocalyptic Ashes Trilogy: Where no one is safe and humans may be the worst of the monsters.

©2012 Ilsa J. Bick (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (236 )
5 star
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3.7 (214 )
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3.9 (216 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Aser Tolentino Vacaville, California USA 10-11-12
    Aser Tolentino Vacaville, California USA 10-11-12 Member Since 2004

    I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    269
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    43
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    "Your Mileage Will Almost Certainly Vary"

    Let's begin by noting that I was not a huge fan of the first book. I was intrigued enough by the rather devilish cliffhanger to eagerly await this sequel's release on Audible, and keep waiting an extra two weeks beyond its print release date I might add. And unfortunately, though perhaps not surprisingly, I was somewhat disappointed.

    So here we are with the same characters and some new ones, trying to live through the aftermath of the EMPs and finding out things aren't what they seem. Some characters come more to the forefront, as Alex is no longer an exclusive point of view. Questions are answered with cryptic clues into a more complicated struggle that most certainly requires a serious accounting in the third installment. Along the way, you will meet new people friendly and not so much, and get glimpses at how other communities have dealt with the end of the world and hordes of savage children.

    One of this series's strong points is that it gives you a bunch of characters with real flaws, and serious problems internal and external to overcome. The trouble is that it tends to dwell on these, and, aside from a few exceptions commented upon by the characters, our heroes don't seem to be learning from their mistakes. I love seeing the protagonists encountering new obstacles, being caught off guard by unforseen events and having to save themselves and each other through intelligent action. But when I am forced to listen to the same character barely make it through yet another similar scrape brought upon by their own lack of situational awareness, I can't really credit him/her for overcoming unexpected adversity anymore. There is also the fact that while this story has more action than its predecessor, it also consists of multiple POV characters going in circles, sometimes literally, often without much agency. I don't know, maybe that last part may make for an ideal young adult novel in retrospect, as these are books about children meant to be read by children, who are often deprived of the ability to make big picture decisions and just forced to make due with influencing their fates any way they can. The author is a child psychiatrist after all.

    If you had trouble with the gore in the first book, expect even more this time around. If you liked Katherine Kellgren's performance last time , you'll be happy with it again; if you didn't, you'll despise this book, with its whimpers, screams, and other emotional accents.

    All in all, I guess I can't say I was excessively disappointed, but I was left wanting something, more. And yes, even though we're not left with a huge shocker in the last few minutes like last time, I think I will pick up the last one, just to see what happens.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natasha AUCKLAND, New Zealand 10-23-12
    Natasha AUCKLAND, New Zealand 10-23-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Exhausting! I couldn't finish."

    First let me say that I think Bick is a very talented writer - that's probably what got me hooked into Ashes. The writing in this is still of a very high quality and I will continue to look out for what she writes in the future. But this book just wasn't to my taste - particularly as an audiobook - and I abandoned it.

    As a lot of reviewers have said - Ashes (the first book in the series) has a distinctly different tone in the second half of the book. Shadows seems to continue in the vein of the second half of Ashes - which is the half that I didn't enjoy so much.

    There was a lot of blood and gore which I understand I should expect from a "zombie book" but it was so relentless it lost shock value and became... a bit gross. It taught me that I probably don't enjoy overly scary or gory Audiobooks - the constant crisis is just too much for me. Listening to it could be a good ploy if you're on a diet though... this book put me off my food a number of times..!

    But one of the main things that caused me to stop listening was the fact that there were so many characters, I just couldn't keep up. This was particularly hard to deal with in audio - as opposed to when you have the hard copy in front of you and you can go back and reread to figure out who's who. There is also no recap of the Ashes storyline so if it's been a while since you read Ashes (as was the case for me) you may have trouble picking up the story again.

    The performance was good, Katherine is obviously a talented actress. Her blood curdling screams terrified me at times but I'm sure if you like the story, you'll be happy with the performance.

    Overall, great writing but too many characters and too much gore for me. If you like gory zombie action - and if you recap Ashes before you start - I think you'll like this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 11-28-13
    Wanda Pretoria, South Africa 11-28-13 Member Since 2012

    Wandah Panda

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    77
    71
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    5
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    "A totally original production!"

    This narrator deserves an award. Her pacing with her voice when action in the plot is evident vs the slow measured tones of building suspense is amazing.

    The author has managed to make me care for a set of characters who is constantly in a state of survival and instead of failing to entertain due to little if any romance the author had me hooked!

    A brilliant story, one any lover of the genre will adore!

    WaAr

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deedeeg gilbert, AZ, United States 01-14-13
    deedeeg gilbert, AZ, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2010

    deedeeg

    HELPFUL VOTES
    106
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    59
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    10
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    "Meh..."

    I was intrigued enough by the first book to listen to the second one. I thought it was a bit disappointing. The story seems to take off in a totally different direction, I was looking forward to finding out what happened to the main characters, but their story was just sort of sprinkled into what almost felt like a whole new book. Confused, not sure I'll continue on to the next one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 12-27-12
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 12-27-12 Member Since 2010

    Willy Wonka of it

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    7
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    "Such a disappointment"
    What did you like best about Shadows? What did you like least?

    What I liked best were the moments where actual story was being developed. The moments where more of the event that began this tale was explained.

    What I liked least was just about everything else. We jumped from party to party with each chapter seeming to NEED to end with a corny cliffhanger (made worse by the reader who is always over dramatic to the point of making you want to cringe). Throw in more plot twists and secrets than an Oceans Eleven movie and it gets very tiring.

    The story also starts delving more into the backstory of the town our "heroin" entered in the second half of the last tale. As that part of book 1 was the most uninteresting, this is most unwelcome.

    Our "heroin" is also pretty annoying, selfish and wimpy.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting were the developments in the story of the pulse that created the mess the world is currently in.

    The least was all the backstory of Rule and it's kids and elders and the treachery and blah blah blah.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Katherine Kellgren’s performances?

    I try to avoid her when possible. She nearly ruined the Blackout series for me.


    Do you think Shadows needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Well, since it's a trilogy, it will get a follow up book (and this one ended on a cliff hanger of course), but I'm not at all looking forward to it.


    Any additional comments?

    Not looking forward to the conclusion. I may read it at some point, but I feel like the author has pulled a bait and switch on the whole premise of the tale.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Sunland, CA, United States 11-09-12
    Susan Sunland, CA, United States 11-09-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't stop listening!"

    I disagree with the other reviewers who said the story has split up into too many new characters. In fact, there were only a few new characters added. I found this second installment of the story to be just as compelling as the first and could not stop listening until I reached the end. I would have rather this installment had a little more satisfying ending, but overall I was very happy with the story. I can't wait for the final book, because, yes, there were a few cliff hangers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 11-17-14
    Ryan 11-17-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    16
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    Story
    "Yes!!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Shadows to be better than the print version?

    Audio never read the printed version


    What did you like best about this story?

    The twists and turns and Alex finding out whats going on with herself


    Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. Besides the other books in this series


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither a few laughs but I'm not a cryer over books


    Any additional comments?

    A definite must read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ebony KILLEEN, TX, US 10-06-14
    Ebony KILLEEN, TX, US 10-06-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Zombies? What zombies?????????"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If the Author would’ve stuck to the original story. I felt like we went from a zombie trilogy, to a romance novel. The book reads like a Twilight-type love triangle. I felt like I should be rooting for Team Chris, or Team Tom. Ugh, and who were all these new characters? The story went from fighting the zombies to fighting an Amish community. I WILL NOT listen to book 3!


    Has Shadows turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, just the author. Her writing styles leaves a lot to be desired.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Her voice annoying at times. Though I feel she potrayed the characters well.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance and frustration. Whenever Alex was having a “moment”, we heard:

    NO, NO, NO!!
    WHY, WHY, WHY!!
    I CAN’T, I CAN’T, I CAN’T!!
    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!
    NOT NOW, NOT NOW, NOT NOW!!

    The whole story was like this. It got really old, really fast.


    Any additional comments?

    The “rational” part of me wanted to just say forget it, and stop listening. But the OCD part of me had to finish. Such a huge disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Arguin 09-17-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Not as good as the first one."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I think this story has too much in the head of each character moments. It needed to be more focus on who was important.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm reading Monster which is next in the series. I have to see how things end.


    What does Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Katherine Kellgren is one of my favorite performers. I'll read a book just because she is the one reading it.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I think there are far too many characters who are not fleshed out enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quinton 04-29-14
    Quinton 04-29-14 Member Since 2011

    Just a knitter/weaver/spinner that though his hands are busy would like to keep up with his reading.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stories for ADD"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I would not recommend this book to anyone. I would suggest reading Ashes and stopping there.


    Has Shadows turned you off from other books in this genre?

    For the rest of this series, yes. I was unsure of the rest of the series after the first book but curious. Now, I'm only 3 hours into the second book and curious no more. there will be no purchase of the 3rd book for me.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I don't think she could have fixed it. It's like blaming an actor for a flop movie.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment and Apathy.


    Any additional comments?

    Earlier in the book the author herself writes of apathy due to prolonged fear. Her own constant changes in charter story lines that ramp up your already high adrenaline levels due to what's occurring, causes you yourself to lose any sense of connection with the characters and then to become apathetic towards the story, the worse thing an author can do. If I can't care to finish this book, how can I care to pick up any of her other books? Give us a break. Stick with one character for more than 2 pages, build them up so you grow to care about what happens to them before flipping over to another story line to kill some other stranger we don't have any emotional attachment to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 20 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • miss
    edgware, United Kingdom
    4/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wow"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, these books had me hooked almost immediately, the characters are all so different but blend so well together. the story has you jumping through hoops, nothing comes easy to the characters which make you wish better things for them all....which leads to great suspense and excitment.


    What other book might you compare Shadows to, and why?

    justin cronins...the twelve trilogy. same kind of theme and great characters that you want to succeed and not be killed lol


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    hard to say........the whole book!


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    not a funny book and not really happy cheery characters....not surprising with what happens to them ha....did have me biting my nails in suspense.


    Any additional comments?

    these are great stories by ilsa...what an imagination. everything follows on in this book, the characters stay true to themselves and just get better.expertly read by katherine, she is an amazing narrator...full of emotion, excitement, suspense and she really drags you into these books. well done to author and narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andy Hurley
    Cambridge, UK
    2/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent start"

    It takes a couple of chapters for this story to really get going but then it keeps on rolling on and is very had to stop listening. My only critisism is that the performance can get a little too excitable at times which makes it harder to follow the action; I understand that this is to add tension but the words are capable of doing that on their own so I feel it is not necessary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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