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Shadows (Ashes Trilogy Series #2)

Shadows (Ashes Trilogy Series #2)

4.1 39
by Ilsa J. Bick

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Earth's few remaining normal teenagers struggle to survive in this gruesome, bloody post-apocalyptic sequel. The world's gone completely to hell: All nonelderly adults are dead, and most teenagers are Changed into zombielike feral children who eat humans alive. Survivors huddle into protective enclaves and protect themselves with deadly force. The cliffhanger ending of Ashes (2011)--Alex flees from the strangely religious community of Rule only to stumble into the bone-strewn larder of a pack of Changed--takes 100 pages to resolve, mostly due to the shifts in perspective to other un-Changed teenagers driving these action-packed short chapters. Alex is a prisoner of the Changed, and as they drive her through the snowy wilderness, she sees that their behavior is, disturbingly, growing less feral: They use guns, make uniforms and practice profitless cruelties. The remaining adults seem nearly as cruel, practicing Josef Mengele–style experiments and killing children to cover ancient political feuds. Sometimes it seems like the only difference is that the Changed eat their prey, devouring them in sensuously described murder and torture scenes packed with fountaining blood and festooned guts. Nearly every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, keeping the horror appropriately unending: "And then Spider squeezed the trigger." "The knife hacked down with a whir." "And then, it moved." Plenty of mysteries and betrayals set up the trilogy's forthcoming conclusion, which fans will eagerly await. (Horror. 14-17)

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Ashes Trilogy Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.80(d)
HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Ilsa 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, and Ashes (a 2011 VOYA Perfect Ten).  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.

Customer Reviews

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Shadows: The Ashes Trilogy 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had been anxiously awaiting the release of the 2nd book in the Ashes trilogy so when it finally came out I was elated. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations. Unlike most readers that did not enjoy Shadows, it was not the different points of view that caused me to dislike this book. It was the fact that while I was reading I felt as though I was always waiting for something exciting to happen. The book I felt more like a day in the life of 15 different characters rather than the close and emotionally charged relationships of the first novel. I kept turning the page in the hopes that I would eventually connect with the characters but it never happened. It’s not a bad book…not by any means. It simply did not pack the punch that Ashes did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a great book but it was confusing at some points
SaraO More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book after I got used to multiple POVs If you aren’t ready for an action-packed, gory-fied, wild ride don’t you dare pick up this book! Much like the first in this series – Ashes – Shadows kept me on the edge of my seat. Literally: Edge. Of. My. Seat. I’d include picture proof but during the edge-of-my-seat chunk I was reading in public. The weird looks I was already getting for *gasping* out loud were enough. If you did read the first book – but it was awhile ago – I suggest checking out your notes. Oh – What? – Not everyone travels around with a spiral notebook for taking notes while reading like me? Pity. It’s a great excuse for carrying a super large bag. Ha. OR…You can head over to the Author’s website for a synopsis. You’ll need it. Bick wastes no time prepping the reader or reminding us of important info. Nope, just like Alex once you start this tale you gotta keep up or find yourself Chuckie Bait. P.S. Chuckie is a new name for the ‘Changed’ in this book…and I love it! Because the Changed aren’t your old-skool brainless zombies. Nope, these kids adapt as time goes on. So they’re really more like “Chuckie” from the horror movie. Read: re-animated body with a personality, and a penchant for blood. The question regarding the Changed is one of the central threads of this text. How do they change? Can Spared kids still Change? How far will the Changed continue to evolve? Terrifying questions whose answers are slowly unveiled (though not completely…damn you book two! lol) throughout the text. All I can say is the more you know the scarier it becomes! In addition to the quickly moving – no backtracking plot, Bick has chosen to write the second book in this series from multiple points of view. I’ll admit that I didn’t know if I was going to be a fan of this at the start of the read. Because some of these POVs’ are from brand new (or – oops – forgotten!) characters. I’ll warn you now, it’s a bit discombobulating. But as the narrative moves on Bick uses quick switching between character POVs to up the tension. There was one point, where a new scene started and I almost got carpal tunnel in my thumb clicking through the pages thinking “Which character is this!?! I need to know whose fate this is!?!” Did I say this was an “Edge Of Seat” read yet? Yeah. It really is. The love triangle continues to be the best kind. The type where you love each guy, individually, for his own unique traits. Makes a girl wish a menage e trois was more acceptable in YA fiction. I just don’t know who I want her to end up with! Finally, I have to give props to my favorite scene in the book. The one where we finally learn the root cause of Tom’s PTSD. When you get there you’ll understand – learning the truth behind what Bick has been hinting at all this time is as satisfying as learning what’s at the bottom of a cliffhanger. It’s very well done. Rating: 4/5 Really enjoyed this book after I got used to multiple POVs – But it just has me starving for the final book! Classic case of Book 2-itus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Ashes, and Shadows picked up right where it left off. Being a horror and blood fan, this book was perfect. Through out the book, I felt like I was Alex, fighting for my life, running from the Changed, trying to find life. I loved it! If you are a fan of survival and zombie themed books, I recommend Shadows greatly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Ashes. Loved. In Shadows I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Tom and Alex to circle around to each other. To say I was unsatisfied is an understatement. Hard to care about new characters when the ones I grew to love in Ashes were scattered to the winds. I have no plans to read the third book, Shadows was disappointing enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't waste your money on this trilogy too slow too much filler
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
This has been such a difficult review to write. How do you express misgivings about a favorite author’s new book but still give it some much-deserved love? Following the intense pace of things happening to Alex and Tom is nearly exhausting, certainly unnerving in some parts. The Changed are not really zombies, but have many of their characteristics, so watching them becoming mentally aware and yet still inhuman is downright scary. Add to that the real menace presented by the religious cult as well as the brutal cold and snow and you have to wonder if you, the reader, would have any chance of survival, especially with the torture and other terrible, stomach-churning things going on. It’s a good thing a few of the characters still warrant our love—and love is what it is. Feeling what they go through is as bad as what we might suffer on behalf of our own family and friends in like circumstances, heaven forbid. The first book, Ashes, was just marvelous and landed in my list of favorite books of 2011, but this one can’t be included in my 2012 list. Ms. Bick is well aware of the issues—she addresses them on her website in a lengthy synopsis/reminder of what happened in the first book and who the characters are. I understand the rationale behind just picking up where Ashes left off but, for me, it doesn’t work. It might have if (1) I had seen her post before reading Shadows and (2) the story had continued to focus on Alex and Tom, at least in the early chapters, but the author chose to throw in a LOT of new or lesser-known characters and geographic settings, plus the story is told from multiple points of view. The end result, for me, was a constant struggle to try to remember who certain people were and where the action was taking place (that’s important because of the efforts of people to get where they need to go). Even something as simple as a cast of characters would have made reading Shadows a lot easier and would have prevented much of the confusion. Will this stop me from reading the next book, Monsters? Absolutely not because, in spite of everything that bothered me in Ashes, I still love the concept, the worldbuilding, the characters (yes, even the Changed, at least some of them) and Ms. Bick‘s impressive ability to put words together, not to mention craft images that linger a long, long time. What I’ll do next year is re-read the first two books before tackling the third—re-reads will be no chore, believe me—and hope that Monsters will be less confusing. So, yes, I do recommend this but read Ashes before you read Shadows, or read the author’s post on her website. Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, October 2012.
Bethums More than 1 year ago
I was pretty disappointed, the writing was written in another point of view that for some people isn't easy to understand, i.e. like city of bones by cassandra clare. It was neat to read from other characters prospectives but she didn't tell you about who you were reading from until the name was said somewhere in the chapter. Since the first story, Ashes, was written in first person this story should have too. It threw me off in the first few lines of the story until I realized how the writing was different. The ending of the first story gave me such anticipation for this book that i feel it lacked becoming a good read. I honestly don't understand how the ending is acceptable in this novel. I'm not to excited about the last and final book but i'm hoping that it ends all the questions she left for the reader and it explains everything. One of the biggest mistakes that i saw was that she was writing from other people that have just been intorduced and she never said anything about Ellie until the ending, but it didn't say anything about what happened to her, where she was, or even if she was dead. Ellie was a main character in the first story and she should've had a voice in this story.
Bayer More than 1 year ago
When I looked at the one and only review for this book when I first started reading I was really disappointed. They had only given the book 3/5 stars. Their complaint was regarding the changing point of view of the story. I think that it was a necessary element for Bick to build suspense and move several plotlines forward for the resolution she is trying to achieve in the final book. I loved following several of the characters as they fight their own battles to survive in this new world. It allowed me the opporunity to guess at how all the threads will come together in the end. I can't wait for the final book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first book was great. The cliff hanger at the end made me really anticipate this book. However, it felt like a completely different author wrote this book. The introduction of new characters really pulled the plot in a completely different direction that was disappointing. This book was also more gorey than Ashes. I had a hard time getting through the book and the ending did not leave me excited about the final book in the trilogy, which was not surprising. Too bad because I really wanted to like Shadows.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Hey Amy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Youre gonna gimme nightmareeees.
kleokatra More than 1 year ago
 VERY SLOW build-up with EVERYTHING. And there is a LOT of things happening at once. It can be confusing at times as to who's story is being told at any given moment, but it is interesting and keeps up the suspense. It didn't really start getting good, to where you're teeth are clenched and you're cursing your interruptions, until about the last 10 or so chapters. And then it just ended. It was a decent book, but I hope Monster has an actual conclusion and I didn't just waste a few days of my time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Favorite series. Dark thriller, teenage stephen king
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Heyyyyy wanna threesome ;)
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I cant even believe what this author did in this book it was amazing in the begining and now its why in gods name did you do this??!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1:ELLIE? 2:it was kinda hard to follow 3:and it just introduces new characters 4:throws old characters to the wind ELLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Better than the hunger games series!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thouroughly enjoyed it. Although it got confusing, it was extremely well written. Bick did a very good job and got the dystopian romance right. Although I like Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy better, I would still reccomend this book to any avid teen romance reader. Cant wait until the third installment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Contrary to the opinions of other readers, I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel. Yes, the writing was quiet different, and yes, the fact that Tom and Alex never truly met up again was extremely dissapointing, but I belive that was what the author intended to happen. I think Shadows was written the way it is so as to show how much more there is to the trilogy than a love triangle set in a post apocalyptic enviornment. When Tom was first introduced in Ashes, I immediately was excited. What sixteen-year-old, secretly very girly, teenage girl wouldn't want to read a book about a hunky soldier boy and a strong, independant, BA chick falling in love in the midst of a possible zombie apocalypse? But then Chris came along and SURPRISE, SURPRISE: Alex enters a love triangle. Who should she really love? Tom should be dead, but also shouldn't be, blah blah blah. ENOUGH WItH ThE teEN DRAMA. I get enough of that in high school. Just get back to fighting super smart zombies. Which is exactly what happens in book 2, aka Shadows. The shadowy figures we met breifly in book 1 are given more character developent, which flesh them out and reveal that not everyone is exactly who they say they are in this heavenly town of Rule. Was no one else super intrigued by this?! Also, we get to see first hand via Alex just how advanced these Changed kids have become. Which leads me to ask the question; how much more advanced could they grow to be? Could they become real humans once again, only to be different because of their canabalistic nature? If so, I can see them being able to pass off as normal teenagers quite soon, leading to more danger for the people that survived the brain zap. Oh,oh! And the bratty girl! Lia or Lisa, I dont know, forgot her name. Is it not obvious she is CHANGING?! This is incredible,people! By getting to read parts of the story from a changing, pregnant girls point of view, we are given a glimpse of the emotional riptides and loss of self that kids affected by the Change experience. The fact that this affected girl is pregnant just makes the whole situation all the more interesting. Could the pregnancy have brought on the change? Could she have a safe pregnancy and even safely give birth to a baby as one of the Changed? This is definitely a subject I hope is expounded upon in the next book. By not focusing on the romantic relationships between characters and merely one persons point of view throughout the story,the author has given readers a greater insight into the secrets around Rule and its neighbooring settlements. We have been given a glimpse of the shadows that surround each and every character in this trilogy, something that has either strenghtend our trust in them or led us to believe they are not who they say they are. I completely enjoyed Shadows, and can't wait for the next book!!