Monday, October 1, 2012

Shadows, Pt 2 of the Ashes Triliogy, by Ilsa J. Bick- Review

From Goodreads:
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.

It's possible, even if you didn't read my review of Ashes, that you heard my frustrated scream as I read the last page of that book.  Or maybe you saw me hounding Ilsa J. Bick on Twitter for the torture that was the wait for Shadows.  Either way, I'm sure you've felt my pain, especially if you've read Ashes.  Well let me tell you, I was a desperately charming blogger when I approached Edgemont at the BEA and begged them to put me out of my misery.  And to my utter delight, they lifted a table cloth from a tiny pile of hidden copies, and made my day.

However, there was very nearly a second scream of pain when I cracked my copy open, only to find it started with someone other than Alex!!!  And granted, when I realized it was Tom I was almost appeased, but not really because OH MY GOD, THAT ENDING!!!  Honest to god, I am rarely that keyed up by a cliff hanger, but this one was brutal, in the yummiest possible way.

Eventually I got over my rabid need to find out what was going on with Alex (also, I eventually found out, and my blood pressure thanks both Bick and Edgemont for that), and I was quickly immersed in Bick's fascinating world of Zombie politics.

My absolute favorite thing about this chilling second book? Multiple POV's!  Chris, Alex, Tom, Peter, and Lena, they all get a say, and it's riveting to see all their various perceptions of what's going on.  Especially because it's getting very complicated.  The machinations and politics glimpsed at the end of Ashes are just the tip of the iceberg, and by the end of Shadows I'm still not entirely sure what's going on.  Oh I have suspicions, and wonderfully evil wishes, but where this is going is going to be a gasp-worthy surprise by book three. GAH!! Book three, I shed tears of longing for you already!  It is going to be torture, though not quite as torturous as last year, thank god!

Although Bick's Zombies are quickly becoming some of the scariest Zombies I've read to-date (these are no mindless brain eaters kids, the chuckies have weapons, and a plan of action.  Also they have sex. And if you thought having you're brain eaten was scary, consider being raped and then having your brain eaten. See? All new horrors), it's her horrifying look at how society is reconfiguring that has me shivering while reading.  Between the horror that is Rule,  the new reveals about militia, surrounding communities and how the Zombies are being used by all of them, Bick's Zombie infested world is a level of scary I had no idea I wanted, but now can't get enough of.

But be warned, this is not a cupcake eating, wine drinking kind of book.  The level of gory descriptions is off the charts, and if you don't gag at least once then you're made of stronger stuff then me.  Seriously, this is not a lunch break kind of book, at least not until the eating part of your break is well and truly over.
Peter' blood turned to slush.  Tyler's steaming guts slowly undulated and bunched like thick, moist worms because the connections weren't quite severed, the body not yet ready to give up.  Like the jittering lets of the headless dog.  Like Fable's doomed run.  Tyler's insides smelled, too, rank and feral as a gutted deer.
"D-Daaaad?" Fresh blood, red as lava, bubbled over Tyler's lips.
A fantastically high concept Zombie/Horror trilogy,  Shadows pays out on all the promises Ashes made.  I can't recommend this series highly enough.  Of course, if you find cliff hangers unbearable you might want to wait until book three releases next year.
An amazing first entry into my month of creepy reads! Oh how will the rest possibly live up to this?!

Shadows, by Ilsa J. Bick
Published by Edgemont, September 25th, 2012
My copy acquired at the BEA.
Buy Shadows on Amazon

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