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Shadows (Ashes (Hardcover - Trilogy))

Shadows - Ilsa J. Bick While Reading:Last year, one of my break away hit reads was Ashes, the first book of this series. Bick mixed things up a bit by combining a post-apocalyptic read with creatures that could easily be cousins to zombies. I fell head over heels for that book, and have been waiting patiently for the day I could get my grubby little hands on its sequel.I don't know if it was because it has been about year since I last read Ashes, or something else, but sadly, the beginning of Shadows was a bit hard to get into. Shadows opens with a completely new character discussing a past war. There is no Alex or Rule in sight. But once the first pages are out of the way, the link between this character and characters that we had previously gotten to know make absolute sense. Whew!Unlike Ashes, Shadows follows multiple plot threads / groups of characters. Where before, we had Alex, Tom, and Ellie. Now, the tale has broken up into about three or four groups, depending on how you want to count it. While it added a nice level of depth to the story, following around different characters, the flow of the book suffered. One chapter following Alex. The next following, let's say, Chris. Then back to Rule. With no chapter title to guide you, I was left to basically jump into each chapter feet first and take a second or two to get my bearing on which thread I was now following. It was little disorienting, but after a while, I just got over it and moved on.One of my biggest hopes for Shadows was that we would get some resolution with Tom and Ellie. As you may remember, these characters were basically lost to us in Ashes with no clue as to if they were coming back. Unfortunately, the answers that I was hoping for did not completely come to fruition, but at least, there is more to hope for in book three.Final Verdict:Shadows had a lot to live up to, in my mind. Ashes was so completely different that most post-apocalyptic reads that I have built more than enough hope into this series. Shadows was a nice stepping stone type read. Plenty more is uncovered about the Changed, while adding a few more questions into the mix. The romance element took a back seat in favor of other plot developing needs, which I appreciated. There were a lot of positives and a few flaws to be found in Shadows. However, I am more than confident Bick can pull us through to a doozy of a conclusion.