Alex has escaped from Rule – but what new horrors face her in the ravaged world outside?
Tom is safe – but what will he risk to find Alex?
Chris – how much does he really know about the terrible darkness of Rule? And what are his true feelings for Alex?
Ellie – where is she?
Yes indeed. All questions I had when I had finished “Ashes” the first book in this trilogy. Some are answered – some are not – and I can hardly wait to find out how this one turns out for all involved. Monsters await me – probably quite literally.
So, you have Young Adult fiction. Then you have Adult fiction. And somewhere inbetween you have Ilsa J Bick’s trilogy about a post apocalyptic, dangerous world, where no-one can be trusted and sometimes your best friend is also your worst enemy. A brilliantly imagined setting where in order to survive, ruthless is the only way to go.
There are several interlocking stories going on here as we follow Alex, Chris and Tom amongst others – separate but linked – on their journey through a landscape fraught with danger, ever changing, and filled with those of nefarious intent. The “changed” are scary, downright horrific and if you have a weak stomach, fair warning, there are no punches pulled here. And its possible that the change is not over yet…Just because you are one of the “Spared” does not guarantee that you will always be entirely you…
Multi stranded character arcs can confuse – I’ve heard people call this plot “convoluted” but for me it was rich in detail and imagination. Rather than give heart and soul to two or three main protagonists, Ms Bick breathes life into them all – whilst also managing to give the reader a full appreciation for the world they inhabit. Not an easy task and yes the plot building is complicated – you may lose some of the nuances of the journey – but its worth every second for the pure adrenalin rush that sometimes may overtake you.
If you love YA Post Apocalyptic fiction, and enjoy a story with many different faces I would recommend these books. Monsters will be on my reading schedule soon – I am hoping that the ending to this particular trilogy will satisfy me more than the last one I read. Yes you people who follow my reviews you all know what I am talking about! Shadows has had the perfect lead in to the finale. I will let you know if it lives up to the promise…
As an aside – I have the first two books in paperback (UK) and Quercus, James Fraser (cover design) and Arcangel Images (cover photo) have done another outstanding job here. I love the tactile presence of these novels on my shelf. Monsters is on my Kindle (I took the short route and went via netgalley) but I shall be purchasing the final paperback to complete my collection. Cover art. One of my favourite things about physical books…
Happy Reading Folks!