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Series: The End of All Things #3
Publisher: TWCS Publishing House on March 26, 2015
Genre(s): Dystopian (Adult)
Carly Daniels knows what it is to suffer loss. She knows what it is to sacrifice. In the two years since a pandemic virus—known only as the Infection—decimated humanity, she’s made choices she never could have imagined. She’s condoned violence in the name of peace and done the unthinkable in the name of mercy. But with Justin at her side, she’s also learned there’s nothing she can’t face and nothing she wouldn’t do to protect those she loves.
But now another threat has arrived in the form of a uniformed man driving an army truck, claiming to represent the remnant of the United States military. Someone has set their sights on their community . . . and on Justin. The struggle to defend their little homeland is far from over, and the visitors may have brought more danger with them than just their weapons.
The shadows are closing in. Carly has to find out whether she has the strength to stand on her own when all of her support has fallen away. What remains when the shadows have gone?
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
It’s been two years since a flu-like plague decimated humanity and brought Carly and Justin together, and the fact that they are still alive is something of a miracle. Having established themselves in a small island community with a small collection of other makeshift families of survivors, life isn’t easy, but they’re getting by. Only it seems they’ve attracted the attention of what’s left of the military, the same people Justin knew in his former life and who seem to be responsible for the destruction of mankind. And the tough but mostly peaceful life they’ve carved out for themselves is now threatened.
After the ending of The Land of the Shadow, I was dying to get my hands on this one, and it did not disappoint!
Lots of things have changed since we first me Carly and Justin in The End of All Things, and Carly has grown up quite a bit. Now a mother and defacto leader in their small community, she no longer clings to ideas of the world before, instead working hard and doing whatever is necessary to make their communal lives just a little more bearable. But the presence of the military — or whatever is left of it — has Justin on edge, and it’s just a matter of time before they’re forced to confront the man responsible for both destroying the world and ensuring their survival.
Colby has been a bit of an oasis in the midst of disaster, but life there is by no means easy. There’s sickness and death, arguing and exhaustion, but they hold on to it as tightly as they can, determined to remain civilized without civilization. But even that small peace is shattered when Lewis, Justin’s former commander, begins reaching out to Justin, making it clear that he expects Justin to join him in whatever plan he has next. He’s not above threats — or following through with them — but Carly isn’t about to let anyone separate her family.
Obviously I don’t want to give away everything that happens, but I will say that it’s worth hanging onto every word. We see the rag-tag band from Colby step up and defend themselves and each other, we see Carly willing to walk through hell to ensure that everyone she cares about is safe, and we see Justin face his past and get a few of the answers we’ve all been waiting for.
In some ways, this book is darker than the others. Where in the previous books, we looked toward a future where they could settle down, raise their small family, and experience some semblance of normalcy and safety, in Shadows Have Gone, they’ve found exactly that, but it doesn’t automatically come with a happy ending. Survival is always at stake, and even in what is probably one of the safest situations any humans are experiencing, outside threats constantly loom. When it all came to a head, I honestly couldn’t imagine how everything could possibly be okay in the end, and I was ready to throw my Kindle down and have a bit of a tantrum. But I should have known that Lissa Bryan would come through with a realistic, believable resolution that had my heart retreating from its hideout in my throat.
I love well-written dystopian stories, but I so rarely find them. And in series, it’s not uncommon for me to begin losing interest by the time the last piece of the story is published. But this series is different, and while even the characters often want to just sit back and relax for a few minutes now that they think they’ve survived the worst of things, I was itching to turn the pages and find out what would happen next. The tension is undeniable, even in what should be simple day-to-day events, and when the big drama came, somehow it seemed so fitting that the story almost couldn’t be told without it. Shadows Have Gone really is the perfect ending to an incredible series, and while I think any of the books can be read alone, you’re missing all kinds of amazing if you don’t grab them all.