Book Review: Shadow Rise (Shadow Fall Book 2) by Audrey Grey

The plans have gone awry, the Trials are no longer, and Maia has been captured by the Emperor. She quickly finds a way to escape and is surprised to discover the Rebels have a fortress and an army. But she knows they're going to lose if they march into battle with the Emperor, and the asteroid Pandora is still rushing toward them. Maia will have to find a way to gather some people and sneak into the castle if she wants to accomplish what her father started and stop the asteroid.

Book Review: Shadow Rise (Shadow Fall Book 2) by Audrey Grey | reading, books, book reviews, science fiction, dystopian, young adult
Title: Shadow Rise
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 283
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*

I was kind of undecided about continuing this series when I finished the first book since there were some things I didn’t like about it, but ultimately the things I did like won out, and I couldn’t help but give this one a try.

I have to admit, for the first half of the book or so, I did still have some issues. The way it was written made me feel kind of distanced from the protagonist and the story because it was kind of choppy and jumped from one moment to the next without much explanation sometimes. I was confused about exactly what was going on and how much time was passing. I also didn’t understand Maia’s reasons for some of the things she was doing, like why she didn’t tell the rebels the truth about what happened, that she wasn’t a traitor, or why she didn’t tell a certain person who she was.

I will say, however, that while the first book was kinda slow for a while, this one didn’t have that problem. It jumped right into the action and plot, picking up where the first left off. And then, as the story went on, things started to flow more smoothly, make more sense, and feel more natural. Things also got more intense, and I got more gripped.

My favorite thing in the first book was Riser, and he was still interesting—not quite as feral, but kind of smooth and observant and predatory. And I liked the chemistry between Maia and Riser, especially since *SPOILER* he didn’t know who she was, so it was kind of like they were starting over, and there was a bunch of tension. *END SPOILER*

As for Maia, the whole being another person thing threw me off in the first book, but this time she just seemed to be herself, so I found her easier to understand and connect with. And I liked her; she stayed focused on what was important, even when the decisions she had to make were tough ones.

There were also some great new characters, like Lash, who was friendly, playful, and so likeable. And Maia’s friendship with Lash and Teagan was something I really liked. I’m also looking forward to seeing more of Maia’s relationship with *SPOILER* Max (her brother) *SPOILER* as she gets to spend more time with him since it started out rocky in this book but then became sweet. They clearly care about each other.

But a warning for anyone reading this review who hasn’t read the first book yet, things in this series are very extreme, especially when it comes to violence and dangerous situations. So sometimes things get pretty gritty and graphic, and the author doesn’t shy away from putting her characters in worst case scenarios. Sometimes it’s a little over-the-top, but, well, either you can just accept that as part of the series or not.

So overall, I did end up enjoying this book. I liked some of the characters, the touching moments among them, and the intensity of the story as it went on. I think that at this point I am invested and want to see this series through to the end.


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  1. L

    I haven’t really read books that are gritty or extreme. There have been a few that really push the boundaries, but nothing that made me want to stop reading. I used to read a lot of YA, but now I’ve transitioned into mostly Adult Paranormal Romance–nothing really crazy, lol. The blurb for the first book seems interesting, though. I read the second blurb first, but it didn’t make a lot of sense (obviously).

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s not the most extreme I’ve ever read, but it’s certainly significant enough to warrant a warning since I know some people can’t handle that. Yeah this is one of those books with a blurb that isn’t going to make sense if you haven’t read the first lol.

  2. Greg

    Pretty awesome cover. YA dystopian that’s a little grittier huh? Sounds pretty good other than the communication issues (why are those so prevalent in books?). Like if you’re being called a traitor, seems like you’d explain why you’re not. Still, Maia sounds like a good character.

    The asteroid does sound like a bit of a problem. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah I just felt like, if I were in her situation, I would’ve immediately tried to explain and defend myself. But still not a bad book! Maia is… intense, but she’s one you can usually stand behind.

      Just a tiny problem 😉

  3. Wattle

    I like the cover, it’s quite striking. I feel like a lot of YA dystopia has great covers, I’m almost jealous they’re not my genre because they look so pretty lol

    It’s great this one hooked you into the series, I hope the next one is enjoyable too!

  4. Karen Blue

    Hey *raises hand* I like violence with all the gruesome details! This series sounds really good. Sometimes the first book is one big set up so that the reader can get a gist of the world. It is nice to hear that the story picks up in the second book. It also sounds like this book didn’t suffer 2nd book syndrome. Great review!

  5. kimbacaffeinate

    I like gruesome details. Nice that the pace was better, despite the issues. I need to know where I am in a book too so that jumping around without clear indications would drive me, nutters. You do have me curious about Riser though. Great review.

  6. Maureen Bakker

    I’m glad to read you did enjoy this book. It sounds like an interesting read. But I’m not really into the ‘over the top’ stuff. And as a nurse I see enough horrible stuff that I don’t really like it if a book has too much gruesome details. I do love that cover though. 😉

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks 🙂 Totally understandable! I had never even thought about how being a nurse might impact someone’s reading like that, so that’s interesting to know!

  7. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I love it when continuing a series seems to actually be worth it. I am very much a person who either commits to a series for far longer than I should or abandons it altogether if I have reservations after reading the first book. I don’t think I could put up with the story extremes you get in this but the dynamic between the characters and the growing relationships with them all sound really great. There are definitely elements which are worth reading for this series

    1. Kristen Burns

      I used to either stop after the first book or commit to the whole thing. Now I just play it by ear. But when there’s only one book left in a series, most of the time I keep going because it feels like a waste not to finish. Sometimes series do get better though, so it’s hard to know when to give up or keep trying! But anyway, I did really like the relationships, so yes there are def some good elements here 🙂

  8. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer

    Hmmm I like dystopian worlds a lot and you have a great sounding cast here! It sounds like her writing is improving as she goes which is good but doesn’t make for the best beginning… is this like a space opera? ♥️ glad you found it redeemable Kristen!

  9. Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

    Sorry to hear the series didn’t get better and the writing was choppy. I know exactly what you mean. To me is hard to connect if I keep stumbling! The cover is gorgeous thought! You always have the best covers here!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly! Anything that makes you feel confused pulls you out of the story and makes it harder to connect. But at least it got better eventually. Lol I agree, it is a nice cover!