Shudderby Samantha Durante
Series: Stitch #2
Published on June 14, 2013 by Samantha Durante
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
It's only been three days, and already everything is different.
Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa's life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she'd counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she'd thought she'd tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she's discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.
And then there are the visions.
The memory-altering "stitch" unlocked something in Alessa's mind, and now she can't shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers - and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world's sorry history - will soon leave Alessa reeling...
After finishing Shudder, I’d definitely have to say that it was better than book 1 of the series, Stitch. The novel picks up right after Stitch with Alessa and Isaac, with new twists and turns, and even a couple new characters. Durante brings this dystopian world to life through her characters and world-building, keeping her strong writing style flowing from Stitch to Shudder. If you like action and adventure in a fast-paced story, you’ll definitely like Shudder.
To start, I loved the characters from Stitch and was happy to see them again in book 2. Alessa gains a lot more depth in Shudder and I thought she was one of the more interesting characters of the story. Isaac was likeable as well and the whole little romance element between those two was sweet. The two newest additions, Nikhil and Pheonix, also held their ground in the novel and stood out as much as Alessa and Isaac. This book is told from multiple viewpoints and while I usually steer clear of books like that (Finnikin of the Rock and A Game of Thrones being a few of the exceptions), Durante pulled it off well. While her characters had a similar style for their scenes (you couldn’t always tell who was speaking based on the writing alone), I still found the viewpoints beneficial and interesting to read. We get to see into her world and learn a little more than in Stitch. Finally, some answers to some questions!
The story itself is solid for a sequel. Shudder doesn’t sit around and wait while you remember what happened in Stitch. It jumps right in with the plot while incorporating book 1 into the story. If you read Stitch and don’t remember everything, don’t worry, you will once you start reading Shudder. Durante sends you on a whirlwind of an adventure in a world that makes you think. That’s what got me when I read Stitch, all the “what if’s.” It certainly makes for a thought-provoking read. If I had to make one note for improvement on the story, it would be that some of the dialogue and writing itself was a tad stilted but definitely not enough to keep me from flying through the book.
Out of all the indie authors I’ve read, Durante is one of the best ones. Shudder delivered everything a sequel should and leaves you wanting more but without all the questions at the end. Durante’s books are both strong enough on their own to make for a great reading experience while bringing you back to read the next book in the series. Shudder is great for fans of dystopians, fantasy, adventure, action….let’s just say if you like to read, you’ll like this book. Haven’t read Stitch yet? Make sure to go find Stitch and Shudder online at your favorite bookseller.