Review: Shudder (Stitch #2) for the Shudder Blog Tour
Shudder Blog Tour
Summary From Goodreads:
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…
Where Stitch started slow and built up the tension and suspense, Shudder dives right into the action where the previous book left off. Alessa and Issac continue on their mission to find a base for the resistance as they explore the world outside of Paragon. In my review of Stitch one of the major things I brought up was that I had wished the POV of the ghost Alessa encounters had been explored earlier to give more depth to the character and balance out the story a bit. I highly doubt my review had anything to do with it but that is certainly not an issue in Shudder. Durante decided to utilize multiple POVs from the very beginning of the book, enough to the point that I was worried about the opposite effect. Would there be too many? Would the reader get lost shifting from one perspective to another and lose that coveted depth in the process?
I’m thrilled to say that it wasn’t the case at all. Durante used these POVs superbly, balancing them all in just the right way so that we gained insight without becoming frustrated or confused. Different aspects of the world that could only be delivered by using this method were given and the strength of the writing allowed for each POV to feel as strong and coherent as the last. Each part was crucial and I’m ecstatic that she pulled something of that difficulty off.
I still love the characters in this series, from major to minor. While I can’t wait for Stuck, book 3 in the series, to hopefully focus more on the secondary characters of Josephine and Janie, learning more about the main characters was plenty interesting by itself. Alessa and Issac’s relationship is a bit awkward at times, but overall I think it works. They’re young, it isn’t supposed to be perfect, and it feels REAL, which I can’t stress the importance of.
Finding out more about Paragon and its origins/purpose from another POV (I won’t spoil whose) was also great for depth. It answered a lot of questions left over from Stitch, though because of the conspiratorial nature of Paragon you never know how much truth you are getting fed along with the lies.
The plot! People, the twists and turns in this book?! Seriously, it’s amazing how Durante keeps you on your toes throughout. I kept thinking I had everything figured out and then BAM, another wrench thrown into what I thought I knew. There are conflicts of interest between characters, on opposite sides and even on their own. Dangers lurk around every corner. New abilities are just waiting to be discovered! How do you get better than that? Awesome.
The only minor issue I had with Shudder is that it lost one of Stitch’s main strengths, the world building. While the world outside of Paragon was interesting it just couldn’t compare with all of the nuances and intricacies Paragon had. I don’t know how you would go about making it richer without losing something in the balance (character depth, plot building, etc.) but it felt less impactful. I loved what Durante did in Stitch with how easy it was to picture the campus in my mind, in Shudder I never really had a mental image of the landscape they were going through, it was focused on the plot and characters. Nothing more really to say about that, it wasn’t bad, just not as strong as its predecessor.
Overall I definitely enjoyed Shudder and I’m so thankful to Samantha for asking me to be a part of her amazing blog tour! The book is available in eBook and Paperback and I highly recommend you get it, as well as Stitch if you haven’t already. This is shaping up to be one of my favorite trilogies in quite some time. I already am pining for Stuck’s release! Thanks as always for reading and make sure to check out the other posts in the blog tour and enter the big giveaway for fabulous prizes! ^.^
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #99/200