YA Book Review

Into Light by T.D. Shields (Shadow and Light #2) (mild spoilers)

“RODRIGUEZ LIES.

HE KILLED MY FATHER.

HE TRIED TO KILL ME.

SLEEP LIGHTLY, CRUZ, I’M COMING.

POPPY WALKER”

(Shields).

Into Light is intense and rebellious. It breaks from the “book norms” of love triangles and boy crazy main characters. This one is for those who love strong, female leads and stories about standing for what you believe in! Prepare yourself for a heart racing ride full of twists and turns!

The Plot: Poppy Walker has decided that it is time to take down the corrupt man that murdered her father. The same man that is tearing down the country, rebel by rebel. It’s rebellion time, and with the help of Poppy’s new Denver family, and her feline best friend, it may be possible to find justice and save the country from tyranny!

“…I would let my attitude make up the difference and carry myself as the authoritative politician I used to be.” (Shields).

I had been waiting for this one to come out since I finished the e-arc of Into Shadow. I was not disappointed!! I almost wish this series had more books because I loved the writing style and the storyline. Shields created an outstanding dystopian world, and I picture imagery from Fallout (video game) and The Last of Us (video game), where there are bits of city that are left standing and bits of city that are destroyed or covered in overgrowth. I could see the world and the characters in my mind as I read.

“The sunbeams bounced off the buildings downtown to fracture in to dazzling rays that came at us from every angle. It was a stark contrast to the streets of Denver, which were so overgrown by trees and wild vegetation that almost every street was left in deep shadow no matter the time of day.” (Shields).

The story was fast paced and thrilling. I loved that the books were centered around Poppy and her survival and not around a romance. Into Light finished this duology off strong with the premise of justice and a rebellion against a tyrannical president. The story of Poppy and her transformation is inspiring, and the characters that surround her are incredibly intriguing and heartwarming!

Poppy is still my favorite character, though Roomie and Sharra both come in close second. Poppy is brave, determined, and fierce. She is a survivor and she strays away from the “romance before mission norm” found in most books. She has all the same characteristics that I loved from book 1, but she goes through an epic transformation in book 2 that turns her in to someone to be respected (more than before) and someone who can incite a rebellion and save a country.

“I’m sure you all remember Poppy Walker. She’s a lot tougher than she used to be but still just as eloquent.” (Shields).

Roomie is a FANTASTIC character! Shields did an incredible job creating Roomie and his feline personality. He adds brightness and humor to the story, and he is fierce and protective of those he loves (mainly Poppy). I feel like the author must have sat in a room full of cats for days to get these personality traits just right. As an animal lover, I know first hand how a cat can have a human-like personality and behavior. Roomie fights with our main characters. He loves Poppy fervently, and when he is not roaming for food or protecting the gang, he demonstrates such humorous quirks that bring laughter to the story.

“Did you just lose an argument with your cat?’ Rivers asked. ‘Shut up.'” (Shields).

Sharra is our colorful, kick-ass character! She has colorful hair and an awesome personality to match. She also makes for an epic best friend. I love that Sharra took Poppy under her wing in book 1 and that she has created herself a big space in Poppy’s heart (and mine). She is intelligent, caring, and fierce. She also breaks away from the “book norm” of allowing romance to cloud her judgement. Though she has found someone (not telling ;-P), she still puts her Denver family and the mission first. She is level headed and usually keeps the group sane.

“Sharra had a habit of downplaying problems in order to avoid panicking people, and I knew that what she called a situation was probably something most people would refer to as a catastrophe.” (Shields).

Lucas is our heartthrob of the story. He is handsome, strong, protective, and smart. He cares about his group and loves Poppy. He is always calculating his next move and uses everything he has at his disposal to ensure the protection of Poppy and his group.

“Lucas and I locked eyes. I could see his frustration as he tried to find a way to protect us.” (Shields).

Finally we have Cruz Rodriguez. This evil man is the one who murdered Poppy’s father. He is selfish, greedy, and cruel. He rules with fear and immorality. We see more of him in book 2 and really see how his actions have affected the nation.

“He had subverted the ideals of our nation and destabilized the country until it was on the brink of revolt.” (Shields).

I was sad to see this story end, but felt satisfied with the ending. Shadow and Light is my new favorite duology and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys action packed stories with bits of humor and strong female characters. This story has thrills, danger, adventure, laughter, romance, and futuristic technology. Into Shadow and Into Light are sure to impress!

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