“Shudder” is one of the new releases that I was really looking forward to. After reading “Stitch”, the first book in the trilogy, I couldn’t wait to learn more about the dystopian world Samantha Durante created, about Paragon, and the virus. “Shudder” did not disappoint in this respect, because it answered many questions regarding the war, how the deadly virus broke out, and how Paragon turned from a quarantine zone that was supposed to keep people safe, into a prison that kept people away from reality and tried to give birth to a new society.
Unfortunately, though, I found it quite slow compared to “Stitch”, which kept me on the edge of my seat and was full of twists and turns. And Alessa, a character that I really liked in the first book, had this annoying tendency of complaining all the time and asking herself over and over why all these things happened to her. Now, I can understand that she was under pressure because the fate of all the rebels in Paragon depended on her and Isaac, but at some point she just kept repeating the same things, and all she could think of was her doubts. She also made Isaac feel very insecure and powerless, which seemed kind of selfish of her. In this book I think I liked Isaac better than Alessa.
I also loved the chapters where we get to know Nikhil better. In “Stitch” he was a minor character who only appeared towards the end, but in “Shudder” he has a more important role. I liked that I got to see the prison through his eyes, and learn more about the dramas, and how he had been “stitched” many times for different shows.
The part with Alessa being an empath was also very interesting, as well as the bloodthirsty creatures that followed and attacked Isaac and Alessa when they were outside of Paragon. Even though the book did not have the twists and turns that made “Stitch” such an exciting read, it was still very enjoyable. The plot was creative and well-thought, and the structure of the entire story was flawless. The best thing was that it gave me the chance to learn about Paragon from different points of view. The chapters centered on Alessa and Isaac revealed more about the world outside Paragon and the resistance, the ones centered on Nikhil offered a glimpse of what happened in Paragon’s prison, and the ones centered on Phoenix gave me the chance to see how the ones who created and ran Paragon saw everything. So, I can say that “Shudder” has a pretty complex plot and world-building.
Now all I have to do is sit tight and hope that the last book in the “Stitch” trilogy will be released soon enough. I’m really curious to see how everything wraps up, because “Shudder” ended in a serious cliffhanger.