Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Land of the Shadow by Lissa Bryan


The Land of the Shadow
The End of all Things II
by Lissa Bryan
August 21, 2014

In the highly anticipated stand-alone sequel to The End of All Things, Lissa Bryan returns readers to a world devastated by disease, and the breakdown of modern society.

Two years after a horrific virus swept the globe, decimating the world’s population, Carly Daniels and her husband, Justin, have made a safe home in the isolated southern town of Colby. Protected by fences and a vigilant population, the residents there had somehow managed to keep the Infection out. Until the sight of Carly and Justin’s healthy baby girl convinced them it was safe to allow Outsiders in.

Now, in the wake of fresh losses, the small band of survivors struggles to rebuild a community. With only nineteenth-century technology to aid them, they must learn skills long forgotten to provide for their basic needs. Each day brings new challenges, and every choice they make affects their long-term survival. While Carly and Justin adjust to a growing family, and to their roles as community leaders, they must rely on one another for strength and support when they face difficult questions.

Carly has to decide how to move forward in a world where equality, justice, and freedom from tyranny are no longer guaranteed. And when new threats emerge, she has to decide what she is willing to do—and how far she’s willing to go—to protect what she has worked so hard to build.

When the end has come and gone, it’s a journey down a long and broken road through The Land of the Shadow.


Justin was in the barn when he heard Carly scream, and the sound of it almost stopped his heart. It was a sound of sheer terror, a sound that could only mean . . .

He didn’t finish the thought. His brain clicked into action mode, based on training and instinct, pushing his own fear aside. 

Justin jumped to snatch the pump-action shotgun mounted on pegs above the door and ran harder than he’d ever run in his life, pumping the weapon to chamber a round. He prayed as he ran. He didn’t know to whom he was praying, nor for what, but he prayed just the same. 

Rounding the corner of the house, he saw Kaden and Carly running toward a goddamn big alligator in the front yard. Sam darted around its sides, snapping. 

Justin caught up to Kaden just as the beast decided that Carly’s direction was a better avenue of escape than the path blocked by the snarling wolf and the two running men. It charged right at her, its mouth wide, tail thrashing in its wake. Carly jumped for the porch, clutching at the post, her foot braced on the rail. Kaden charged up the steps and swept Dagny up into his arms, flinging open the screen door to scramble inside the house. 

Dagny yelled something that sounded like, “No, kay!” as the keys tumbled from her hand to clatter on the floorboards. Justin heard her wail as the screen door slammed behind Kaden. But she was safe, and that was what mattered at the moment. Carly still clung to the porch rail, her eyes wide. Safe, too, Justin noted, as his mind switched over to seek-and-destroy mode. 

The alligator kept running across the lawn and straight into the cornfield, surprisingly fast for such a large, awkward creature. 

“Not the corn!” Justin swung wide to try to drive the reptile toward the road instead, but the alligator saw safety and concealment in the thick patch of tall green stalks. It charged into the patch, clearing a three-foot-wide path of broken stalks with every swipe of its thrashing tail. 

A flash of movement from the left caught Justin’s eye, and Pearl jumped in front of the alligator with a shout, waving her arms to prevent it from charging deeper into the field. The gator hissed at her and brandished its gaping maw, but began to back away. 

More people from the town, who had been drawn by Carly’s scream, ran across the lawn toward the corn patch. The confused alligator found himself surrounded, and he turned, crushing more stalks. Justin swore. 

He caught Pearl’s eye and didn’t even need to tell her what he needed. She shouted and feigned a lunge to get the gator’s attention, and it swung around to hiss at her. 

He darted to the gator’s side and aimed the shotgun at the back of its head. “Clear!” 

“No, Justin!” Carly shouted. “Don’t!” 

Justin groaned. His wife, the animal lover. Was she going to say something like, He can’t help he’s an alligator, and insist Justin transport the thing back to the swamp? He was already picturing wrapping the beast’s jaws with duct tape or something to avoid losing a goddamn hand in the process when she reached his side. 

Instead, she pulled out the .45 she wore at her hip and blasted the gator three times in the head. It slumped to the ground, dead as Caesar. 

“I didn’t want you to use the shotgun and tear up the hide,” Carly said. 

God, he loved her. He felt a grin stretch his cheeks. 

She turned toward the house but called over her shoulder to the staring townspeople as she ran to check on her baby. “We have meat.”

Kathie's Review:

I truly loved the first book in this series, The End of All Things. And I was incredibly anxious for this one to be finished. WORTH THE WAIT!

Ms. Bryan has crafted this book so it can stand alone. She deftly inserted enough back story to catch you up, while not dragging us down with an overload of information. I love it when an author can do that for us. 

TLotS begins a few months after TEoAT. Colby is coming along. It's not thriving, but that's not for want of trying on the community members. Before the infection, few of them had planted gardens, raised chickens or fish. It's a learning process, but they are bound and determined to survive. Carly is still hoping to make a better place for them all. Justin is behind her in all things. Together they make a great team. Sam, the wolf, is still a pretty good judge of character as nomads approach the town. Some are invited to stay, and some are passed over. As you can imagine, some don't appreciate that. 

Shadowfax and Storm have their moments, here, too.

The way that Ms. Bryan writes a possible future after a catastrophic plague reads true. Every time I see one of those gold commercials on TV I always think, as she pointed out in the first book: Food, Guns/Ammo, Drugs! These are the "golden things" that would be worth something. 

While Carly, Justin, and the others are working hard to live in the new world, some people have pretty much reverted to a barbarian mentality. They want to take what they can, and not work for what they have. Again, this is what I'd think would happen in such a scenario. 

Ms. Bryan kept me reading long after I should have been asleep. But I had to know how it would all turn out. She surprised me a few times, too. And that ending? Yeah, I need the third and final book NOW. While it's not a killer cliffie, it will make you want more just as quickly as possible. I have my guesses as to what is going to happen next, but I'm sure that she will surprise me again.

What a ride! Carly and Justin are people that I'd like on my side, and on the side of my community.
I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a story that will keep you glued to your reader or flipping pages in a paperback just as quickly as you can. 

*Thank you, NetGalley and TWCS, for the opportunity to read The Land of the Shadow*

Lissa-BryanLissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot...though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing. She is the author of three other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, and Under These Restless Skies.

Connect with Lissa: 

Don't miss out on this Amazing Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Praise for The Land of The Shadow:

"What a ride! Carly and Justin are people that I'd like on my side, and on the side of my community. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a story that will keep you glued to your reader or flipping pages in a paperback just as quickly as you can." -Kathie Spitz 

If you haven't already, check out-
The End Of Things Book I
Lissa Bryan

Available from: AmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and TWCS PH


  1. Replies
    1. YOU are most welcome, sweets!!! I'm SO excited to see this book. Sent you an email about my OWN copy!!!!