Blog Tour | Walking Shadows

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I’m super excited today to be a part of the blog tour for ALARUM by Talis Jones!! ALARUM is the first book in Walking Shadows, a YA Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic series, and to my thrill the tour included an option to read SOLUS, the second book, too! You might’ve already seen my promo posts back in October for ALARUM but I couldn’t pass up the chance to promote here on my blog again! Keep reading for an awesome giveaway, my reviews of ALARUM and SOLUS, and a book summary of ALARUM that I assembled using song lyrics

Book One


(Walking Shadows #1)
Talis Jones
(YA) Fiction | Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopia/Western
422 Pages
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
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I fled as they destroyed my home.
I watched as they murdered my family.
I stood silent as they stole my name and threw my life in chains.

I stare coldly at my fading reflection with only one question to ask:
Them or Me?

Set in a future where the United States has fallen, a girl is ripped from her home as a child and forced to endure the harshness around her or else surrender to the dust of bones she treads on. Her life becomes simple: kill or be killed. What she didn’t count on was the heavy cost this world would drain from her soul. When she crosses paths with a curious stranger who offers to show her a place without a map, they head across the crumbling land in search of the fabled Sanctuary. Neither enemies nor elements that rip her hair and claw at her heels can stand in the way of her will to survive.

They say demons lurk in the shadows, but here they strut boldly under the angry sun.


pooled ink Review

5 stars

Not my usual genre go-to but…something about this one really grabbed me ♥ It’s the type of book that will surprise you, make you want to throw it right out the window, but then you’ll find yourself desperately hunting for it just so you can read it all over again.

This book is told in the main character’s POV and I know first-person can be a major turn-off for some of you readers but I actually think it was the best way to go with the story. Instead of making it feel constricted or limited, rather it felt intimate and personal. In fact at times it almost felt like a memoir. The world-building is both established through the natural telling of the story and through flashbacks so there wasn’t any horrible dreaded info dumping (I can’t be the only one who hates that, right? Haha).

The MC isn’t a typical likable heroine, she’s sweet and innocent as a child until she cannot be so vulnerable anymore and grows up on the defensive becoming prickly and unapologetic. She goes under many transformations as life doles out card after card in a game she never signed up to play and with each one she receives a new name. So much happens in just this one book. So many changes, challenges, emotions, discoveries, deaths… So much action, seeking, laughter, anger, redemption… Romance isn’t at the center of the plot, or even much of a subplot really (although if you love romance like I do then you’ll be thrilled to hear about the companion novella, Dust to Dust, which centers on Fury and Riker) but that also worked for this book. It didn’t need it. It was gritty, unashamed, unexpected, wild, and something I’d never read before. Don’t pass over this one so easily.

If you’re looking for a standalone that crosses genres and captures the wild spirit of the American West, the grit of a dystopian future, and the heart of a girl who refuses to lie down when the demons come a calling, then Alarum is a definite must-read.
-pooled ink

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A Summary in Song

I had a lot of fun putting this together!! And don’t worry about spoilers, I chose lyrics that gave a nod to events and emotions in the story but obviously since these songs have nothing to actually do with Alarum they don’t give anything away really or if they might then it isn’t anything you don’t learn within the first couple chapters.
Also just a quick note: I do not own any rights to these song lyrics, I am not using them to profit, etc. This is a collage of lyrics taken from a variety of songs (all credited below). No offense is intended, just some innocent fun! And if you’d like to read the full lyrics for any of these songs then I highly suggest you look them up and give them a listen! You might find some new favorites!

Alarum_Teaser 1

What is childhood?
Something we remember

I can’t understand
How life goes on the way it does
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?
Oh I’m in pieces, it’s tearing me up, but I know
A heart that’s broke is a heart that’s been loved
So I’ll sing Hallelujah
You were an angel in the shape of my mum
Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me
How I’d love love love
To dance with my father again
We are prisoners of war
Used as human resources
Trying to break the chains
But the chains only break me down
I grew up overnight
I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go
Where the wind don’t change
And nothing in the ground can ever grow
No hope, just lies
And you’re taught to cry into your pillow
But I survived
I’m still breathing
I’m alive
When you’re through with life and all hope is lost
Hold out your hand ’cause friends will be friends
Right till the end
I get by with a little help from my friends
We were friends but how soon we forget
Betrayed and confused
I need to catch my breath
A smoking gun in your hand
Now don’t you realize what you’ve done
Put a bullet in his back
Your hero since you were so young
I started here so young and helped you get along
I don’t deserve to fall this way
Sometimes I cry thinking my future looks so bleak
After everything I lost on you
Is that lost on you?
Head down wait for tomorrow
Dark days soon will be over
I’ll find my place in the sun
When I hear a command I obey
In my own little corner
All alone
In my own
Little chair
Lift your head weary sinner, the river’s just ahead
If you’re lost and wandering
Come stumbling in like a prodigal child
See the walls start crumbling
Unspeakable things you’ve done
Let the past be dead and gone
Come all saints and sinners
Let the chains fall
You found me as I ran away
You found me and I never been so safe
I’ve come too far to go back now

I am looking for freedom, looking for freedom
And to find it, may take everything I have
Life hasn’t been very kind to me lately
But I suppose it’s a push for moving on
Something tells me good things are coming
And I ain’t gonna not believe
Mama, just killed a man

Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead
I’m scared of what is in my head

What’s inside my soul
I feel it burning through my veins
It’s driving me insane
Preacher man can’t save a soul like mine
I’m bound for the broken promise land
Miracles are just too damn hard to find
They call me useless, careless, nobody ought to miss

They call me hopeless, heartless, there’s no way out of this
I confess there’s a hole in my chest
From the things that I did
And the gun in my hand
I won’t rest till it’s all done and said
And I get what I give
I know my problems’ll probably catch up eventually
I got some things in my life, I know I should let ’em go
What you think about me
That doesn’t worry me
I need this, this is therapy for me
My mind and my gun they comfort me
Because I know I’ll kill my enemies when they come
But I can’t walk on the path of the right because I’m wrong
How can you save the world from itself
Daddy can you hear the devil drawing near

Like a bullet from a gun
Run daddy run

All the songs you used to sing to me
Would rock birds to sleep
I need you now so please somehow
Run daddy run
Gone, gone, gone

Faded into the setting sun
Slipped away
But I won’t cry
You are the light I follow
I will see you again
This is not where it ends
O sinners, let’s go down

Down in the river to pray
Good Lord, show me the way!

Alarum_Teaser 3

You came back, you came back

And I’m glad you begged my time
Are we the last living souls?
Do you remember we said, “Hello”
Said, “You are a friend of mine”

You must have saved me ’bout a thousand times
I wouldn’t be the one I am today
If you hadn’t been a friend of mine
How you doing, do you still remember me?
Are you still a friend of mine?
Now I see
Why I get nervous when you look at me
It’s like your eyes are trying to tell me something
That you’re more than just a friend of mine
Would you love me when I’m gone?
Would you love me when I’m dead?
Would you love me with a bounty on my head?
I got a really bad feeling I’m gonna love you so good
I’m your Bonnie and you’re my Clyde
Some things are just meant to be
Like a strike of match to gasoline
You needed me, we fell in love
I am not throwing away my shot
Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy, and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot
Every burden, every disadvantage
I have learned to manage
I walk these streets famished
The plan is to fan this spark into a flame
I’ll seek you out
Flay you alive
One more word and you won’t survive
And I’m not scared
Of your stolen power
I’m taking it slow
Feeding my flame
Shuffling the cards of your game
When you’re through with life and all hope is lost
Hold out your hand ’cause friends will be friends
Right till the end

Alarum_Teaser 6

I hear your whisper underneath your breath
I hear your SOS, your SOS
I will rescue you
There is no distance
That cannot be covered
I will rescue you
I will never stop marching to reach you
In the middle of the hardest fight
I will rescue you
Justice is a waste of time

He’ll see me but it’s the last time
By tonight it will be over
No way out I gotta do this
Him or me, okay let’s play
We’re knee deep side by side

The storm clouds are circling above us
As we struggle against the tide
Yelling in black

Cursing in white
Yeah seeing all red
Oh, I won’t be afraid

Just as long as you stand, stand by me
I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
Well, meet me mother and father

Meet me down the river road
I’m going under

Memories flash before my eyes
I’m losing time
White light fades to red
As I enter the City of the Dead
Hold my hand

Oh baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the river
Hold my hand
Forgive us now for what we’ve done

It started out as a bit of fun
Oh, children
We have the answer to all your fears
It’s short, it’s simple, it’s crystal-clear
It’s roundabout and it’s somewhere here
Lost amongst our winnings
We’re all weeping now, weeping because
There ain’t nothing we can do to protect you
I’m hanging in there, don’t you see?
In this process of elimination
Hey, little train, we are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
For one and only
For one so lonely

Faith creeps over me
I don’t wanna fight
A blinding white light
And I heard a cry
And it was mine
Burning to survive
How Jesus wept

Lyrics from: “Childhood Dreams” (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), “The End of the World” (Skeeter Davis), “Supermarket Flowers” (Ed Sheeran), “Dance With My Father” (Luther Vandross), “Prisoners of War” (Funker Vogt), “Chains” (The Sweeplings), “Alive” (Sia), “Friends Will Be Friends” (Queen), “With a Little Help From My Friends” (The Beatles), “We Were Friends” (Dare), “Coming For You” (Gaby Galvez), “Betrayed” (Avenged Sevenfold), “Lost on You” (LP), “Head Down” (Our Lady Peace), “In My Own Little Corner” (Rodgers & Hammerstein), “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)” (Crowder), “You Found Me” (Saxity), “Freedom” (Anthony Hamilton), “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen), “City of the Dead” (Eurielle), “Ain’t Gonna Drown” (Elle King), “Cold Blood” (Dave Not Dave), “Therapy Session” (NF), “Through the Valley” (Shawn James), “Run Daddy Run” (Miranda Lambert), “See You Again” (Carrie Underwood), “Down to the River to Pray” (old hymn), “You Came Back” (Peter Townshend), “Last Living Souls” (Gorillaz), “Friend of Mine” (Avicii), “Bounty On My Head” (Grizfolk), “Bonnie and Clyde” (Kelly Pickler), “My Shot” (Lin-Manuel Miranda), “Eyes On Fire” (Blue Foundation), “Rescue” (Lauren Daigle), “Raise A Little Hell” (Don Black & Frank Wildhorn), “Against The Tide” (Celldweller), “Seeing All Red” (Shakey Graves), “Stand By Me” (Florence + The Machine), “Ain’t No Grave” (Johnny Cash), “City of the Dead” (Eurielle), “Bottom of the River” (Delta Rae), “O Children” (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds), “Jesus Wept” (Sia)

Book Two


(Walking Shadows #2)
Talis Jones
YA Fiction | Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopia
333 Pages
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
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Born in an experimental lab before two outlaws stole him away, Bones has been planted into the vengeful earth growing strong with a gun in each hand. Given freedom by a group called Sanctuary he’s trained his powers carefully until one day they let him leave. Until one day he witnesses something that will cause his loyalty to waver. Until one day it’s his own name they vow to write with blood.

As the life he thought he knew threatens to crumble beneath his feet he takes to the road determined to explore with no tether but his plans quickly go awry when old adversaries capture him to pay for the sins of his saviors. Whether there remains any place in this harsh land that might dare call itself Home, he fights each challenger with a gun aimed at their chest and a laugh in his step.

When the world wants you dead,
dare to smile.


pooled ink Review

5 stars

Note: You don’t necessarily have to read Alarum to read Solus but I think it definitely adds a depth to the story and some more explanation if you do!

In the beginning, a young girl is torn from her home when society shattered around her and as she grew up in the callous aftermath she faced the world with fire in her veins. In this series continuation a boy is set free by the crimes of that same girl and he grows up fighting back prisons at every turn. While book one was a tale of fiery redemption, book two is a journey towards finding home. Bones is sweet, intelligent, a touch full of arrogant charm, and handy with both guns and medicines, and I loved following his battle against a tumultuous past determined to find a slice of peace where he belongs, no strings attached.

Unusual for a series these books don’t take place one right after the other or even follow the same MC and yet it felt like a natural transition. Seven years have passed, we’re following Bones’ story instead of Fury’s, but I loved this. The books are intimately connected and yet stand on their own.

Solus doesn’t travel around quite as much as in Alarum but seeing as how Bones and Fury are very different people that suits it understandably. We get to read a more empathetic POV with this book and also spend much more time learning about the daily lives of people in the Southern Coalition, something that had been hinted at but not much shown before. This book also shows us a different part of the Coalition. We not only spend time in Sanctuary but in the east mountains where towns are replaced by clans and the wild nature of the Coalition has a thinner facade. And another thing with the world-building, it grows. Slowly but surely we collect pieces about this new broken America, little fragments of Who? What? Where? How? Why? that play with my curiosity like a mouse on a string although each time I swipe my paw to catch it my attention is turned to something else in the story. I wonder what we’ll discover next…

Something I love about these books so far is how it doesn’t take much time to love the characters. Fury, Connors, Riker, Hero, Bones… And in Solus my favorites are Bones and Mara. Although I think there could be romantic possibilities in the future I felt it was rather refreshing for them to remain friends and actually develop more of a sibling bond. I love romance but it made for a nice change to not have so much present in the book, instead the theme of family was heavily explored and made me adore these characters much more.

Suffice it to say that the world-building expands, the list of characters I adore has grown, and I’m beyond ready to read whatever story comes next in the Walking Shadows series! I’ve no idea what to expect next but I’m excited for it anyway haha. I’m telling you, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! I need more people to read these books so I have someone to discuss them with!
-pooled ink

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Solus_Teaser image


Dust to Dust_Teaser image

Dust to Dust
(Walking Shadows #1.5)
Talis Jones
YA Fiction | Dystopian Romance
Publication Date: July 16, 2019

Keep an eye out for DUST TO DUST (Walking Shadows #1.5), a novella that takes place within book one to tell the tale of how Fury and Riker fell in love ♥

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The Giveaway

Alarum Blog Tour Giveaway

One (1) winner will receive a signed paperback copy of ALARUM, signed bookmarks, and this lovely necklace made from a genuine shotgun shell!
(Open to residents of the U.S. only)


The Author

Talis Jones

Talis Jones has always been an avid reader and any good story filled with fantasy and adventure is bound to be on her shelf. Graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Theatre she has explored both stage and film, now finding herself drawn towards the literary world as a new venue for storytelling. Inspired by her mixed heritage as a Mexican-Englishwoman raised in the wilds of America, she rallies for diverse characters and seeks to contribute with her own writing.

Dog lover, chocolate fanatic, and music enthusiast, Talis currently resides in North Carolina where she has found a home for now that provides all of those favorite things.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook
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2 thoughts on “Blog Tour | Walking Shadows

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