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A YA Interplanetary Journey of Gifted, Troubled Teens into Hostile Worlds

The Shadows We Make

Jo Allen Ash


The Shadows We Make is action-packed and intelligently crafted…a high-stakes adventure with thoughtful world building and strong emotional themes.”
— K.C. Finn, Readers Favorite
UNITED STATES, September 28, 2022 / -- An author of many genres is making her debut targeting the young adult audience with THE SHADOWS WE MAKE by Jo Allen Ash -- a dystopian tale filled with bravery, magic and the binding power of friendship. Driven with tropes of engaging with a world unknown, and healing from troubles past, an unlikely band of teenagers must learn not only to trust each other — but to trust in themselves and the gifts they must embrace. Told in the first person from three different points of view, the journey through this dark alien world is fast-paced, unexpected and thrilling when seen through different eyes.

The story follows sixteen-year-old Grace Irese, a desert warrior with a chip on her shoulder, and Duncan Oaks, a teenage member of the Grif-Drif Con-Artist Guild. After struggling with their emotions, both teens find themselves expelled from their planet, expected to serve out life sentences in an off-world juvenile facility. But Grace has unfinished business on her home planet, and Duncan must get back to save his younger sister, who is in imminent danger.

Together, the teens come to terms with the many mistakes they have made and plot together to escape the facility — but the alien world they face is more terrible and dangerous than they ever could have anticipated. Through their alternating viewpoints, readers not only experience the many shocks of the journey these characters go on, but they also can see how each character charmingly grapples with their own self-worth, their regrets and how they open themselves up to trust and friendship.

Not only will readers experience these emotional shifts with the characters, but they will discover right alongside the teens that there is more to this terrifying alien world than Grace and Duncan have noted on the surface — including magical abilities, which Grace may even harbor within herself.

Jo Allen Ash, the pen name for author Robin Maderich, has created a complex and enthralling world of monsters, dangers, powers and struggles that, perhaps, only these characters could be prepared for. With tough pasts involving addiction, loss, resounding hopelessness and unexpected magic, it’s heartwarming to watch as this band of characters opens up to one another and leans into their unexpected friendship during the darkest of times. But up until the final page, Grace, Duncan and company will wonder if they will succeed in their escape — or if their journey will change them all forever.

While THE SHADOWS WE MAKE works as a stand-alone novel, the next book in the planned series is entitled The Thrice-Gifted Child and continues where THE SHADOWS WE MAKE leaves off, with the same cast of characters, and more. Fans of the first book will highly anticipate the second.

The book has already been garnering praise:

“An excellent young adult novel… compelling… riveting,” says

BookLife writes, “a beautifully crafted SF dystopia with relatable characters and a skillful plot.”

“The Shadows We Make is action-packed and intelligently crafted… a high-stakes adventure with thoughtful world building and strong emotional themes," says K.C. Finn, Readers Favorite.

THE SHADOWS WE MAKE is available now from Amazon, other online retailers, and through brick-and-mortar stores.

In her writing career, Robin Maderich has been both traditionally and self-published. Her books have been released by the former Warner Books and Kensington, as well as indie companies under her own name and several pseudonyms. Her historical Once and Always (written as Alyssa Deane), was translated and sold in Russia, Denmark, France and Germany. She self-publishes the Connor Falls Christmas series as Robin Maderich.

Ms. Maderich has always wanted to return to writing for the young adult and middle-grade reader. Perhaps this is why The Shadows We Make, penned as Jo Allen Ash and her debut as a young adult author, is the accomplishment about which she is most excited.

The next book in the planned series is entitled The Thrice-Gifted Child, which will be released in January 2023. Visit

Robin Maderich
Potter Street Books