Jo Allen Ash

Jo Allen Ash is the pen name Robin Maderich has chosen for her young adult titles. She has begun referring to this alter ego on a first name basis, as Jo. “It’s rather fun, as if she’s somehow separate from who I am. Leaves me free to contemplate new tales in wildly imaginative ways, uninhibited by self-doubt. This is what I tell myself. This is what I choose to believe. And this is how I write as Jo.”

As Jo Allen Ash, Ms. Maderich has penned a young adult tale of dystopian sci-fi/fantasy filled with complex and compelling characters (“according to someone other than me, someone who reviews books for a living,” says Maderich/Ash). In The Shadows We Make Jo Allen Ash has burrowed down into dark themes, such as addiction, hopelessness and loss, which are countered by the strength and quality and unexpected sweetness of forged friendships. The next book in what she plans will become a series is entitled The Thrice-Gifted Child and continues where The Shadows We Make leaves off, with the same cast of characters and a few more besides. The Shadows We Make will release in July 2022 and The Thrice-Gifted Child in January 2023.

Grace Irese, sixteen-year-old desert warrior with a chip on her shoulder, is gifted in ways she does not yet realize. Duncan Oaks, teenage member of the Grif-Drif con-artist guild, is a boy who has made one bad choice too many. Finding themselves remanded to an off-world juvenile facility with lifetime sentences, Grace and Duncan plot an escape into the horrific environment beyond, determined to save Duncan’s young sister from Grace’s war-torn world.  Can they and their unlikely companions survive their quest unscathed, or will they find they’ve been forever altered?

Set in dark alien worlds and told in the first person with three separate voices, The Shadows We Make is a fast-paced tale filled with conflict, bravery, a touch of strange magic and characters bound by unexpected friendship

Here’s what BookLife had to say in their review: “…intricate worldbuilding…deliciously complex characters… A beautifully crafted SF dystopia.” The reviewer also stated The Shadows We Make would be a great read for fans of such stellar books as Tara Brown’s Born and Bella Forrest’s The Girl Who Dared to Think.

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