Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
Series: Ashes Trilogy #1
Published by Egmont USA on September 6th 2011
Alex has run away and is hiking through the wilderness with her dead parents' ashes, about to say goodbye to the life she no longer wants to live. But then the world suddenly changes. An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky zapping every electronic device and killing the vast majority of adults. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who has changed... Everyone still alive has turned - some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh). Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the zombies that are on the hunt, Alex meets up with Tom - an Army veteran who escaped one war only to find something worse at home - and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse. This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to find food, shelter, while fighting off the 'Changed' and those desperate to stay alive. A tense and involving adventure with shocks and sudden plot twists that will keep teen and adult readers gripped.
With a creepy cover and the promise of something a little different, Ashes was a book that needed some investigation.
Ashes is a book that you will want to devote some time to. This is not a book that you can start on a weekend and maybe finish by Monday. No! Once you get into it, you will not be able to stop. For me, I started it on a whim one Thursday evening. Hoping to just find a book to suck me in. The next thing I know, it is 5 a.m. Friday morning. Yup, I stayed up all night with this one.
I have a confession. I did not know that this was a zombie book. But Kate, it say it right there in the summary. I know, I know. But when I started Ashes, it had probably been over a month, maybe two since I had last read the summary. I started this one purely with the hope of some post-apocalypse action. Let me tell you, that first zombie scene, I almost dropped my Kindle. It was so happy to see zombies. And Bick… wow, those are damn good zombies. Just enough gore. Plenty of creep factor. Yet not over the top. Nor were they so scary that I just wanted to skip over all the details. A fantastic balance.
While I would love to sit here and praise Ashes all day long, I can't. For every plus that Ashes had, there was a con somewhere down the line. Some, I could over look. Such as, the electromagnetic pulse never getting a scientific possibility. It was always military related. Was it cause Tom had a military background? I don't know. Had these characters never heard of the Sun giving off electromagnetic pulses? Again, I don't know. But it was just odd. Other issues… well, as much as I want to discuss them, I can't. Too many spoilers and such. *cough* Ellie *cough* I am just hoping that these loose threads will find resolution in the next book.
Ashes quite possibly is the best post-apocalptic book I have ever read. A great premise. Zombies. Romance. And choices. I had a blast yelling at the characters for some of the choices they made. Did not always agree with most of them. But that was part of the fun. Putting myself into Alex's place. Imagining how things might have been if I had gone my way instead of hers. Bick knows how to craft a story. And with her cruel, cruel cliffhanger, I am now desperately awaiting a sequel.
Kate is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. I am a twenty-something year old who is passionate about reading. I currently hold a B.A. in English and am married to my high school sweetheart. We have two (cat) children, Gracie and Kit, who are total divas. I have an insane and possibly unhealthy passion for reading. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book.
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