Second Look: Ilsa J. Bick’s ASHES (2011)

I have to admit, when I first found out this was going to be a trilogy, I wasn’t pleased.  I’m so over series.  But after finishing it this afternoon, I cannot wait for book 2 to come out!  That being said, the review (and subsequent squealing).

The Basics
ASHES (Ashes Trilogy, BK1)
Ilsa J. Bick
September 2011, Egmont USA, Hardcover

The Lowdown
It’s the end of the world as we know it.  While on a spontaneous camping trip to say good-bye to her dead parents, several EMP (electromagnetic pulses) go off and destroy all electronic devices.  Alex must find a way to survive, with 7 year old Ellie, and find help. 

That’s not the worst of it, though.  On their way down from the Mountain, they run into The Changed – kids and young adults who have become animalistic versions of themselves after The Zap (as Alex calls it). 

It’s Into the Wild meets Hunger Games (though I’ve not read either, so I’m just assuming the comparison works). 

And since I hate writing summaries of books – I’ll end there and tell you why you should read it.

Reasons Why You Should Go and Read This Book
Bick is an awesome writer.  This isn’t normally my genre to read, but I couldn’t put it down.  Her writing is smooth and fluid.  I was so into the book within the first few pages and I found myself not wanting to do anything other than find out what happens next. 

The storyline’s pretty unique. For all the apocolyptic fiction out there, this is an interesting take.  It’s sort of like nuclear fallout with zombies – I will admit that.  But Alex is a strong character and drives the story forward.  With all the technology we use today, it’s interesting to think what we would do when we couldn’t just get on a cell phone and call home.

Cliffhanger! Bick ends almost every chapter with a cliffhanger.  The worst, though, is the cliffhanger on the last page – I want to pick up the next book so badly!  Like I said earlier, I wasn’t totally sold on reading the other books in the series, but now I know I’ll get the second.

Romance? Shomance.  There’s two blooming romances for Alex, though one doesn’t develop until well into the book.  The second Alex fights, but by the end of the book I found myself rooting for this kid.  I’m a hopeless romantic, though.  So if you’re not into romancy-things, that’s OK because the book really doesn’t focus on it, like at all.

There’s a cult – who doesn’t like a good cult? Rule – the main “city” of the book is quite the cult.  Alex rails against this but then finds herself becoming “one of them” only to be pushed into trying to escape.  I won’t give away more because this is what really leads to the cliffhanger ending and the OMG-I-CANNOT-WAIT-FOR-BOOK-TWO!  Let’s just say, it involves a very tricky trickster.

Star Rating: 8.5/10]

If you’ve read this – PLEASE COMMENT! I’m dying to talk about it.


6 thoughts on “Second Look: Ilsa J. Bick’s ASHES (2011)

  1. shweta says:

    hey!love the book also..i practically failed my science test cuz i wanted to finish it soo baad..(srsly,i borrowed it yesterday evening and finished it in school today)

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