Friday, November 8, 2013

Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)

Ilsa J. Black
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: September 6, 2011

It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling post-apocalyptic novel about a world that could become ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.


This is not a light task, reading this book. It is dark. It is depressing. It is disgusting. It is long. Cannibalistic unevolved-ape-teens (or rather reverse-evolved…not that I subscribe to evolution, but read the book, you’ll understand) that are the “Changed,” blood, gore. Action, killing, guns, fighting…all the things a guy likes, wrapped up in a neat 480-page package.

There are many unique ideas of this dystopian novel that I have not encountered anywhere else. You can tell Bick knows her stuff, because everything is believable. It’s easy to buy into Ashes and give yourself over to the story.

*Caution: There may be some spoilers, so proceed with care*

I LOVE THIS BOOK. This book is a whirlwind of motion. A fast-paced page-turner. Once it got started (and it did take a couple chapters to get going) it didn’t stop. There were slow-downs, enough to let you catch your breath, and then it ramped back up.

Alex, the heroine, is a strong, independent, self-sufficient young lady. I love her, but her whining gets on my nerves some times. I can only take so much woe-is-me before I want a character killed off. And Alex pushed my limits a few times. There’s a lot of character development, a lot of growth. She has to make grown-up decisions, and on the fly most of the time. She is very realistic and I could relate to her. There are tons, literally so many supporting characters that I sometimes forgot who was who. I’m sure, since this is a series, that many of them will be developed more and that more of their stories will be revealed. I want to know more about Jesse and Chris. And Tom. And Ellie (who I hated, then loved, then missed).

The people of Rule are a conundrum. Are they just making do in post-apocalyptic America? Or are they continuing life-as-they-know-it, with a few minor hiccups? And what’s with the Council of Five? And the empty chair? They are so cult-tastic and creepy in their own right. What’s their deal?

Ilsa J. Bick is wicked. Not bad, but wicked in the awesome way that very few authors get to be. She wove a masterful tale that has me hooked and wanting, no, craving more of this series. I love her for writing this book, and hate her for not having the sequel ready for me to read! I need it like NOW!

5 Moons


Other Books in this Series

Shadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2)Monsters (Ashes Trilogy, #3)

Click the cover to go to Goodreads page.

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