Dystopian, Fantasy, General YA, Romance, Thriller, Tough Stuff:


25 Jan 2014 by Becca, No Comments »
AshesAshes by Ilsa J. Bick
Series: The Ashes Trilogy #1
Published by Egmont USA Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, General YA, Thriller, Tough Stuff, YA Romance
Pages: 465

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.

It’s a peculiar feeling to make it to the end of a chapter and have anxiety about moving to the next page.

Coupled with the fact that Alex is pretty dark in comparison to your typical ‘heroine-kick-ass’ protagonist, you can expect the s-h-i-t to continuously hit the fan throughout the novel.

I like Alex. She doesn’t depend on others to keep going and she is certainly self-sufficient in terms of surviving in a variety of conditions, but she is still vulnerable because until the EMP changed everything, she was ready to die.

Ashes is gritty. Ashes is disgusting at times. The novel drives forward at a frantic pace for much of the novel. After reading some reviews about Ashes, I couldn’t disagree more with some of the common complaints. The novel is unrealistic? Yea, okay maybe it is in some ways, but perhaps the author never strove to make the book completely realistic – some ‘gifts’ throughout the novel show that the author was not reaching for something overly realistic anyways.

Also, some complained about the pacing of the book. Yes, the first half of the novel is fast-paced and intense. The second half of the novel slows down somewhat, but I feel that this was good for the development of the characters and the novel. If Ashes was merely a series of chaotic events then I think it would depreciate greatly from the quality of the book.

The latter half of the novel also dealt with some psychological aspects for the protagonist. Certain faces fade from Alex’s memories and you can connect with this fact because when you lose someone, it is only human to have memories of the minute details fade away.

Ashes tugs on my heart strings several times throughout the novel. This occurred not only in the romantic scenes, but also on the connection with some of the novel’s furrier characters. One quote in particular, where Ghost is so excited he wants to climb on her head made me laugh out loud – sheer cuteness.

It helps that the novel doesn’t revolve around romance as well. Alex develops as a character in ways that don’t rely on her interactions with men.

Over all, I liked this book a lot. I already have the sequel “Shadows” ready to go and look forward to diving into the book.


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