Review - Ashes by Isla Bick

Title: Ashes
Ashes Trilogy #1
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmontusa
Publish Date: Sept 8, 2011
Hardcover, 480 pages

Barnes and Noble (nookbook $7)

Starting with the obvious, this book is gore to the max. It has stories about flesh eating zombies. That said, I am so surprised I liked this book. I truly do not care for gore. Ew! It's gross. And the better the the author, the better the descriptions, the grosser it is. I don't want to read about a human turned zombie, kneeling down licking the fingers they just dragged through the oozing eye of a dead person.

On the other hand, this book had a major amount of humanity. It talks about what would happen should we have a sort of apocalypse; some die, some live and (of course) some become flesh eating zombies.

Main character: Alex, a woman set off on a journey to hike a mountain with her parent's ashes on her. Not only that she has a tumor in her head that is killing her and she has finally decided to forgo anymore treatments. This is her last hurrah. I like her. She is honest, fresh and wholesome. She is sweet and not afraid to speak her mind. Yet, I love the kindness she shows the strangers she encounters.

Enter Tom and Ellie, a grandfather and granddaughter who are out and about doing similar things as Alex. Trying to connect after Ellie's father died in the war. All she has left is anger and a dog she isn't too fond of.

With this one occurrence, they are pushed together for survival. They do not necessarily choose each other out of want, but rather the need. Alex allows Ellie to form her own opinions and then once decided, she is there for her. Even as a total stranger she realizes the losses Ellie endures at such a young age. The compassion is wonderful.

Sadly they never really tell what happened originally to wreak the havoc that occurs. There is much speculation about an EMP burst, a nuclear bomb. The fact is something terrible has happened that has destroyed the earth, or the parts they inhabit.

After the incident, Alex is different. Her headaches are nearly gone and she can smell from amazing distances. She knows something is going on in her body, but not exactly sure what. There is also no reason as to why some people died, some people changed and some people lived. They find a connection that teens who are going through puberty could now become zombies, but does that mean Ellie will change? They even encounter a man who has a friend who died, a friend who was fine for a couple of days and then BOOM instant zombie and he had to kill him before he was attacked. Will Alex change? What about the people Alex and Ellie encounter, will they change unexpectedly?

The ending is so amazingly wrong I couldn't help but be completely stunned and really excited to read the next one. In a very demented way. This book was so off and yet, I truly loved it. It's like the scary movie I cannot watch so I put my hands over my eyes and then peak through my fingers.

Summary -
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 novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.


Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Grooooooooooosssssssssss! Your description about the eyeball was awful! But the rest of it sounds amazing.

Vidya-BooksAreMagic said...

Great review! But it still feels GROOOSSSSS (you said it so many times, but can't help it because there is no other word I can come up with)!