September 19, 2012

Review: Ashes

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
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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.


This book is terrifying…Okay that might be slightly dramatic, but I have this super irrational zombie fear and it’s like Ashes went into my mind, stole my worst fears and brought them to life. Like I said terrifying.

Ashes follows Alex, a 17-year-old with a brain tumor, who chose the wrong day to take off and climb off into the wilderness, or maybe she chose the right day seeming as how a worldwide electromagnetic pulse swept through the world killing the vast majority of adults. The people who survived the attack are either spared or changed.

Thankfully Alex is sort of the later. She survived the pulse that shocked the world , but it changed her giving her some kind of super spidey sense, which is way better than the alternate. Now here’s the problem. I’ve literally been finished with this book for a few days and yet I’m having a terribly hard time reviewing it.

I love Alex. I do. Her character was well thought out by the author, Ilsa L. Bick and while she flounders sometimes, which is expected it’s not every day you deal with some kind of zombie apocalypse, she has a lot of great characteristics. She’s strong, smart, loyal and she’s got this overwhelming sense of good that makes me root for her to shoot some zombie brains.

I also love Tom and Ellie and Mina too. For the first half of this book the plot and character interactions literally kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t put it down…until I got so scared I had to stick the Kindle in the freezer. If you don’t watch Friends that reference will be totally lost on you, which is so sad. Anyway, the scene at the lake where Tom saves Ellie and Alex and they all first meet was perfection.

I love how they formed their own makeshift family in spite of the craziness that was going on around them. But once we hit the hallway point and Tom was shot and Ellie was taken from them it was like the entire tone of the book changed. I can honestly say despite my crazy zombie fear I was on the edge of my seat with this book until that point.

I love it I was involved and fangirling and just praising the author in my head as I tried to decide which quote I wanted to use in my review, but then it was like everything came to a complete halt. I understand the need to deviate and leave open questions especially when writing a series, but once Alex made it to Rule there was a whole new set of characters and mysteries without giving us, the reader, hi there, any hints on what happened to the first set of characters.

All we get are disjointed clues; Tom disappearing from the back of the store, the whistle she gave to Ellie is some boy’s pocket. I feel like Ellie and Mina might have found Tom and helped him, but I have no idea if that’s true and honestly that bugs me. The concept for Ashes was awesome, but I sort of feel let down that the second half of this book was so lackluster. Rule was pretty much a breeding colony for the spared. Women answered to men and needed escorts and at first Alex was fighting that and questioning things, but then once she and Chris, the main spared guy from Rule, started getting along she pretty much gave up fighting and wanting to leave until she found the whistle in the dead boys pocket.

What is up with that?!? One of the main reasons I love Alex so much is because she’s independent, she earns her keep, helps where she can, and questions things. She’s smart and resourceful and I felt like she forgot that once she settled in Rule.

Overall I’m disappointed. The first half of this book was easily five hearts, but combined with the second half of the book which was two hearts at most probably less, the whole thing averaged out to about three hearts. I am going to read Shadows the second I’m done with this review, because I need to know what happened to Tom, I’m compulsive that way. But I haven’t decided whether or not I would recommend this book yet. When I finish Shadows and have a clearer picture of what’s going on I’ll reevaluate then.

Does this review feel a little disjointed to you jumping this way and that? Lovely now you know how I feel about this book.


  1. I hate to say it, but this has convinced me that I'm not going to finish this book. But it's okay I have lots of other zombie books on my kindle to read

    1. Haha, but, but not finish??? Haha I think I've only done that with one book ever. LOL I really need to get crackin' on the sequel though.


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