Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Post-Apocalypse, Young Adult
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.
Ashes is a spectacular and well done post-apocalyptical story that takes the idea of zombies and twists it into something unique. The main character, Alex, is hiking up a mountain when a Electro-Magentic pulse goes off and kills off many people, destroys the tumor in her brain that was killing her and turns teenagers and young adults into lunatics whose only goal is to well eat you. The idea has to do with the brains of the people during the pulse is something that I really love. There are "not" zombies and then of course there is the exploration of what people do when faced with such a situation.
Some people pillage, other try to create safe havens, some lose all of their moral judgement in favor of survival, others refuse to leave loved ones that have gone feral and instead choose to go down with them. Others, of course, try to be heroes.
Alex is a very interesting character, at the beginning she pretty much only has one goal and wants to avoid people at all costs, but as soon as she is forced into Ellie's company, a very protective loyal side of her emerges. She is independent and intellectual, trying to figure out what in the world is going on and not ready to just accept whatever other people tell her as fact.
The writing sucked me in and kept me reading until the very end. It is a thriller, fast paced and full of action (and the horror of a world falling apart).
Oh, my, god! The town creeped me out, and I thought it was terrible that they casted people out, but the fact that they send these people TO THE CRAZED TEENS as tribute disturbed me so much, and then Alex is sent there so she'll be "rescued". What a place to stop it! (very well done Bick, very well done). There is so much about this that reminds me of books such as The Forest of Hands and Teeth where there is a highly religious town/society in the middle of a sea of zombies, is this how they started? With people seeking their help and having no choice but to follow?
I also really hope Ellie is okay, she is such a prat, but like Alex I grew attached to her, if only for the fact that they survived the Pulse together. I also have a theory (which may be completely out there) that Ellie's headphones and iPod are part of what kept her from turning zombie-like.
I also really want to find out what happens next, does Alex escape? Does she end up in some other messed up place caused by people trying to escape the aftereffects of the pulse? What is the government doing? If the entire world was affected, who did it, why did they do it and what are all the countries going to do next?
Yeah, I'm hooked.
If you like post-apocalyptical books, you will love this book. If you like fast paced thrillers, involving independent teenaged heroines who don't take shit, you will love this book. Oh, and of course if you're a fan of interesting and unique zombie ideas you will love this book.