Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes Ilsa J. Bick
Published by Egmont Usa
464 pages
Genre- Dystopian
Challenge- 365+ pages
Rating- 5

Its been over three months since Alex's last Chemo session, and its her last change to make the trek up to lake superior in honor of her parents. Its something shes always wanted to do, and it seems like the last chance that she's going to be able to do it, what with a monstrous tumor chewing up her brain and all. About 6 days into the hike she meets a man Jack and his grand daughter Ellie, who are hiking also along with their dog Mina. (Ellie's about eight and lives with her grandfather ever since her father was KIA in Iraq, and her mother left when she was a child) While their talking something happens that changes practically the whole world as they know it. An Electromagnetic Pulse sweeps over all of America. whipping out all of the electricity and knocking everyone out, killing most people, including Jack, on impact. sparing only a few, driving animals insane, and changing all the teenagers, into.... well not teenagers. It becomes a fight for survival greatly aided by Tom, a soldier on leave from Afghanistan. with no electricity and no communication the trio doesn't know much about the world outside their campsite. But they know its going to be bad. Not only that but Alex can feel a change inside her. After the pulse her hands stoped shaking, and for the first time since the chemo killed her sense of smell she was able to smell the forest, taste food. Not only that but her sense of smell seems... Heightened. almost like she can smell what people are feeling, Fear, anger, love.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I started. It had gotten a raving review from a girl in my book club, and I snagged a Yalsa copy from my school library. But still, Its a zombie book, and I was like ehh? but it was an optimistic ehh, don't get me wrong. I think it helps that my ARC had an awesome cover helped a lot. I'm an admitted cover judge and the black/white one just doesn't cut it for me. BUT OH MY GOD! I was sucked in from practically the first page. Everything about Alex drew me in. How strong she was in a body dying on her. It was tragic and unbelievable. and not what the stories about. Elie was great, and like stable, not bipolar changing emotions half way throughout the book. Ellie's scared kid nature was completely realistic. (at least as realistic as you can be when the girl lives in a zombie Apocalypse) and Tom was cute. I am a complete Tom fan. He has the whole strong army man image, but the innocence of someone who went to war and saw things he wishes he would forget. The makeshift family of him, Alex and Ellie was adorable, but that was soon to end as all good things must. Once they started learning about what happened in the pulse was when Bick got really creative. And I don't want to go to spoilerly, but i really really want to talk about rule....(a kind of like safe town that their heading to) But arg I cant think of a way of doing it without ruining the whole Ashes experience for you. Just know that some crazy stuff happens there. and the plot that Bick created was so tightly knit and, well crazy. I loved rule though, although it was quite different from living on the road.

in a movie prospects, its like going from say,Zombieland, to The Village. (But like also compleatly diffrent lol :D)
Alex's super smelling senses were really cool, adding a touch of paranormal with the thriller/adventure/mystery of the whole book. quite amazing really. Oh another thing. The romance was really good. Not a lot (practically none at all) but it was good cause it didn't draw away from the story. but there was enough to keep you going.The only thing I didn't like was the extreme difference from the wilderness to Rule. I guess it was supposed to be like that but still, very different.

AND THE CLIFF HANGER ENDING! I want to turn Bick into a zombie for doing that to me. I want to know what happens next. RIGHT NOW! arg. Its like the type of book i want to read again and again and again and again, and then give it to someone else so they can do the same thing. Its just that kind of book.

So go see for your self! till then, Happy reading!

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XO, Dana