Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick – Dystopian at is best!

Posted 20 September, 2011 by Danny in / 8 Comments

by Ilsa J. Bick (website, twitter)
Ashes Trilogy #1
genre: YA dystopian
Published September 6th 2011 by EgmontUSA
copy received from publisher
amazon (Kindle, Paperback, audiobook)
synopsis from goodreads

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

Wow this is a very stunning and incredibly awesome start in a new dystopian series. It started out very slow but then picked up pace until I couldn’t stop reading anymore.

“zap” and the world you know is not the same anymore! 

The most disturbing fact is, that this is the story that tell the transition from the world how we know it to a world that has to rearrange itself after a drastic catastrophe.
The main character Alex, a Teen girl, that has been diagnosed with a brain tumor is alone in the woods when the “Zap” happens. After this every electronic devise is not working anymore and she’s on her own with only a scared and annoying 8 year old girl and a dog. Since they are in the middle of nowhere they try to reach the next rangers station which is a few days walking away. On this journey they see very disturbing things that made gasping for air and they meet Tom the only boy that still seems normal apart from them.

Alex: a wonderful strong female teen lead! 

Imagine being 16(or 17) years old and in the middle of a catastrophe that changes everything and then having to deal with a frightened 8 year old that is annoyingly stubborn. Alex is admiringly strong and determined and would do anything to keep the girl and herself save. I absolutely loved Alex as an character and her voice was strong and genuine. I also loved the way Ellie (the 8yrs old) was described. Stubborn, annoying but still a little girl that is just extremely scared. The way how their relationship developed over their journey to find the ranchers station was incredible.

Tom: Love him and his voice!!

With the introduction of Tom we finally meet another one that survived the big “Zap” and I fel in love with him instantly! I ADORED his voice, I couldn’t get enough of him. The way he interacts with Ellie was beautiful and wonderful. I loved the dialogues between him and Alex, I simply loved this person. He was exactly what Alex and Ellie needed and together they tried to find out what happened to the world and how to go on from now.

The story is so much rich and deeper than you’d expect! 

And although this seems already like enough story to tell in one book, the story and plot gets even richer and deeper when the 3 try to find a place to hide and when they are looking for supplies.

I could talk about this story forever, but of course I don’t want to spoil anything… but be aware the plot is immensely deeper and much more will happen and it will leave you angry and sad.

The world that now exists is very dangerous and they all have to learn that they cannot trust another person apart from themselves. Catastrophes like this bring out the good and the very bad of people and Mrs Blick pictured and captured this perfectly.

Bottom Line

I was drawn into this story and I felt deeply connected to Alex and Tom. The writing is beautiful drastic and honest and perfectly to tell this story. If you are a fan of dystopian novels, you have to mark this one. It is an fantastic, disturbing but at the same time wonderful story. With characters are seem extremely genuine and that need to have a place in your heart!

But, one last warning, the ending leaves you hanging and gasping and screaming!

Random Notes and additional info: 
The second books is scheduled for 2012 and titles: Shadows! I can’t wait for it. And… talking about covers, I don’t particularly like the US cover although it truly seems fitting. But I ADORE the german cover and simply wanted to share it with you! Isn’t is super duper pretty? I love the intensity of the girls’ eyes and the forest behind… and white birds symbolize hope for me. I simply love it!!

Much love my friends, 
P.S.: As of today, I’m FINALLy back because today was a very special “book birthday” …  I just handed in my PhD thesis!!!!WOOooT…  It looks soooo pretty!!!! 
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8 Responses to “Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick – Dystopian at is best!”

  1. Truly Bookish

    Huge congrats on handing in your thesis!!! That's fantastic news! Thanks for this great review as well. I am getting this from my library and am excited to start reading it.
    Truly Bookish

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  2. hrose2931

    The German cover is beautiful! I have to say that the US cover doesn't make me want to pick it up. But yours is not the only raving review I've seen of this book. So, I'll have to put it on the TBR list. I have to read what I have now, but I am very interested in a 17 yr old and an 8 yr old trying to survive a zombie invasion and I want to know what happens to her tumor.

    My recent post Guys Read 2 Thriller edited by Jon Scieszka

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