Ilsa J. Bick
Pub date: 9/13/2011
product description from goodreads.com
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 tells the story of what the world is like after a sudden, unexplained phenomenon that turns most of the population into zombies. In it, we follow Alex and a handful of others as they try to survive in a new, structured society. Ashes is so descriptively written, with such honesty and suspense, that I found myself holding my breath right along with Alex as The Changed (what they call the zombies) sought her out!
Ilsa J. Bick's writing is nothing short of spellbinding. From the first words, the reader is snatched into Alex's world, and we aren't let go until the final pulse-pounding page. Along the way, we are introduced to an eclectic array of characters:the spitfire child Ellie; the romantic and heroic Tom; the strong and independent Jess; the loyal Chris and many others. Bick's way of creating characters the reader loves to hate is priceless. Even with Alex, there were times where I was so mad at her but loved her more and more. And though Tom (Alex's love interest) did things that were questionable at best, I couldn't help but root for him right up until the last page.
Once Alex found other survivors (I won't go into too much detail as to how), the story took a different direction that was both unexpected and interesting. Often when a book does that I am left wanting the way things were. But with Ashes, I kept plowing through the chapters with a frenzy, desperate to find out if things would end as I hoped (which they didn't, but in such a good, climactic way that it ensured I would be picking up the next book!).
I happily give Ashes 5 stars. It is 400+ pages of brilliant writing, spot-on description and vibrant, multi-dimensional characters that will leave you breathless. An excellent read that I hope all of you will add to your lists!