Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)

Title:  Ashes
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
 Egmont USA
Publishing Date: January 1st 2011
Pages: 496
Genre:  YA Post-Apocalyptic Horror
Series: Ashes Trilogy #1
Source: Audio


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.

This book has been on my TBR list since my husband read it and loved it. I sometimes feel that there are too many post apocalyptic books in the market and they can get depressing so I put this one off for a while. Now that the 3rd book in the series is coming out this month I decided I needed to get to this book. This book was incredible. It was a bit more realistic then some post apocalyptic books and I felt like a real part of the story from the very beginning. The story was great, it did have some very disturbing, very hard parts to digest at times, but it was well worth the read. The main character was pretty awesome. The writing was superb. I couldn’t have asked for more …. Well except the next book.

Alex is a 17 year old girl who has had a pretty hard life and has lots of tragedy and darkness in her life. She takes some time to herself to think things through on a camping and trip. While camping the world changes. People die, people change, all electronics are out, and everything is out of control. Desperate to find a way to help she takes a hike with an 8 year old orphan girl and a soldier boy. Along the way she finds more trouble, a little bit of romance, and some pretty strong relationships. She still has her personal demons to face but things are starting to look up... well except everyone else seems to be a crazed lunatic or dead.

I didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I heard and read many raving reviews but still shied away from starting the book. I am not sure if it was the over abundance of post apocalyptic and zombie books, the cover I didn’t fancy at all, or just the fact there were so many other books on my TBR taking priority. I just didn’t feel the need to start the book. I have had the book sitting on my audio for a while and decided to give it listen when I was contacted by the publisher about the 3rd book…

All I can say is wow this book was intense. There was no slow beginning and not a moment to breath throughout the entire book. I was on the edge of my seat and not wanting to stop the book for even a sliver of a second. I was that engrossed into this story. The book wasn’t just face paced and thrilling, it was written perfectly. The tone fit so naturally into the story , I felt I was there. Dark, confusing, scary, it had it everything this story called for to make just right.

The characters didn’t lack either. I loved the main character, Alex. She had her moments, her life was so full of tragedy already and now she is thrown into this scary new world, she did complain at times. But no more, actually probably a bunch less than most of us would. She was a real fighter even when she didn’t know what she was fighting for or had anything left to fight for. She didn’t back down and she didn’t give in. She was very smart and knew how to survive.

I also loved Ellie. She was the typical 8 year old at first. Full of attitude and lacking in gratitude she was a brat. She came around and I fell in love with her. She was a great addition the cast. I liked Tom too. He was a great guy and I couldn’t help but swoon a bit. Protective, smart, fit, loveable… yes he had it all. There are so many other secondary characters and minor characters in this story, it would take bit to go though them all but they were all great. I either loved them or hated them and when they were good they were awesome, when they were bad they were just plain evil. Loved it.

The book was really more of a survival story then anything but it did have some romance. Not a bunch but enough to keep me going. There were so many different relationships that Alex took, love, friendship, mentor, it was hard to fit a lot of romance in. It was very well rounded and I enjoyed all of the building of all the relationships in her new life.

I really can’t think of any negatives in this book. There does seem to be a possibility of a love triangle down the line but it is really way too early to tell. Not sure where the story will go from where it ended but I can’t wait to find out.

I am dying to get the next book, I am dying for more of the story because this one was so much more than awesome.


  1. If you thought this one didn't give you a chance to breath, wait until you read the next one. Still very intense. And be warned -- it's a bit more gory. Can't wait for Monsters! Great review.

  2. I agree about not being able to breath during this book. The narrator was fantastic, wasn't she? The rest of the series is just as intense. I'm reading the last book, Monsters, right now, and it's pretty awesome. Glad you loved this one!


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