Ashley’s CBR III Review #86: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

CBR III Review #86:  Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes is one part zombie and one part apocalypse fiction.   There is a huge flash in the sky and Alex drops to the ground in considerable pain.  Alex was in the mountains, far from civilization, saying goodbye to her dead parents.  The elderly man she ran into moments before the flash is now dead and his pain in the ass 8-year-old granddaughter, Ellie, who doesn’t appear to understand the significance of what has occurred, is now without a guardian.  All their electronic equipment has gone dead and Alex must hike through the dangerous mountains to find help.

It doesn’t take long for the characters to figure out that a electromagnetic pulse has wiped out all their computer and electronic equipment, but who set it off and why?  As Alex and Ellie make their way through the dangerous terrain they run into a few survivors of the pulse who appear intent on eating them alive.

I’m not sure why Ashes is labeled as young adult other than the main character Alex is a young adult herself.  The novel seems to equally divide itself into two parts.  The first part is Alex’s journey through the woods while trying to decide if heading back to society to find out what happened is a good idea.  During the first part of the novel you to hurry Alex and her companions out of the woods so they (and you as the reader) can find out what is truly going on.  Ironically, when they decide to leave the relative safety of the woods you want to yell at them because their reasoning makes very little sense. Overall, I understand that the writer needed a way to further the story.

The second part of Ashes is Alex taking up residence (not of her own volition) in a very strange and ultra religious town. While reading other reviews of this novel I found that most people loved the first part of the novel and hated the second part.  I on the other hand enjoyed the second part more than the first, but I have soft spot for supernatural religious nut job stories.  It wasn’t until I finished the novel that I realized there was not going to be any resolution and it has a planned sequel.  I just hope it’s not part of a trilogy.
I enjoyed reading Ashes but it’s a weird apocalypse/zombie  novel.  It wasn’t what I was expecting at all.  Some parts of Ashes does begin to drag and I think a few parts could be taken out to condense the novel just a bit.

I’ll follow up with the sequel whenever it shows up in stores. I do hope the sequel better explains what has happened to society and what caused it.  I was never 100% sure why certain people turned into zombies and why other did not.

This title will be released on September 6, 2011.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606841750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606841754
  • Shipping Information: View shipping rates and policies
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,373 in Books
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