Halfway through, and I'm just going to stop now. I can't take anymore of this! I am thoroughly annoyed by the main character, Aria. Perry is okay, butHalfway through, and I'm just going to stop now. I can't take anymore of this! I am thoroughly annoyed by the main character, Aria. Perry is okay, but in his place I would have killed and dumped Aria by now ...
I cannot make myself care about this story or the characters. Nope. The writing is erratic and I keep thinking that a few pages must be missing here and there cause there are such big holes in the story. So much that's left unexplained. Was there a memo? Did I miss it?
Anyway, I have no idea why this book was hyped so much in advance. I also heard that the movie right have already been sold - another movie I'm not going to go and see!...more
I just finished reading "Ashes" and I have to say I am really impressed! Let me start by saying that this book is really well-written and kept me turnI just finished reading "Ashes" and I have to say I am really impressed! Let me start by saying that this book is really well-written and kept me turning pages from start to finish ...! It is also a very dark and realistic apocalyptic scenario with quite a few shockers strewn throughout.
The main protagonist in "Ashes" is 17-year-old Alex who goes on a camping trip to Waucamaw Park to get away from everything for a little while. After a few days she comes across 8-year-old Ellie, her grandfather Jack and their dog, Mina. Alex doesn't really want any company, but before she has time to get on her way again something happens. Something that to Alex feels like her brain being struck by lightning or electric shocks. It only lasts a few moments, but afterwards Jack is dead and Alex is left with a scared and confused Ellie. The animals in the area act crazed, and electronic devices are no longer working. Not knowing what has happened, Alex decided to hike to the nearest Ranger station with Ellie and the dog --- a station which is many miles from where they are. In a stroke of bad luck they lose most of their food and equipment, only to then stumble across two teenagers who are eating (!) an older woman. Shocked by what they have seen, unsure of what to do next, Alex and Ellie keep walking in the direction of the Ranger station.
The meet Tom, a young soldier on leave who was on a camping trip with a few others when "it" happened. Alex and Tom start spinning theories, but they don't know for sure what happened or how huge the impact of this catastrophe really is. They stick together, but when they eventually get separated a whole new nightmare begins ... __________________________________________________________________
Ilsa J. Bick's style of writing is flowing, riveting, graphic and generally good. I really felt like I was right there in the middle of it all! The story she tells is bleak, oppressive, even frightening at times --- it's also believable and realistic. The latter because in the world we live in today it is not that farfetched to believe that something similar to the scenario in this book could actually happen somewhere at some point in the not-too-far future ...
The zombies in this book are not corpses who have risen from their graves. They are regular people who got a short circuit in their brains or something like that during "the event". Not only have they gone crazy, but they have also resorted to cannibalism. They are the result of that which has happened --- and I am not going to tell you what exactly that is because, believe me, it would take some of the mystery and thrill out of this book. Some of the scenes in this book are very brutal and/or gross which is why I don't think that it is suitable for younger teens ...!
The "zombies" are only part of the story. As Alex herself finds out --- it's not just the zombies that are a threat! It's also the other survivors who often don't shy away from killing others in cold blood to get at their clothing and food supplies. The way that people change when suddenly the world as they knew it no longer exists is described very well.
Mrs. Bick also manages to elicit emotions --- uncertainness, fear, despair, doubt, panic, horror ... but also hope and the will to get through this. Everything that Alex and the others feel, the reader also feels.
The characters are well-drawn. Alex is a strong heroine who never gives up hope or loses her fighting spirit. She is resourceful and gutsy, and I really liked her a lot. Ellie comes across as an ungrateful, stubborn pain in the neck at first, but then she's only a very scared 8-year-old girl which goes some way towards explaining her behaviour. Tom is a fairly introverted but very sweet guy who wants to do everything to protect Alex and Ellie.
"Ashes" is not a fluffy love story. Yes, their is is a little bit of romance, but I think the author is really saving most of that for the sequel. And yes, it does look suspiciously like there's going to be a love triangle ....
This first book in a planned trilogy does leave some questions open but I'm confident that they will be answered in subsequent books. "Ashes" also has one of the meanest, most shocking cliffhanger endings I've ever come across in any book!!! I would probably beg and steal to get my hands on a copy of the sequel right now ... ;o)
In my humble opinion, "Ashes" tells the story of an apocalyptic scenario resembling a nightmare but to some extent describing a very real threat. The book tells a complex story that never gets boring, and I enjoyed every minute of it. ...more