Book Twirps's Reviews > Ashes

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
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Aug 26, 11

Read from August 21 to 25, 2011

Alex has hiked deep into the Michigan woods to say goodbye to her parents. Both of them were killed in an accident which took both their lives. Alex has carried their ashes around with her for months, and it’s finally time to say goodbye. Alex doesn’t know how much time she has left. Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, she’s endured months of intense therapy, none of which seems to be working. Before she turns into a vegetable, Alex needs to take care of a few things. She escapes into the woods, alone, to scatter her parents ashes and decide what she’s going to do with the rest of her life.

One morning a man named Jack, his eight-year-old granddaughter Ellie and their dog Mina come upon Alex’s campsite. Not long after their arrival, Jack collapses, birds begin falling from the sky, and Alex’s head is filled with an immense pressure, causing her to collapse, losing consciousness. When she wakes up, the world is forever changed. Left alone with a temperamental eight-year-old, Alex has to get them both off the mountain. This proves more difficult than she originally thought. Their supplies are limited, they are days away from the ranger station and a group of wild, cannibalistic zombies scour the woods, hunting them.

When Alex and Ellie come across Tom, he saves their lives and helps them to safety. It turns out the flash that caused all the chaos on the mountain was a massive EMP and affected more than just them and a few animals. It’s affected the entire world. Many people died, teens and twenty-somethings are all flesh-eating zombies, but the elderly and young children were left untouched. Alex notices another change. Her sense of taste and smell have returned – two senses she’d lost because of the tumor. Did the EMP have something to do with it? Even more important, why was she not turned to a zombie like other kids her age? Is it only a matter of time?

I absolutely loved everything about this book. Every chapter left me hanging, wanting more. The writing is crisp, action-packed and moves at breath-taking pace. What I especially enjoyed was how the author takes the reader through the beginning of a dystopian world. So many dystopian books place the reader into a world that is already established. In Ashes, Ms. Black starts you out in a world we all know and quickly turns it on its head. The reader is thrust into a story where their world, the world in which they feel safe, is suddenly shattered. You can’t help but wonder what you would do if a similar thing were to happen today. I highly recommend this one to dystopian lovers, readers who enjoy lots of action and anyone looking for a fresh take on zombies.

(Review based on and Advanced Reader’s Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley)
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08/21/2011 page 142
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