Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Genera: Dystopian sci-fi
Subjects: Survival, zombies, cannibals
Length: 465 pgs.
HC/PB: Hardcover
Summary/ product description:
"Alex has run away and is hiking through the wilderness with her dead parents' ashes, about to say goodbye to the life she no longer wants to live. But then the world suddenly changes. An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky zapping every electronic device and killing the vast majority of adults. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who has changed.
Everyone still alive has turned, some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh). Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the zombies that are on the hunt, Alex meets up with Tom, an Army veteran who escaped one war only to find something worse at home and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse. This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to find food, shelter, while fighting off the 'Changed' and those desperate to stay alive. A tense and involving adventure with shocks and sudden plot twists that will keep teen and adult readers gripped"
My Rating:
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My Review: If you were expecting that this book would have the walking dead kind of zombies, then you though wrong. These a teens gone cannibal zombies. Very different than the Carrie Ryan or Resident Evil zombies. No slow, shambling dead things. It was very interesting.
There was also a lot of survival info and information in this book. I felt like I learned a lot. The story was also fast paced, especially in the first two thirds of the book. It only slowed down slightly once Alex got to Rule and had to deal with more people and their cult like behavior.
A note about the setting: The Waucamaw is not a real state natural area. I looked it up. In the book it’s supposed to be on the upper peninsula of Michigan. I tried to find it on google earth, and it wasn’t there. I’m a bit of a Michigan enthusiast, so I wanted to find out. And Rule is made up too. I assume the author made these places up to create an interesting setting that she could control, rather than use real places that needed too much research.
As for the characters. Alex wasn’t too exciting. Her ability was interesting, but I couldn’t connect to her. Ellie reminded me of a lot of whiney little girls, and that made her a great supporting character. Tom was an interesting guy for a young soldier on leave. Each character seemed to bring something to the table. They helped each other survive.
I really liked this book and want to know what happens next (because the dang cliff hanger!). Give this book a shot. It’s a really cool dystopian book. If you like the Gone series, The Hunger Games, or The Forest of Hand and Teeth, this could be the next series you’ll love.

Cover Art Review: This cover wasn’t very interesting to me. It just didn’t scream YA. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover because it was a really good book. The title and the weird puffy lines with the face zombie looking thing….not the kind of book cover I would want to by the book because. That is why I got it from the library. I like good design, and this cover just wasn’t it.
~Haley G

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