Thu, October 20, 2011

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick Review

Ashes Ilsa Bick book coverAshes
By Ilsa J. Bick

Sept. 6, 2011
EgmontUSA, 480 pages
Source: Publisher

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.

— description

I would not survive the zombie apocalypse. I just wouldn’t. My face would be eaten, donezo, end game, over and out. I can’t make a fire, my knee is too janked up to run fast and I can’t stay quiet long enough to stay in hiding.

But I’m cool with that. Someone’s got to feed the angry hordes.

Instead, I read about it. I’m such a girly girl, but I can’t help but LOVE books about kids trapped in the woods and forced to defend themselves (a la Hunger Games, Eve, Blood Red Road, The Road, etc.).

There’s something about isolation that makes a character reveal her true self, plus there’s no better way to push someone over the edge than to force her to rely on the kindness of strangers.

And Ilsa Bick did this so freaking well in Ashes. My emotions were toyed with, my heart was pounding, and I could not put it down. Alex’s strength was amazing and the little makeshift family she found for herself in the woods was just…agh, even thinking about it gets my heart aching.

But, be warned. This book does have a bit of multiple personality disorder. Halfway through the book, the setting shifted, characters were added and I was in serious “WTF mode.” Is this the same book? Is this real life? Did this just happen? Yeah.

However, the first half was so insanely strong, I have to believe the choices in the second half were made for a reason. Maybe I’m holding on to a thread here, but I have to say this book is worth a read, and I’ll be sticking around, crossing my fingers, praying the sequel helps me see the light.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: apocalypse, ilsa j. bick, zombies


  1. Traveller said:

    Hi my friends.hope you will visit my blog enjoy the information.please click the adsense in my blog for more information


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  2. Victorie Blake said:

    GREAT review. I have been meaning to get this book! Now I definitely will have to! YAY!

    xoxox victorie


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  3. Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) said:

    I hate books that have two faces…That is what I'm going to start calling it. "Two Faced…." I still need to work the phrase, but…lol. It's early!


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  4. Tara said:

    I would be right there with you getting my face eaten by zombies – I'm too much of a wuss to defend myself. This cover seriously creeps me out btw… I might have to take your word for it on this one 🙂


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  5. Jen (Makeshift Bookmark) said:

    Yeah, so I need to read this one. I've heard it's scary times and well, it's just about Halloween. This obvs makes me want to read it more.


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  6. Jen (Makeshift Bookmark) said:

    BTW, adios to my face, too.


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  7. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said:

    Oh gosh, that's what I always think. I was recently reading 'Dark Inside' (a book with a similar theme to those you mentioned) and I just kept thinking "I would totally be dead. They would catch me in two seconds."

    I've heard the same thing from several people about the second half of the book. Some people seem to adore it, but others hate the change and say it ruined the whole book. So I'm pretty torn if it's the book for me or not. Thanks for the review. =)


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  8. said:

    Hey you know anything about that girl who's going around wailing about the fact that every dadgum book is part of a SERIES? That girl is me.

    I think my obsession with The Walking Dead has prepped me *somewhat* for a zombie apocalypse. I'm rather quiet when sneaking around, have good vision in the dark (no really, it creeps out the Mr.) and I go into full combat mode when I feel like I'm being attacked. I'll make sure y'all don't get your faces eaten off, no worries. *cocks gun*


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  9. thelibrarianreads said:

    Ahh, I loved this book too…and your opening to the review cracked me up! Seriously laughted out loud. I woulda died too…but we can enjoy reading about the wonder girls who do survive 😉


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  10. April (BooksandWine) said:

    My boyfriend really liked Ashes. I think I'd survive in the woods, but just barely — I have strong self preservation instincts.

    I heard the ending was INSANE.

    Cannot wait to read this bad boy.

    Great review, Anna!!!


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  11. Michelle said:

    This is another one that took me a bit to get into but man when I did I loved it. And the end? I did NOT see that coming at all! Makes me so interested to see where it goes in the next.


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  12. Willy said:

    Ashes was a good book, don’t get me wrong. But Bick should not have tried too hard to make this a young adult novel. She, I think, tried too hard to fit in with teenagers. She spit out words like “fail”, “totally”, and used “so” like a very concieded teenager.

    Aside from the language found in the story, it was a great crossover between dystopian and post-apocalyptic, and it simply worked. The character development was good until the main character-Alex (female)-loses the two other main characters found in the beginning. After she loses them, I will not say how, she ends up in Rule, where she finds a love interest that the reader hardly even knows.

    It was great though, if you put aside the language and development of characters. The ending was outstanding, and a cliffhanger. I am definitely going to read the next of a trilogy, Shadows.

    Please visit my book blog,


    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

  13. Ashes | Ilsa J. Bick | Book Review said:

    […] – “an action-packed, gritty take on the apocalypse” Anna Reads – “the first half was so insanely strong” Pure Imagination – “The book revolves much more on action than […]

    Posted on: Thu, October 20, 2011

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