Monday, July 16, 2012

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

When Alex decided to skip school and leave Illinois to go to Michigan, she wasn't expecting the beginning of the apocalypse to start. On her way to spread her parents ashes at Lake Michigan like they wanted, she was  hiking through the woods, using the skills from her father when she was younger.

Then an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) occurred, so strong that it killed anyone between the ages of 14-40. Young kids and senior citizens were the main population that survived the EMP.

Only... Alex survived it, and she's 17...

And others around her age survived through it...only they weren't the same. In fact, they were cannibals and killed living people/animals on site.

They turned into zombies.

She also got an unusual gift from the EMP - the ability to smell other people and animals. She could smell their feelings, their essense, and she could also tell if they were survivors or something else - zombies. 

Alex was fighting to stay alive with two other survivors: 8-year-old Ellie and 20-year-old Tom. They decided to stick together and try to find places that were away from big cities, and to head to Canada.

Only things went downhill when a group of older men and women kidnapped Ellie to use her as collateral damage to get into shelters. Kids and animals are very rare after the EMP went through.

Then Tom got shot in the leg and he couldn't walk anymore. So Alex left him to get help in a town close by called Rules. When she got help, though, and returned for Tom he was no longer there.

Alex soon found herself making a place for her in Rules, but all was not as it seemed. Would Alex try to find Tom and Ellie again, or would she stay in the "safe" town of Rules and make a new life? Read Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
A zombie story. I don't think I've ever read one of those... I may have attempted a few but gave up after awhile.

This was the first one that I read from start to finish and really enjoyed it. It's certainly not my favorite genre of book, but it was very different for me and kept me interested throughout the whole novel.

I've read some reviews that say this was a horror novel, and I can see where they were going with that. There were times I was reading and my jaw literally dropped. There were other times when I had to close the book for a minute and try to wrap my head around what I just read.

Overall, this book really kept me on my toes. I didn't know where it was going to lead, and it definitely had a cliffhanger ending for the next novel in this trilogy series.

I think there was a lot of variety of information in here. The town Rules creeped me out when Alex was talking about it - I don't know how she stayed there, but I guess the appeal of a roof over her head and food in her stomache was thinking loud and clear.

I also really liked Alex. She's tough. Before the EMP she had a brain tumor that was slowly killing her, but when the EMP went through, it seemed like all of her symptoms were gone. That's when she got her "ability" of smell.

She was also a great camper/fighter. She never gave up when the zombies were after her and she was always thinking with a clear head - you can't say that about too many 17-year-olds!

For anyone who likes a horror/science fiction book, I would definitely recommend this to you! Also, if you like zombie books, this would be right up your alley!

This is the first novel in a trilogy series. The second novel, Shadows, will be released September 25, 2012. I know I will definitely be checking it out to see what happens to Alex in the situation she is left in at the end of this first novel!

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