Author: Ilsa Black
Series: Ashes Trilogy #1
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
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.(copied from Goodreads)
First off, I have to say, Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick is one of the most unique “zombie” novels I have read to date. Alex is a young girl who takes off into the woods to say goodbye to her parents, and most likely her life. She is dying from a brain tumor, and she wants to hike up the mountain to say goodbye. On the way up, she comes across a grandfather, and his granddaughter Ellie. As this happens, an electromagnetic pulse is set off, causing the grandfather’s pacemaker to stop working. The animals in the area also go a little crazy, with crows fighting each other, and deer jumping off cliffs. After a few minutes, everything seems to go back to normal. Alex and Ellie decide to hike to the nearest ranger station. On the way to the ranger station, they come across their first zombies.
While the zombies of Ashes eat humans like a typical zombie, they are far different from the traditional rotting corpses who hunger for brains. These zombies look normal, and can even operate weapons of sorts. They also have their primate instincts intact, so they are like a cross between a zombie and a cannibal. I actually find this type of zombie far more terrifying than the traditional type, especially if you meet more than one of them.
Along their journey, Tom, who has great survival training thanks to his military background, joins Alex and Ellie. They even become like a little pseudo family, and I love that dynamic. Well, as with anything, nothing says perfect, and they must venture out into the world to find out what happened, and what is going on. This is where trouble hits, but I will not go into details, because I do not want to spoil it for anyone. Ilsa J. Bick is a child psychiatrist, and knows how to play with her reader’s emotions throughout Ashes.
I have to say, I really loved the uniqueness that is Ashes. With all the zombie books out there, the key to being successful is doing something that readers have not seen. With Ashes, even with elements featured in other books, Ilsa J. Bick makes them complete unique, and all her own. I have to say I loved this book, and the way it ended had me wanting more. This is why I am glad it is just the beginning of a trilogy! If you like zombies, you have to read this book!
**Unabridged Bookshelf borrowed Ashes from the local public library**