Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Book Review: Ashes

Title: Ashes
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Rating: 4

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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 post-apocalyptic novel about a world that could become ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

Review: Just a heads up that this one contains spoilers. Reader discretion is advised.

I don't think that I have read an apocalyptic YA book before Ashes. I have a handful on my to-read list, but just haven't gotten to them yet. Because of this, Ashes scared me. A lot.

I had no idea how disturbing Alex's story would be until her world went into chaos. During the zap, some people died, some got superhuman powers, and some transformed into monsters. Don't forget about the animals - they were affected to. Basically, you didn't know who was out to kill and who was trying to survive. Bick's way with words made me cringe and I had to take a break from the book a few times. I couldn't even read it when I was at school because, chances were, I would start gagging and slam the book down, resulting in a few puzzling looks from my classmates.

Loved Alex. Loved Tom. Hated Ellie - in the beginning anyway. She was a spoiled brat. But, because she comes to terms with this and decides to turn her attitude around, she eventually stole my heart. What can I say? Kids are extremely innocent. Especially when it comes to the end of the world.

I loved the first part of the book. It was brilliant. It was disturbing. It was full of gore. It was not what I expected. It was 5 star worthy. Then, part two started. I thought I started reading another book, which made me very frustrated.

Alex's strong personality that I adored, flushed down the drain. Both Tom and Ellie disappeared. (Where? I have no idea). The setting transformed into what I imagined was similar to a western town and a whole slew of new characters were introduced. I. Was. Not. Happy.

And yet, I have the sequel, Shadows, in my possession. Why? SO I FIND OUT WHERE THE HECK TOM AND ELLIE WENT.