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Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes (edition 2011)

by Ilsa J. Bick

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78710111,689 (3.93)28
Authors:Ilsa J. Bick
Info:EgmontUSA (2011), Hardcover, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Ilsa Bick, zombies, post-apocalyptic, book 1

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Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

  1. 00
    Born by Tara Brown (magelet87)
    magelet87: Before Bick adds the dystopia element and its just the three of them surviving the apocalypse, this book reminds me of Born. It had the potential to be as good as that trilogy.

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Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
At the end of this book I was yelling out: OH MY..EFFEN GEE WHY DID IT END THIS WAY WHY WHY WHY? Because it was EXCELLENT! AND I STILL CAN’T GET OVER IT.

Finally, I thought to myself, as I closed this book, a post apocalyptic plot that’s more realistic with no sugar coating and it’s all about survival. I felt myself turning the pages and staying up late to finish just one more chapter. It was so engaging and the plot itself was so well written it kept the reader near the edge of their seat.

For almost every chapter, there was always something new Alex would encounter and she would have to find a way out to survive or overcome. She’d have to be one of the most strongest and resilient characters I have ever read without acting like a lovesick naive twit like you do in some post apocalyptic YA’s out there. There was only one moment where Alex seemed to have forgotten about both of her companions from her journey but, I suppose she was sidetracked for good reason. I especially enjoyed the particular moment where Alex develops her skill to “smell”.

So what am I going to do? I think it’s about time to pay my library fines and take the second book out of the library (I’ve been slacking off about that) because I need to know what happens next!!! I most definitely recommend this book it’s an awesome read!!! ( )
  sensitivemuse | Jan 21, 2017 |
These books reminded me of Tara Brown’s Born Trilogy at times, at definitely had the potential to become as great as those.

The story and characters in Ashes and its sequels didn’t come together like happened in the Born Trilogy.

Its like Ilsa J Bick couldn't settle on more that one big main plot for every book. The characters had amazing potential, but their storylines were all over the place, crisscrossing at random, it seemed. It was as if Bick felt like the only way to shock and awe the readers was to keep killing off characters, and while I am the least person to have a problem with character deaths, a lot of the characters were killed off too soon. Their storylines could have added a lot to the books. If she would have waited to kill some of them off then they could have helped the plot along so it would seem to snag in places.

And whenever the plot changed, Alex seemed to completely forget about anything that happened before. Like after Ellie got taken: she and Tom just leave and don't go after her. Then she goes to get help for Tom cause he is shot and gets stuck in Rule after Tom disappears and she forgets about him. Then she leaves Rule and forgets about the weirdness (creepiness is more like it. Sort of M. Night Shyamalan’s ’The Village’ meets ’The Stepford Wives’ meets ‘Children of the Corn’. I don't know why she didn’t figure out sooner that something was WAY off about that town. I knew something was hinky her first day after she woke up and couldnt ‘read’ Jess, then the rest of the stuff that happened that day) of Rule until she gets to Chris’ family’s vacation home and puts it all together (Simon, the towns feeding the ‘Banned’ to the Changed, etc). And all this time still no thought of Ellie. She has a bad case of short term memory loss. Reminds me of Dory.

I enjoyed the first book, when it was about the three of them (Alex, Tom, and Ellie) surviving the apocalypse, but then Bick tried to add dystopia to the books.

I felt like Bick put all the characters names into a bowl and was pulling names at random whenever she wanted to insert a character into a scene or have one die or escape or etc. She would put them in the scene even if they didn’t have any relevance to that part of the story. And when a character would have been perfect in parts of the story, those characters were nowhere to be seen.

By the last book I had had enough. The series started out so strong! I was very excited. But 3/4 of the way through I started to get that feeling that you get when you think you might have made a mistake by picking that book. I was stubborn though. I kept telling myself to keep reading, it might get better (emulating Dory, ha! Just keep reading, just keep reading, reading, reading). It didn’t.

I don't know, the author is obviously talented. Maybe we should blame her Editor and Publisher. ( )
  magelet87 | Dec 27, 2016 |
5 Stars

Seeking the peace and solitude of the Waucamaw Wilderness, Alex’s life is suddenly turned upside down when an electromagnetic pulse results in the destruction of all technological devices and the deaths of the majority of adults on the planet. Stranded in the woods with only her wits, tenacity and indomitable spirit, Alex must survive the dangers approaching from all directions whether animal, human or supernatural.

As someone who is not very familiar with the post-apocalyptic genre, the various elements come across to me as original and compelling. The story is well-written with a simple narrative structure and solid pacing; the characterization is believable and the world building engrossing with exceptional description and attention to detail that does not become tedious and/or overwhelming. That said, there are some graphic and gruesome depictions that might not appeal to all readers.

Alex is an engaging heroine. Fiercely independent and mature for her years, which is understandable given her life experience. She deals with the day to day difficulties of surviving the end of the world with strength and resilience.

The secondary cast is quite large and it takes time to become familiar with the different people and their relation to Alex and to each other. Nevertheless, they are all portrayed realistically and Bick shows tremendous insight into all facets of human nature.

The scientific explanations for the apocalyptic disaster are both original and logical. Too often authors in this genre fail to provide a credible account, but this is not the case here. Although the zombies are of the usual cannibalistic type, Bick adds an interesting twist in terms of both their age and the possibility that external forces might be in play.

In sum, a captivating read and I look forward to discovering the answers to the numerous questions evoked in the book.
( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
Ashes? Why is the book even called Ashes? Does anyone know? When I read a book I always try to relate the title to the story and when I can't it bugs the shit out of me. The only thing I can think of is it refers to the ashes Alex carries around of her parents. She is suppose to be letting go of their ashes and the past. Maybe that's it- that makes sense I guess but the face on the cover is creepy not sure how that ties in and relates to ashes. Sorry I'm rambling...: ) 
Anyways, I don't really know what I think about this book. I have mixed feelings about it. Ellie, the 8 year old that travels with Alex at the beginning of the journey after the EMP event is just a complete a brat. If you listen to the audio book like I did you will get the full effect of her whining and bitching and crying which makes it even harder to listen to. I fast forwarded through a lot of her tantrums. Once she was out of the picture I started enjoying it more. Then the story really takes a huge turn. The first half of the book and the second half are really different. The second half isn't bad, I liked it probably more then the first but I just never got this "omg this is a wonderful book" feeling. I'm going to start listening to the next audio book in the series out of sheer curiosity but at this point I don't know if I'll finish it. It depends on what crazy turn the author has in store next I suppose. ( )
  EmpressReece | Aug 22, 2016 |
Interesting take on the whole zombie thing. And hardly any zombies at all, I might add. The cover is my least favorite thing about this book. In fact, if I hadn't been using the library catalog to look up zombies, I never, ever would have picked up this book. Luckily Bick said the cover is being revamped on the next release, so that's good. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ilsa J. Bickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kellgren, KatherineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes...Carl Sandburg
For David, now and always.
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Prolouge: "Where are you?" Aunt Hannah demanded as soon as Alex thumbed talk.
Chapter 1: Four days later, Alex perched on a knuckle of bone-cold rock and whittled an alder branch to a toothpick as she waited for her coffee water to boil.
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Alex, a resourceful seventeen-year-old running from her incurable brain tumor, Tom, who has left the war in Afghanistan, and Ellie, an angry eight-year-old, join forces after an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky and kills most of the world's population, turning some of those who remain into zombies and giving the others superhuman senses.… (more)

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