Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes by Ilisa J. Bick
Published: September 6, 2011 by Egmont USA
Hardcover, 465 pages

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. --GoodReads
Let me describe to you in a few words that I thought magically sum this book up to a T.
  • Zombies/monsters
  • (Peck/Rip/Rip Open/Scratch/Score/Cut/Gouge/Sliced) Flesh
  • Bloody Bloody Blood with a slice of knife
Let's just say that Ashes wasn't my cup of tea. It was more like, oh, I don't know, the super hard biscuit that you get on the side for no apparent reason. Just because. It's bleh-meh-fweh, but you'll still eat it anyway because everyone says it's really good. You go in to bite, and yyyy-ouch
You know that feeling? Well, that's how I felt when I read this book. Not to mention this:
No, no, go on. I'm tooooootally listening.
Aww. I don't mean to come of as such a meany-jerky face, but seriously...any more of it, and I'd be this:
Not playing possum this time...
Okay, okay. I'll get on with the review. Now, I might not be justified in reviewing this, because, well... I have a confession to make. If you can't stand people reviewing a half-finished book, then get outta here. I didn't have the patience to continue past page 200-ish, so........ you get the picture.

If I ever finish the book and I have something to add, I'll probably write another review. 
So let's call this Ashes, Review, PART 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK. The ACTUAL review shall commence!!!!!!!!!
Plot: Electromagnetic zap around the world... girl named Alex with tumor goes around hiking.... encounters a cheeky little girl Ellie..... tumor goes away after Zap...bunch of stuff.... they meet Tom..... other stuff..... Alex and Ellie realize what happend..... people could have died.... yaddayaddayadda....then this is where I stopped reading. Yup.

Now, I'm completely fine with all these gory/survival/bloody/animals pecking out any part of your body stuff, but this was quite graphic. I mean, I was okay, just some people might not have been. I'm not saying everyone in general, just the weak-stomached. You might want to take note of that when deciding to give it a try. And I quote...

"In another life, they might have been a couple, having a picnic. Except these kids weren't munching sandwiches. There was also a woman, a grandmotherly sort who lay flat on the ground, head thrown back, mouth unhinged...Judging from the dried rills of blood on her right cheek, that eye was gone. So was her throat...the knobby tube of her windpipe slopping out like a fleshy tapeworm. The blood--and there had ben a lot of it--had dried to rust in a wide bib over the woman's chest" (Bick 73).

"Like, ohmygod! What should I do??? BLOOD"
My sediments, exactly, random lady
It goes on for about another 3-4 pages describing this nasty gory scene of these 2 teens, normal people, just like you and me, who decide to join the Cannibalistic Movement of America. They were turning this poor (dead) woman's insides into outsides. It was disgusting, blood, yet I couldn't tear my eyes away from the book's very detailed, explicit descriptions of this gory nastiness. Props to Bick for creating (alarmingly) realistic scenes that come alive into your mind. It's like they become permanently etched/tattooed into your makes me wonder how she even came up with that stuff! So, I give Bick 5/5 when it comes to settings/scene descriptions. I could easily visualize what was going on where, when, and how.

What really was my favorite part about this book would probably be how Bick portrays all of Alex's emotions and thoughts. She isn't stupid, and she's quite logical about survival situations. I learned quite a lot from reading just a few chapters. Character development (which can be interpreted any way you want (*wink* *wink* you'll get this if you knew it was a ZOMBIE book)) was a big thumbs up for me in this book. Alex and especially Ellie definitely change and mature over the course of a few weeks. If you ever want to learn about how fragile the human mind/emotions are, read the book! It's full of Alex talking about how she feels in *blankety-blank* situations.

Also, it's really hard not to like Alex (in the first 200 pages; again, I haven't completely finished the book). Ellie was plain annoying, but I have to admit: I think she grew on me a little bit! She's kinda...nice? Tom is definitely a handy-man. Wouldn't mind a guy like that around (as my servant (you know, to fix the sink and stuff)).

Hmmm. Well, my main issue of this book was that it just didn't interest me once it hit a certain spot. I think it was aroundpage 170, or so, when I just became disinterested. That's a problem for me. If I like a book, I shouldn't have to "wait! It gets good when you reach page (BLANKETY BLANK)." If it's a truly amazing book that I will enjoy, I don't think I should have to suffer through tons and tons of boredom to get there. Call me impatient, but that's how I truly felt about this book. 

I've looked through a few different reviews, and some people agreed with me on the fact that it just loses the "AMAZING" factor about halfway through. What happened? Whatever did happen obviously did not help Bick's cause. Overall, I thought it was okay. I loved the visual descriptions and the goryness of the book, but  something just didn't click for me. I was getting bored constantly, and I wasn't able to pay attention, or let alone care enough to try to remember what was going on. I would recommend this book for die-hard zombie apocolyptic horror gory fans, and survival junkie readers. I know I'm being really picky here, so, please keep that in mind. I know a lot of people who really enjoyed this book, and hopefully, you can be one of those people, too!

Happy Reading and see you next week!

Order Ashes at: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD


  1. Great post. Very entertaining. Not sure if this book is my cup of tea, but I'm definitely curious about it.

    1. Actually, I had initally become interested in reading it because of its amazing cover. This is the cover of the paperback ARC that I got:

      I really loved it, although most people I talked to said it was too zombie-ish. I just love her red hair and green eyes!

      Rosie @ YAN

  2. Ew! Sorry it wasn't great. Awesome review, though! "Bloody bloody blood with a slice of knife" OMG! I'm dying!

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

    1. Thanks! :D
      I work quite hard to come up with those phrases.


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