Synopsis: A cataclysmic event. An army of "The Changed."
Can one teen really survive on her own?
An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human...
Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom---a young army veteran---and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.
This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive
Review: I'm going to warn you right now; I am completely in love with this book. If you want my review summed up in four words, here you go: GO BUY THIS NOW! The book starts just before The Event. Alex's life is pretty much horrible. There is enough story there that I was almost sorry to see the apocalypse start. It's the first apocalyptic book that really made me feel the sense of interruption that a person would experience if the world suddenly crashed and burned. Alex isn't just your typical teenager who suddenly has to find the strength and courage to survive. She's already been through hell and then the world ends. Another thing that makes her an amazing character; she isn't perfect. She has bad thoughts about people, runs from her problems, loses patience with annoying children. She felt very real, fleshed out. The other characters that we meet are just as realistic, if not quite as fully formed. She definitely manages to avoid the stereotypes, too. I can't wait to get to know the supporting cast better (if they're even still alive, that is).
When The Event happens, we have no idea what exactly has happened. The reader is left just as much in the dark as the main character, giving the whole story a sense of terrified waiting. You think you've guessed what happened, sketched out where you think the story is going to go, and then they make a terrifying discovery at a campsite. This book is truly scary, creepy and tense throughout. The characters are not given an easy path. Nobody is safe, nothing goes as planned. I loved every minute of it. I can't believe it cut off when it did! I suppose 500-ish pages is a bit much for YA, but it felt like 150. I scoured the author's website as soon as I finished the book, looking for clues about the sequel. Alas, there were none. We are given the titles of books two and three: Shadows and Monsters and that's it. I am dying for a release date, a blurb, anything.
Ashes is a dark, terrifying book about a girl whose life is a living hell..... and then the world ends. I would suggest this book to anyone with eyeballs in their head. Please go out and support this author! I need many, many more books for Ilsa J. Bick.