Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes Trilogy #1
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Pages: 480 Hardcover
Reading Level: YA
Published: September 6th 2011
Review Source: EgmontUSA
Available: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound

Summary: (from 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 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.

Recently I attended a book signing where the Author was talking about the screenplay they had written for her book to make into a movie. She described the screenplay as her book but on steroids. You are probably wondering why I'm starting off this review with this reference. It's simple really. If tomorrow they were to turn Ashes into a movie, the screenplay in my opinion would not need anything changed. Ashes they way its written is already on steroids. Ilsa grips you from page one until the last word written in the book. Then you are left going no, no, no. The no is because I don't want to have to wait now for book 2. Ilsa throw us into a apocalyptic time then becomes later a dystopian. Every second I was reading it, I would say to myself "this could really happen" or "what would we do if something like this happened?". That just shows you the talent behind the writing. Ilsa is one of those authors I would love to group in a room and just ask how the heck did you come up with this stuff. 

The story is about Alex, she is on this personal mission in her life. See Alex has reached a point in her life where she no longer wants treatment for her brain tumor anymore. So she sets off in to the mountains to make peace with her parents ashes that she carries and just find peace with herself. While hiking she runs into a young girl and her grandfather, then few minutes later the man is dead and Alex is in the worse pain of her life. Alex must calm herself down and try and make a plan, which include a little girl. She needs to fin out what has happen. Why did the old man die and why are dogs becoming rabid. Of course when she comes across teenagers her age on the trail, you can say what she is witnessing is not normal. These teenagers are acting like zombies and eating another human. If Alex was worried before, now she in in full panic mode. What is a young girl to do with a moon that changes color, teenagers acting like zombies and no electronic devices in working condition. The one beneficial thing Alex has on her side now, is that her sense of small is back and heightened. She can small pretty much anything around her and known what it is or who they are or what they are feeling. Will Alex find others like her, Is the "Zap" just a small area surrounding the mountain or has the entire planet been affected? Throw in a boy or two and Alex has a full plate. 

Ashes is just brilliant from start to finish. I kid you not. You will not be disappointed in this novel. If you are just a reader of chick-lit or happy romances then Ashes will not be your thing, but you never know. I suggest you pick it up and try. I really don't think that there is no way around getting immersed in the story. This book has its amount of gore, horror but at the same time hope. Ashes is also the 1st in a trilogy so you have been warned of the cliff hanger at the end. It the kind you want to shake someone because you can't believe it ended that way. What else can I tell you the author is brilliant, the story is phenomenal, so just go out and BUY the book. Did I mention boys? Yes two of them. I can see teams being picked. 

Last week I posted a great interview with Ilsa where I asked her a few questions about Ashes. CLICK HERE to read the interview and also enter for a chance to win your own copy of Ashes. 


  1. Great review! I saw this a while back but wasn't sure if it would be good or not. I do love high action books though. So I think I'll give it a try.

    Giselle at Xpresso Reads

  2. I have this one on my nook right now (from netgalley so really it's been there for awhile...just waiting, lol) So sorry I didn't do this earlier! Everyone is loving it. It's just getting me more pumped seeing such an excited reveiw, so thanks ;)


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