Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Release Date: Available
Ashes is a gripping, post-apocalyptic novel put out by author Ilsa J. Bick. It is set during and after a devastatingly massive, cataclysmic, and strangely mysterious Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP). This EMP destroys advanced electronics everywhere bringing much of the world back to the stone age, but that is only the beginning. Humans, whose brains and bodies rely on small electric pulses, are similarly affected with much of the adult population is killed off. The event seems to spare children, teens, and seniors, whose brains are either still developing, or have started breaking down. Many teens begin displaying highly disturbing and unusual behaviors soon after the event (such as utter madness, loss of bodily control, cannibalism, etc.) Others, such as the main character, are strangely spared from the transformation, and are forced to fight, flee, or die in this “brave” new world, some finding that the “Changed” are not even their worst enemy…
I found this book to be very, very exciting and highly suspenseful through the plot’s many twists and turns. It contained many edge-of-your-seat moments and cliffhangers, and I found myself often reading ahead a page or two. This book stands alone in terms of post-apocalyptic stories, with an imaginative “end of the world” and even more interesting consequences. Often, I was drawn into the novel by elaborate and often horrific descriptions of the “Changed”, the numerous dead, and even, sometimes, the living. The combat scenes in this novel seem to be more realistic, with the main character, an ordinary teen, being more often on the receiving end of the violence. This brings a new style to the post-apocalyptic genre, drifting away from the clichéd “zombie apocalypse” but keeping with similar suspense and horror, only with an imaginative twist. I always needed to pace myself with this book, as diving right in kept resulting in post-traumatic stress, and sleepless nights on my part. Overall, this book has a great plot, with plenty of action and suspense, though definitely one not to read after everyone else has gone to bed.
Review by Adam
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