[Review #63] Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick Cover - Review Title: Ashes
Series: Ashes Trilogy
Book one
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Published: 6th September, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Apocalyptic
Young Adult
[Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Whitcoulls NZ]


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.


Ashes had me addicted from page one!

I couldn’t put this book down for the first half. It was riveting , exciting and plain scary to read. I was dragged along with Alex trying to figure out what had happened to the world when everyone dropped to the ground in the most excruciating pain. With most never getting back up, and the few that did get back up had either ‘changed’ or had been ‘spared’ for some unknown reason.

Since I first opened Ashes right up until I finished reading it my every waking moment was thinking about this book; and I’m being quite serious. That is how much I enjoyed reading this book, and that doesn’t happen often with me as I do get bored easily sometimes. It had action, mystery, fear, a bit of blood and guts, romance, bravery, fear and obviously world changing events. Cataclysmic is the right word to describe it. I just loved it.

But while I definitely thoroughly enjoyed Ashes there were more than a couple of things that did not gel well with me and kept me from rating this a 5 club book, which I would have undoubtedly done otherwise.

The main problem I had with this was that I could barely stand the attitude of the characters. I found Ellie to be incredibly bratty, annoying, and selfish. I seriously do not know how Alex and Tom kept their cool around her because I wouldn’t have been able to not tell her to “Shut up and stop acting like a brat”, for as long as they did. Every time Ellie talked I cringed. I just could not for the life of me even begin to like her as a character because of her attitude.

Yeah I get that she’s a little girl that recently lost her father in a war, she saw her grandfather die, and now she’s in this world changing event where she herself could be killed, but her attitude? Seriously? She really needed an attitude check earlier in the game. And that really sucks because if she hadn’t of been so bratty I’m sure I could have really liked her.

Then: I really liked Alex up until three quarters of the way through the book, due to certain events it led her to start acting selfish and annoying. To me it felt off that she changed that way, it didn’t feel natural considering the events and the things she had been through. It was weird because the character development went in the opposite direction from what I find usually happens, which is from: annoying -> really likeable. For me it went from: really likeable -> annoying.

Another thing that stopped me from rating this book any higher was that the middle of the book felt like the plot changed direction from where the reader expected it to go; it flipped 180. The pace slowed right down, I got a little bored and I felt like if the author had gone in another direction with the plot it would have been a lot more exciting, more likeable and the pace wouldn’t have dropped.

Ohhh, but there’s one more thing that I need to get off of my chest. There was a love triangle that I did not expect to happen at all. I’ve never really thought about love triangles before, yeah sometimes they annoy me and other times they really work. But this love triangle felt forced, unnecessary, out of character and like it was put there to make the story more interesting rather than move the story forward. Instead it broke my heart a little. In a bad way.

You might argue that all of these points mean that the author was able to surprise the reader and it means book isn’t predictable. In my opinion these points didn’t feel like they worked as well as one would’ve expected if that had been the case. They frustrated me, angered me and lowered my rating overall. Therefore they hindered rather than furthered.

BUT in saying that, I found that I really, really loved this book. Yet at the same time there were a few things that just annoyed me too much. It’s like parts of this book are at the “Best book ever” side of the scale and then other parts are on the “Worst idea ever” side. This book stretches to both ends of the scale and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

Regardless, I still think of this book as one awesome book!

Overall this book was the most exciting book I’ve read in a while. It was simply just thrilling to read, I could hardly read fast enough. I just loved it and devoured it within two days. So even though there were the few points that I felt like I needed to rant about they didn’t deter me from dying to read the next book as soon as possible!

Ashes was one of those books that I seemed to eat, live and breath until I was done reading. But then right when I was done I realised I needed to read the next book straight away. By description: Addicted.

I definitely recommend reading this book!

You may also like:
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Miss J


7 thoughts on “[Review #63] Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

    • I view this more of a apocalyptic/post apocalyptic book but there are zombies yes, although I found I wanted more of them. The book is based more on the survival of the characters and finding human civilisation rather than there are dead people rising and eating flesh. They don’t encounter many of them really. Although there is definitely some of that.

    • That is true, I do feel like those things are more each person’s opinion though. There was definitely character development it was just I found some of the characters very unlike-able. Ellie being the main character. But like I said, that is my opinion! I’ve never really been a fan of dark books though and the more I think about it the more that I feel like this was darker than I usually enjoy.

  1. I have this book sitting here waiting for me to read it. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ll have to move it up my reading list I think!
    Thanks for the review!

  2. Pingback: [Discussion] Part Two: Different Styles of Multiple POV’s | Miss Book Reviews

  3. Pingback: [Review #95] Winter Omens by Trisha Leigh | Miss Book Reviews

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