Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ashes - Ilsa J. Bick

Synopsis: 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.


I've started to divide books by the ones I really didn't like, to the ones that were okay, to the ones that I am FREaking out about. And this one I'm freaking out about. Oh my goodness, there are so many ways this book is incredible. 

I'm going to start with the genre. This is a new one. I don't know where you'd place it. I'm kind of a dystopian-aholic. Can't get enough of the depressing, dark possible futures ahead of us. This book has a dystopian aspect, but it goes beyond that in an entirely new way. Ashes starts WITH the apocoalypse, turns the narrative into one of post-apocalyptic survival (fully loaded with awesome, but gruesome images of flesh eating zombies) and THEN it becomes dystopian as a civilization struggles to regain order. It was so cool to see how a dystopian society comes to be, where in many other novels in the genre, that part is just mentioned as a history or an explanation. 

So there's this really interesting idea of survival, that is to be expected in a book about the apocalypse, but Bick deals with it differently. Alex has a brain tumor and it's  unclear whether she had intended on surviving even before the EMP changes everything. It seems like she'd given up fighting and was resigned to death. Yet, she fights so hard for her life, as well as Tom and Ellie's lives, through the whole book. She isn't the only one who seemed like she'd given up on living, so it's definitely something Bick seems to be drawing reader's attentions to. What does it take for us to WANT to survive? Is it enough to have something worth fighting for, or do we have to have something that's fightable? 

And I'm adding Bick to an increasing list of authors who make me care about one character, replace him, and then make me care about his replacement. It's so frustrating! I am so convinced my feelings won't change, but then these authors go and make me all fluttery for - seemingly - the wrong character. I always feel like I've been manipulated -  which usually means the author is pretty talented to build the reader up only to shatter everything, then to build again. 

I could quite honestly write on and on about all the wonderful aspects of this novel. It has zombies, it has corruption, it has survival, it has family and love. It's everything you could ever want and more. If you want to live the zombie apocalypse, but don't want your insides eaten, read this story. You'll feel like you're there. When I finished the book I felt a little sick (but again, in a good way...this testifies to good writing - and Bick is incredible with images) and awestruck. The ending was quite a doozy, but it's the first installment in a trilogy and I can't wait to see what comes next. Because holy wow. This  book is incredible. 

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ashes - Ilsa J. Bick

Synopsis: 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.


I've started to divide books by the ones I really didn't like, to the ones that were okay, to the ones that I am FREaking out about. And this one I'm freaking out about. Oh my goodness, there are so many ways this book is incredible. 

I'm going to start with the genre. This is a new one. I don't know where you'd place it. I'm kind of a dystopian-aholic. Can't get enough of the depressing, dark possible futures ahead of us. This book has a dystopian aspect, but it goes beyond that in an entirely new way. Ashes starts WITH the apocoalypse, turns the narrative into one of post-apocalyptic survival (fully loaded with awesome, but gruesome images of flesh eating zombies) and THEN it becomes dystopian as a civilization struggles to regain order. It was so cool to see how a dystopian society comes to be, where in many other novels in the genre, that part is just mentioned as a history or an explanation. 

So there's this really interesting idea of survival, that is to be expected in a book about the apocalypse, but Bick deals with it differently. Alex has a brain tumor and it's  unclear whether she had intended on surviving even before the EMP changes everything. It seems like she'd given up fighting and was resigned to death. Yet, she fights so hard for her life, as well as Tom and Ellie's lives, through the whole book. She isn't the only one who seemed like she'd given up on living, so it's definitely something Bick seems to be drawing reader's attentions to. What does it take for us to WANT to survive? Is it enough to have something worth fighting for, or do we have to have something that's fightable? 

And I'm adding Bick to an increasing list of authors who make me care about one character, replace him, and then make me care about his replacement. It's so frustrating! I am so convinced my feelings won't change, but then these authors go and make me all fluttery for - seemingly - the wrong character. I always feel like I've been manipulated -  which usually means the author is pretty talented to build the reader up only to shatter everything, then to build again. 

I could quite honestly write on and on about all the wonderful aspects of this novel. It has zombies, it has corruption, it has survival, it has family and love. It's everything you could ever want and more. If you want to live the zombie apocalypse, but don't want your insides eaten, read this story. You'll feel like you're there. When I finished the book I felt a little sick (but again, in a good way...this testifies to good writing - and Bick is incredible with images) and awestruck. The ending was quite a doozy, but it's the first installment in a trilogy and I can't wait to see what comes next. Because holy wow. This  book is incredible. 

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Post a Comment