Release Date: September 6, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Amazon Vine
Alex has run away and is hiking through the wilderness with her dead parents’ ashes, about to say goodbye to the life she no longer wants to live. But then the world suddenly changes. An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky zapping every electronic device and killing the vast majority of adults. For those spared, it’s a question of who can be trusted and who has changed… Everyone still alive has turned – some for the better (those who acquired a superhuman sense) while others for the worse (those who acquired a taste for human flesh). Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the zombies that are on the hunt, Alex meets up with Tom – an Army veteran who escaped one war only to find something worse at home – 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 find food, shelter, while fighting off the ‘Changed’ and those desperate to stay alive. A tense and involving adventure with shocks and sudden plot twists that will keep teen and adult readers gripped.
Where do I even start? With the good…or maybe with the bad? I think I will start with the good…or should I say the amazing? I read 260 pages in Ashes in a matter of hours. I was hooked from page one. It was the epitome of unputdownable. I was utterly addicted. Phrases like ‘best book of the year’ and ‘the most intense thing I have ever read’ were going through my head. Now I guess I should tell you why I had those thoughts…
Ashes kicks off with a bang. Or a zap. The action starts from the very beginning with a totally awesome WTF situation. Alex was amazing. She was smart, she knew how to take care of herself and she handles this horrible situation superbly. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to handle Ellie. She was bratty and whiny, but she grew on me the same way she grew on Alex. As a whole, all of the characters were great. There were a few times I wanted to smack Alex, but I can’t hold that against her.
The book revolves much more on action than romance. I had absolutely no problem with that. I did really, really like Tom, though. That’s all I’m going to say on that issue because it would be very easy for me to spoil some things and I want you to get the full affect while reading this.
The entire plot, the EMP, the Changed, and the mountain setting were completely amazing. It was freaky. It was one of the creepiest things I have ever read. I honestly think it was Stephen King creepy. It was awesome. Be warned that it’s also pretty gory. I’m not bothered by those things, but some of it was a little shocking. Don’t let that put you off from reading it! Maybe just skim those parts? I don’t get freaked out very easily, but Ashes scared me just a little. It really was one of the most intense things I have ever read…if not the most intense.
So, what was the bad I mentioned above? Well remember when I said I read 260 pages in a couple of hours? I had to make myself stop reading and go to sleep. I was full of regret that I didn’t start the book earlier in the day so that I could read the entire thing, but I didn’t so I forced myself to go to bed. Sometime while I was sleeping someone switched the utterly amazing book that I was reading with another one that wasn’t nearly as good. That’s what it felt like anyway. The second half when compared to the first half was boring and uneventful. Maybe I was just still too in awe of the first half. I don’t know, but it stopped me from giving it 5 stars and naming it my favorite book of the year.
It was still good…it was just nothing like the first 300 pages. I can’t really get into what disappointed me without spoiling lots of things. So I will only say that I still highly, highly recommend this book. The first 300 pages was some of the most compelling writing I have ever read. And the ending left me very excited for the next book. I think it will be just as gripping and freaky as the beginning of this one. Definitely read this one!