Ashes | Ilsa J. Bick

The end of the world is nigh!

At least, according to the latest crop of teen books to hit my radar we don’t have long to wait. Will it be a mutant virus? A nuclear dome? Or in the case of Ashes – electro-magnetic pulses that destroy every electronic system, fry healthy brains, and change other brains for better or worse.

Hormonal teenage brains get zapped into zombie, flesh-eating creatures. Older, diseased brains are suddenly cured, sleep-deprived brains are spared and some brains become super-sensitive. Alex is a special case – a teenager with a brain tumour, prone to nightmares. She develops a super sense of smell. Tom is a returned soldier suffering from post traumatic stress and Ellie is only 8.

I wasn’t that keen to get started on this book – zombies and love in the wild isn’t usually high on my reading priority list. But thankfully Ashes is so much more than that. It is a great addition to the Armageddon genre.

I raced through each drama and catastrophe and let out an audible “aarghhhh” when the book finished on a cliff-hanger leaving all the loose ends flailing about madly. Book 2 is not due for another six months, but we can be prepared by checking out Bick’s blog here.

My only hiccup with the book was the number of clumsy accidents that the three main characters had. Bick obviously used this device to add suspence and drama. I just found it frustrating.

No, she thought. No, please, God, I’m not seeing this

Seventeen-year-old Alex is hiking through the wilderness when it happens: an earth-shattering electromagnetic pulse that destroys almost everything.

Survivors are divided between those who have developed a superhuman sense and those who have aquired a taste for human flesh. These flesh-hunters stalk the land: hungry, ruthless and increasingly clever…

Alex meets Tom, a younge army veteran, and Ellie, a lost girl. They will fight together and be torn apart, but Alex must face the most difficult question of all:
In such a vastly changed world, who can you trust?

A story of high-wire tension, gut-wrenching twist, and burgeoning love, Ashes will leave you breathless.

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