12 January 2012

Review: Ashes (Ashes, #1) By: Ilsa J. Bick

Title: Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont, 480 Pages (September 6th, 2011)
From: the Publisher & Amazon Vine Program, Thank You!

Synopsis: 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.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

Review: 4.5 Stars - Ashes, the first book in the trilogy By: Ilsa J. Bick is a chilling story that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. Stunning, bleak, thrilling, fantastic and strength quickly come to mind when I think of Ashes.

Set in current day, Bick sets the scene and begins to tell the background of our female lead character – Alex. She’s on a journey to say a much needed good-bye before time runs out. Alex is strong from the word go. She knows how to survive in the wilderness and is one smart girl. I was impressed with her knowledge of the outdoors and felt that Bick choose and envisioned the perfect character to be the voice of her story.

With a world that changes in the blink of an eye it’s up to Alex and her young companion Elllie to find a way to survive in the wilderness and the quickly changing world. With not many supplies and the weather changing the two must work together and think fast to try to figure out what’s happened to her part of the world… or is it more than just the world around her?

When trouble finds Alex and Ellie, Tom comes to their rescue. He’s scarred in a much different way than Alex is, but both can see and feel the others pain. They know what the other is going through without truly knowing the facts of their pasts. The two together know that they must come together to get through whatever they are facing in the new dangerous and scary world, yet at the same time they each understand that it’ll be harder than even they believe to survive.

Bick’s writing made this book very visual for me. It has its fair share of disturbing scenes and even more disturbing are the hints of what might be in the minds of others. In Rule for instance, a town that takes in survivors… well, they pick and choose who they are going to take in based on what they might be able to offer the community. The town alone was horrible. When children, more so girls, are few and far between, it’s easy to come up with some horrible and nasty ideas to what some people might want them for.

With many ups and downs and twists and turns, I felt for Alex and the decisions she had to make. I had no idea what Bick or her characters might be forced to face next. To say this is a wonderful story might not sound right with how bleak things look for our characters, but it truly was a book I will never forget.

Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian novels, when written as well as this are ones that shouldn’t be passed by. The thought of a world such as this has stuck in my memory and has left its mark. Fans of the YA and post apocalyptic/dystopian genre’s should pick up this title for the writing and the strength of a memorable female lead. It’ll stick with you, as it’s stuck with me. However, just be prepared for a cliffhanger that’ll make you reread it and flip the pages back and forth thinking your book is missing a page or two. I seriously blinked in surprise and shock over where we were left, so Bick, if you’re reading this… hurry with book two please and Thank You. Enjoy!

ETA: Ria left a great comment below and I do partially agree with her take on this title being Post Apocalyptic, so I've changed up my review just a tad to reflect this. While I do still believe it has a bit of a Dystopian feel to it, (in my opinion) I've left that as well. I can see it being both actually and I thank her for her input.

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

Find the Author

Follow me on Twitter     /     Be friends with me on Goodreads
Subscribe to my RSS Feed


  1. I really enjoyed this book as well. Right now I'm reading her contemporary novel, Drowning Instinct, and that book is great, too even though it's in a different genre.

    LOVE the new layout, by the way!!

  2. I disagree that this book was dystopian (post-apocalyptic, definitely, but since a dystopia is a society that looks perfect in theory but is actually oppressive and crumbling from the inside, that description really doesn't fit the story in "Ashes"), but I do agree with the rest of the review. I normally avoid zombies like the plague, but after reading one of Bick's previous novels, I wasn't about to let this one pass me by. It's wonderfully atmospheric, creative, and I love Bick's engaging writing style.

  3. This is moving up my TBR list very fast! Thanks for the great review. I can't wait to read it now.

  4. This is the first time I've heard about Ashes, but it sounds like something that's worth looking into. The writing and the memorable female lead that you mentioned definitely intrigues me! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention, Lisa!

  5. I'm severely disappointed that I never picked this book up, especially with the high praise it's been receiving lately. I love your review--I think you described it all so perfectly.

  6. Sweet! Been wanting to read this one!
    Love your blog layout so much! <3

  7. Wow, great review! And I love your blog, the background is lovely!

    Jessica from Booked Up!

    :) xxx


Comment and let me know your thoughts on this post.

Twitter Goodreads Email

Recently Read

Blog Archive

Search the Blog!

Learn more about RAK

Book Soulmates
Xpresso Book Tours

Total Pageviews


FTC Disclaimer:

In accordance with FTC Guidelines, I have not received any monetary gain for any information posted within the pages of this website/blog. Any and all information has been provided by the publisher, author and or publicist for free. Content is also based on purchases made by myself or of my guest reviewer(s). Any and all opinions expressed within the pages of this website/blog are solely my own or those of the authors of any and all guest reviewers(s) or guest bloggers.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

About Me

Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

I enjoy reading and reviewing a variety of different books within the Young Adult, "New Adult" & Adult genres/categories. If you have any questions or if you are an author or publisher and would be interested in promoting a book, please feel free email. You can find my email under the "mail" button or under the contact link at the top of the page.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Authors, Publishers & Publicists

Have a book you'd like me to review or Promote? How about doing an Author Interview? Or maybe a Guest Post? Great! I'd love to! For more information about having your book reviewed here, please follow this link for more information:

Reviews, Interviews, Guest Posts and Contest.

Guest Reviewer Jenny

Guest Reviewer Jenny
Click for info & links to her reviews!

My Ratings

When I review I rate from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the highest rating. I review based on many different things from the writing, to the story - to the characters and how I can relate to them or how they are developed. I also review based on if an author has worked their magic and was able to draw me into a story so deeply that I don't want to put the book down. If you would like me to review a book, please contact me or view my Contact Information and Review Policy for further details.

5 Stars - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!
4 Stars - I Really liked/Loved it.
3 Stars - I liked it/Was pretty good.
2 Stars - It was, eh okay.
1 Star - It just wasn't for me.


Follow the Blog

Follow on Bloglovin

Follow By Email

Enter your email address:

Grab Me!

Blogs I Love