May 12, 2013

Science fiction/action
Ilsa J. Bick
Reviewed by Noah McMullin
4.5 out of 5 stars

“’Thanks’, she said against the prick of tears. Crying was not the way she wanted this to end. ‘I should probably go. I love you, Aunt Hannah.’ ‘Oh, you bloody little fool,’ her aunt said. ‘Don’t you think I know that?’ They never spoke to each other again.” Alex was diagnosed with cancer when she was about fifteen, and that was two years ago. Now, seventeen year old Alex goes on a hike in the woods to try and escape her problems and deal with her own personal demons. Everything was perfectly normal on her hike, or at least normal for Alex, until there was a bright flash, and Alex felt a searing pain in an event she would come to refer to as “The Zap”. “The Zap” was an electromagnetic pulse that destroyed every electronic device, and killed billions. Most that were spared from the Zap have been turned into flesh-eating monsters that can adapt and will stop at nothing for their meal. Right before “The Zap,” Alex met a young girl named Ellie and her grandfather, Jack, who was killed by the EMP. Days after the EMP went off, Alex and Ellie meet a young soldier named Tom. Alex and her improvised family must now not only learn to care for each other, but also learn who can, and more importantly who can’t, be trusted.

Ilsa J. Bick’s Ashes is a well written horror/thriller novel that will refuse to let you put it down. Bick uses literary elements such as setting and characterization to majorly impact the characters in the novel. She uses setting because if the setting wasn’t exactly what it is, the novel would be completely different. Bick uses characterization because the characters aspects, such as Alex’s brain tumor, drastically affect them throughout the novel. I enjoyed Ashes very much and I would recommend it to anyone who likes action, horror, thriller, mystery, or science-fiction novels. I guarantee if you start reading Ashes, you will have to finish it.

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