[EPUB] ✰ Monsters By Ilsa J. Bick – Lectinshield.co.uk


Monsters quotes Monsters, litcharts Monsters, symbolism Monsters, summary shmoop Monsters, Monsters b12d88e9 It Could Happen TomorrowAn Electromagnetic Pulse Flashes Across The Sky, Destroying Every Electronic Device, Wiping Out Every Computerized System, And Killing BillionsAlex 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 EMPFor This Improvised Family And The Others Who Are Spared, It S Now A Question Of Who Can Be Trusted And Who Is No Longer HumanAuthor Ilsa J Bick Crafts A Terrifying And Thrilling Post Apocalyptic Novel About A World That Could Become Ours At Any Moment, Where Those Left Standing Must Learn What It Means Not Just To Survive, But To Live Amidst The Devastation


10 thoughts on “Monsters

  1. says:

    It all starts with a cataclysmic electromagnetic impulse Dead birds fall from the sky Deer run off a cliff, maddened for unknown reasons And people drop dead instantaneously and inexplicably or they are miraculously, irrevocably changed, some for the better, and some for the worse.The first half of this book is a phenomenal 17 year old Alex is transformed by the big event in ways that she can t understand She is saddled with an angry 8 year old and an attractive ex Army guy who s hiding secrets, and they all must find safety and shelter from the other survivors who are no longerhuman The prologue is well written and compelling, and I was drawn to the bleak, lonely mood and stark setting right from the very beginning I liked the strong but fragile Alex, and I was thoroughly engrossed by the incredible suspense and visceral, shudder inducing scenes that will be forever seared into my memory.But literally halfway through the book, something really odd happens During a tense standoff with a band of vicious kidnappers, one of the three people in Alex s group is shot This cliffhanger ends one chapter and when the next one begins, the story takes up three days later WHAT view spoiler TF hide spoiler


  2. says:

    yeah, i loved it i mean, wilderness survival and zombie survival it s like this author knows all about me i was so eager to get this, i even read her other book, draw the dark, while i waited.but this one was so much better.i have been excited for this book for a while now, even though i read so many reviews on here about how the second half of the book is such a letdown fortunately, by the time i actually got my hands on a copy of the book, i had forgotten specific complaints, and only remembered that people were not crazy about it.but i reread the reviews after i finished the book, and while i agree that there is a definite shift in the action between the first and second halves,i think she addresses this shift in a way that totally satisfied me on page 399 view spoiler.maybe Rule was killing her with the promise of safety she was cowering in the corner just like a bunny rabbit, hoping that no one would notice or maybe she was letting Rule infect her squash her will, who she was and had been, what she could look forward to.she d never have let the monster get away with that, and there were so many ways to fight so why wasn t she because something was changing again inside her she felt it in this slow, general slide into a kind of numb acceptance just like when i was diagnosed it was that stages of anger thing i was shocked and then i got pissed and then i fought like helland then i went numb they called it acceptance, but it wasn t it s what happens when you have only two choices love with the monster, or kill yourself. hide spoiler


  3. says:

    I hate having to review this book I ve spent the last 24 hours thinking about it, trying to figure out a way to point out the good and the bad, instead of just listing all the things that annoyed me Here s my conclusion the only remotely fair thing to do is to write two separate reviews one of the first and one of the second half of the book First half five stars The first half of Ashes was one of the best things I ve read recently, and that s saying a lot It was amazingly well written, fast paced, with interesting, layered characters and a compelling plot Alex is a 17 year old girl with a brain tumor She s lost her parents a few years back and is now living with her aunt, but she spends most of her time in the hospital At the beginning of Ashes, she is out of the hospital and has just decided not to do any treatments, seeing as they are not helping her in any way Instead, she chooses to go hiking in the wilderness There she meets an old man and his granddaughter Ellie and shares a meal with them Shortly after that, an EMP wipes out every electronic device and kills the old man in the process That leaves Alex with the 8 year old girl to take care of and some new abilities she doesn t fully understand After only a short walk, the girls stumble upon two teenagers who are eating another human It becomes pretty obvious that the EMP affected human brains as well as the electronic devices But why then did Alex and Ellie remain unchanged Ok, so we have a great plot, interesting characters, a subtle love story AND zombies eating intestants and gouging out people s eyes It s no wonder we were all so thrilled But then the second half came Second half two stars I can pinpoint the exact moment where it all went wrong From the end of one chapter to the beginning of the next, everything changed Ashes went from being amazing to being utterly unimaginative and even boring at times I had to force myself to finish it It picked up the pace again on the last 50 pages or so, but only to make the most horrible, cliffhanger ending possible Here are some of my problems with the book Alex is 17, but she is far too skilled and mature for that to be believable, even so because she s been very sick for a very long time People who spend years in the hospital usually don t know that much about surviving in the wilderness She could have been book smart, sure, but building fires I don t think so She kept saying that her father taught her, but he was dead by the time she entered her teen years I had the same problem with her knowledge of medicine Apparently her mother was a doctor and they used to spend their time together stitching up chickens Honestly, I don t know a single teen or pre teen that interested in his her parent s work I hate cliffhanger endings, and this was the mother of them all I don t understand why authors feel the need to do that A cliffhanger ending will make me less likely to read the next book, not And this particular author likes cliffhangers so much, she even ended a few chapters with them When you end a chapter with a cliffhanger and start the next one with the words Three days later , you can count on losing a few readers Maybe Ilsa J Bick is a pseudonym for two people, much like Ilona Andrews, only these two people don t get along as well I will still read the next book when it comes out, but I can t say I m too happy about it Michelle R., Wendy Darling and Bonnie have made this experience much better than it would have been without them Thanks, girls


  4. says:

    2.5 stars out of 5 The story Alex, has a brain tumor She does not want any treatments, is tired of hospitals, treatments, and false hope So, when you are questioning your own survival, what do you do You go on a survival trip Ok We straight here Good So, Alex is in the woods She is just minding her own business, being the withdrawn, moody teenager, when she meets 8 year old Ellie and Ellie s grandfather We don t need to go into the details of Ellie but let s just nickname her superbrat Ok, so big zap, WTF, weird electrical zipzap stuff happens and this big bad pulse kills Ellie s grandfather Oh shit Ellie survives the zap, and Alex not only survives the zap but also regains her sense of smell, which she had lost due to her brain tumor But oh no, just wait, now she is a living bloodhound Her sense of smell is off the charts She can sense than your basic BO, let s just say Alex s nose knows all sorry couldn t help it Ok, nothing wrong here Alex and Ellie, I mean superbrat, are surviving, moving along, surviving when they run into other teens But wait, these aren t your average everyday teens, they are zombies Yikes Seems there are 3 outcomes to the big zap, 1 you survive with no side effects or heightened side effects, 2 you die or 3 you become a flesh eating zombie And here is my warning to you these zombies love slurping gooey eyeballs, sucking fresh intestines right out of the dying body cavity and it is all detailed in black white So, if you don t have a strong stomach or intestines you might want to skip this book Now, don t worry, we have a boy coming into the story it couldn t just be two young girls surviving, that would be boooorrrrinnng right Let us introduce Tom, he happens to be a explosive ordinance disposal expert No problem, we ll need a bomb expert later in the book It s a good thing one survived Oh, and if you are worried about medical problems or surviving in the wilderness, don t you fret Our girl Alex happens to have a Mom sorry she is dead now that was a doctor and a dad that was a cop, also dead What does that mean Alex is skilled in sewing up her dinner long story and shooting guns, rifles and other weapons It is amazing how these characters always have the perfect past to survive in these dystopian novels Ok So no problems here Ellie, who is no longer superbrat, she is now a halfway decent kid, Alex, and Tom make a decent living in the woods All is fine and the story is not that bad In fact, up until this point 4 stars AND THEN THE BOOK GOES TO HELL After Ellie and Tom disappear long story , Alex finds herself in this weird cult I cannot even tell you what the hell the 2nd half of the book is about but it was so strange, and so WTF, that I kept thinking it must have been written by someone else Overall I don t know what happened to this book It was fine Not the best I ve read, pretty predictable, very unrealistic but I ve come to expect that in dystopian novels The 2nd half of the book just was awful Simply awful Nothing redeeming about it


  5. says:

    Everything was going so well. relatively speaking Things were going as well as can be expected when a series of massive electromagnetic pulses has sent the world hurtling into a nuclear maelstrom People have dropped dead on the spot Birds have fallen from the sky Deer have flung themselves off cliffs And some people have turned completely, cannibalistically feral.So when I say things were going well, I mean that Bick was spinning a very compelling story.Seventeen year old Alex is hiking in the Waucamaw, with only her personal demons and her parent s ashes for company, making a solo journey of deeply personal significance A fellow hiker and his granddaughter happen upon Alex s camp at the time of the zap as she comes to refer to the inciting incident of the ensuing apocalypse When the older man dies in the moment of inexplicable chaos, Alex is left with an eight year old girl, no idea what has happened, and a whole world of horror to face.Bick s story is gripping from the get go, forcing her characters into horrific situations and a desperate fight for survival As it becomes clear that not all is well with some of those who have survived, there are some truly disturbing scenes of stomach turning gore, pierced with a sense of visceral fear The apparent reprieve in the form of young army veteran Tom s appearance on the scene I call this moment the anti meet cute , you ll know why when you read it is momentary The three characters band together amid the madness, finding a period of brief respite, only to be confronted with yet terror.Ashes is refreshingly told in third person, and I don t feel that hinders the reader s closeness to the main character In fact, Alex as a character generally comes through loud and clear, particularly in the first half of the book, where her strength and intelligence really come to the fore Her inner turmoil is well realised, making her a dimensional character who feels real and interesting I had advance warning that this book takes a rather large turn, and I will openly confess right now that I was cocky Do your worst, Ilsa J Bick , I thought figuratively stretching and cracking my knuckles, throw me some curveballs, I can take it Because I can be annoyingly smug like that, sometimes The thing is, this book doesn t really throw curveballs.Instead, it walks up behind you, clubs you violently on the back of the head, then grabs you by the ankles and starts dragging you in a direction you really don t want go, laughing maniacally all the while.I don t cuss that often, but please allow me to take this opportunity to say WTF, Ashes WTF.While there is a chapter or two roughly halfway through that essentially act as a hinge between the two sections of the book, the transition is jarring enough to make Ashes feel like it is fragmented into two different novels On their own, these two sections work the first as a story of white knuckle survival and horror, the second as a claustrophobic story of entrapment, with sinister, almost cultish undertones I actually really liked both parts of the novel, to be clear It s the butting of these two stories together that is hard to take an alloy that does not entirely work.The second half of the Ashes occasionally had me figuratively kicking and screaming and generally raging against the book At one point, our main character muses Where was the Alex who d grabbed the ashes and run The one who said to Barrett, I m calling the shots now She sure as hell didn t know Well I sure as hell didn t know either Where was the Alex of the first part of the book Logical and driven and smart I missed her and I wanted her back It was painful to watch her fade into a dim copy of herself, loose her grip on her determination although in a way, it made sense that she would be lulled into this state by her circumstances, and the illusion of safety I guess I just wanted her to fight so badly, that I struggled to calmly read on as she floundered.The relationship between Tom and Alex had been developed so well in the first section sure it was partly born out of fear and desperation but it felt real and gradual and had my full investment Then view spoiler that carefully crafted development feels virtually undone by Tom s absence and the arrival on the scene of another potential love interest I could feel myself shrieking inwardly as Alex experiences confusion and growing feelings for this character It felt too rushed, too contrived, out of keeping with the tone of the rest of the book and Alex herself, and I had to slam the book closed and walk away for a little while Because I am also dramatic, sometimes hide spoiler


  6. says:

    4.5I read ASHES by Ilsa Bick a year ago when I was on this YA post apocalyptic rollllllll I couldn t get enough of them Noooow not that I am trying to ruffle any feathers, but after reading some reviews of ASHES, I kind of had to chuckle Quite a few people gave it low marks for various things being unbelievable I don t have that opinion In fact I rarely have that opinion when reading fictionbecause it is after allfiction this is horror YA to boot Maybe I should be judgmental, but I tend to suspend disbelief when opening fiction of any kind, but I especially do with horror or science fiction It just makes it so much fun And in a world where George Bush got elected into officetwice Kim Kardashian is still able to stay relevant One of the number 1 comedies on TV is The Big Bang Theory and there really are people who call themselves Beliebers I can belieb believe almost anything image error


  7. says:

    Unfortunately, while Ashes was an interesting book it did manage the triptych of the apocalypse wilderness survival, cross country travel survival, and dealing with deviants survival it was troubled by plotting, narrative jumps and character consistency I d call it a three star read good enough to survive a little longer, but it could go either way next season Call it the Carol character of The Walking Dead Might get interesting, but just as likely to get killed.Our protagonist is a young woman, Alex, who is headed into the wilderness for emotional closure, planning to scatter her parents ashes in the remote woods they loved With an actively growing brain tumor, aka monster, she s been under the watchful eye of her aunt, and has had to sneak away to accomplish her goal Recently, she s had experimental radioactive chemoactive seeds implanted in her brain to treat the tumor, but she s finally decided that was her last treatment Hiking the trails, she meets an older man, Jack his young granddaughter, Ellie and her war trained dog, Mina They share a cup of coffee, but before Alex can continue on her way, all of them are suddenly struck down in agony Strangely, all the animal life in the area seems to be effected as well.Having an ill teen as heroine was a fascinating choice, particularly one wrestling with the issues of terminal illness Alex s perceptions and reactions are highly colored by the experience of cancer survivor She has huge memory gaps, although her survival skills remain, leading to one of the logic complaints other readers fix on However, neurology is incredibly complicated, let alone neurology filtered through a 17 year old s perception, so I was willing to accept the premise It s definitely interesting and one of the reasons I kept reading was Alex It seems likely that the seeds in her head had something to do with her unusual reaction to the world events, but we don t know for sure, and though Alex spends some time thinking about it, most of her attention is focused on reacting to events Undoubtedly one of the reasons I kept reading was a desire to have of Bick s picture colored in.One of the strengths of the book was world building I felt Bick captured the sense of what it s like to be in the midwest woods, far from civilization I felt like I was hiking with her, conjuring pine smell from my own memory, and feeling the chill in the fall air However, Bick failed on the intrinsic Midwest friendliness coupled with the natural comradarie of people in the wilderness She is deeply suspicious encountering Jack s group To his gentlest of inquires, she was hostile and couldn t wait to get away It struck me as odd that someone like Alex used to meeting a wide variety of people in medical facilities, used to hiking remotely was so impolite and guarded about general details I wondered if there was deeper anger issues that would be clarified later, but they never were It was the first hint of oddness to come.Contrast that suspicion with her meeting up with Tom not long after the pulse she isn t freaked out that he stitched her head, removed her wet clothes or that they immediately settled into a family unit Had it been my 17 year old self, I would have reacted oppositely trusting a grandpa, 8 year old and their dog, and suspicious of a 24 year old guy, no matter how good he smells Her initial wariness was dropped, most likely to make for an interesting potential love interest, although she resumes it later in the book.One thing you can say about Ashes is that the plot moves However, it seems overly troubled by plot contrivances instead of organic happenings out of character or event development I first started to wonder at author intention when in short order Alex lost a coffee press, a stove, a map, a water bottle, a backpack, parka, food and then finally, her father s gun Really short order like about two days It started to feel like plot points designed to up the tension rather than realistic losses or consequences of bad behavior decisions This contrivance really started to bother me in the section that results in leaving the ranger station Not long after meeting Tom, the bomb disposal expert, the survivors end up at a well provisioned rangers cabin and have a chance to recuperate After hanging out for three weeks at the cabin, suddenly our orphans isn t that convenient decide to go on a road trip Tom decides Alex needs to know how to hunt if something happens to him, so they take two days to have bow hunting practice if only it was so easy , learn to change a tire and drive stick shift Weak Which led me to one of my first serious logic confusion why would they leave when they ve acknowledged the world is likely in disarray Well, for the plot Still, would ve been nice to have a good reason Tom says, medical supplies Not that any of them are sick, but in case And hear him out they ll go even father north, to someplace even less populated and figure out how to live off the land Um If they were going to live off the land, wouldn t they be in a fairly isolated place already And how would being isolated get them medical access And why trade known resources that include a generator for unknown It didn t make sense You give me a swanked up cabin with a generator, fireplace, guns, ingredients for chocolate chips cookies really , a dog and a lake for fish and I ll chill all winter Heck, I ll move in for good I get it, we needed to move the plot along I d rather settle for the old fashioned I want to find my family over this lack of reasoning Assorted other oddities The narrative format doesn t quite work, trying to force tension instead of naturally letting a story about zombies develop it There is half assed foreshadowing at many chapter ends and all the book sections that is overly portentous As an example That was the last good time and I never saw her again Especially disconcerting are weird narrative jumps For instance, one chapter midway through view spoiler has Ellie, Tom and Alex confronting a group of armed adults hide spoiler


  8. says:

    Imagine two fish swimming around in a big fish tank There s a castle and a little treasure chest that opens up to send bubbles shooting up in the water One fish is bright blue and the other is neon orange They re about the same size and they definitely look like they d swim around together in the ocean if left to their devices Now imagine the very strange owner hacking the two fish in half and stitching the top of the blue fish to the lower half of the orange fish with crude Frankenstein esque stitches Jarring, yes Ashes felt like reading two stories spliced together and not in a good way Thankfully, both of the stories fit with the world building Hence my two fish comparison, had the world building not matched you would ve been greeted with a much weirder splicing Still, the first and the second halves of the book are so different that I felt cheated out of the book I started reading I felt like I was reading a choose your own adventure book and I d chosen wrong I kept wanting to go back to the place where Alex and Tom decided to leave the ranger station and choose another path for the story to follow.I m getting ahead of myself though, as I so often do Also, now might be a good time to throw out there that I have a terrible cold and cannot be held responsible for the coherency of this review Ashes is a pretty decent end of the world book The event isn t quite as standard as most zombie novels The book s monsters are the author s own unique take on zombies, which are scarily intelligent, durable, and instantly numerous than Hollywood s version The narrator, Alex, is self reliant and easy to relate to I wasn t thrilled with how she initially treated Ellie, the little girl she happens to be with when the world starts to come to an end, but she makes up for it and eventually their relationship became one of the things that interested me the most.For the first half of the book, Alex is a terminal cancer patient who has gone AWOL on her latest useless treatment for a retreat into the woods It s one of those live because you re dying trips She s in the woods to scatter her parents ashes and find herself a little before she loses herself altogether The end of the world event seems to be some sort of electromagnetic pulse I don t think the author really knew what was going on there so she kept it as vague as possible, but I ve said it before and I ll say it again I don t expect too much in the way of big world explanations from an intimate and limited POV story.Alex is with an older man and his granddaughter when the pulse occurs The old man dies right along with all their gear Alex decides they have to push forward toward the ranger s station because 1 they re equally distant from the road and her car and 2 she doesn t think her car will work anyway if they get there At first Ellie does not want to come and Alex feigns leaving her She travels slowly so Ellie can catch up, but Ellie almost falls off the fucking mountain trying to catch up, costing them their limited supplies At this point they haven t traveled too far from the grandfather and his bag of supplies I was frustrated Alex didn t double back to get it, even if it meant killing the dog who guarded the old man s body It s not like she didn t have TWO guns.Anyway, Alex and Ellie face dehydration, starvation, people who were changed in the pulse from perfectly normal to man eating, and packs of wild dogs They are saved from one of the changed people and a pack of wild dogs by a guy named Tom I would have liked to see Alex pull it all together, but I liked Tom all the same They make it to the ranger station which is mysteriously abandoned They hang out there for a few weeks A tentative romance begins to bloom between Alex and Tom They are safe with enough supplies to make it through the winter For some reason Tom thinks it s a good idea to abandon that security because one of them might get hurt and there d be no one around to help It is, however, a nice change of pace that the guy is TSTL instead of the girl.They go along their merry way after some grim foreshadowing about how nothing was ever okay after that This is a pet peeve of mine, authors Please don t take a time out to warn me of scary things in your best Doomy Gloomy voice I don t even think this counts as foreshadowing because it wasn t hinted at lightly The author flat out told you things were going to get fucked up from here on out This, my friends, is the end of the blue fish and the beginning of the strange orange fish.After a few days on the road they get robbed People take their supplies and steal Ellie because children are a golden ticket into some towns Tom tries to save Ellie and gets shot in the leg Alex and Tom are left without supplies and without weapons They limp along for a few miles, all while Tom becomes sicker and sicker They bump into a town Alex sets Tom up in a grocery store so she can go get help When she gets back with help, Tom is mysteriously gone Sad face Of course, she got attacked by some creatures just outside the store where she left him and didn t think to move him afterThe people Alex went to for help are a sort of religious cult that keeps the young people around for breeding Alex isn t allowed to leave She spots one of the men who took Ellie while she s there The man says Ellie got away and ran off into the woods, blah blah blah They shun the man out of the society.Alex just wants out of this crazy place, to find Ellie and Tom She thinks about Tom obsessively and worries about Ellie, who is in all likelihood dead I think the latter half of this book could have been connected to the first half if either Tom or Ellie had remained a consistent presence throughout the book Instead, Ellie is swapped out for teenage girls in the same situation as Alex and Tom is swapped out as a love interest for Chris, the grandson of the leader of the weird cult More weirdness ensues including a trippy ending that made very little sense I don t think it was supposed to make sense so that the cliff hanger would be bigger Honestly I can t be bothered to recap it I just kept wanting to go back to the first half of the story and get Tom and Ellie back I couldn t get invested in anyone new because I was terribly distracted.The first half of the book is a solid four stars The second half is a sort of flat two stars Three it is I might read the next book to see if it gets back on course, but I think the erratic writing is not something one can easily recover from.


  9. says:

    Review also posted on my visitable blog A fast paced, riveting read It was that stages of anger thing I was shocked and then I got pissed and then I fought like hell and then I went numb They called it acceptance, but it wasn t It s what happens when you have only two choices live with the monster, or kill yourself Alex thought the shrink was full of shit Her parents were dead.She knew that The dream was all about her life jumping the rails,blowing up in her face, leaving her with nothing but ashes.If I had to pick my favorite dystopian reads, Ashes would be right up there at the top of it along with Hunger Games, 1984, Blood Red Road, Gone, and Enclave I ve read Ashes twice, and each time, it gripped me with an iron fist until the end and even after When I wasn t reading it, I was thinking about the latest twist in the story and after finishing last December, I obsessed about the crazy cliffhanger for months actually, right up until the the day I got my hands on the sequel Ashes starts out with an almost teary goodbye with Alex s aunt on the phone because she s about to hike out into the mountains for a week long trip before she becomes too weak she has terminal cancer heartbreaking, I know But of course, our resourceful protagonist can t just die She meets this old guy and his 8 year old granddaughter while sitting on top of a mountain, and suddenly, some kind of invisible laser of intense pain you ll have to read Ashes to find out what it really is attacks all of them, leaving the man dead, Ellie weeping, and Alex different Cancer had taken away her sense of smell but somehow, she can now smell everything around her, including things normal people can t smell like fear and lies What s most teenagers have reacted to this beam by becoming flesh eating zombies the alive, fast, and insanely dangerous kind.If you like horror movies or shows like The Walking Dead, you re definitely going to enjoy Ashes Not only is it fast paced and gritty, it is also super gory guys, if you re looking for a book, this was made for you Those who might be squeamish about reading explicit descriptions of regular looking people renting human flesh, rupturing bellies, and enjoying the meal, close this review and don t look back My favorite scenes of this book were two of the most spine tingling moments I ve ever had the pleasure of reading even I turned my head in disgust The rest is pure evasion and fighting to live through the horrifying circumstances.Instead of banding together, the survivors mostly elderly people grow desperate and steal and kill each other for their goods It s a dangerous world, but Tom, Alex and Ellie who s just the best character in dystopian lit she s so small and goes from a whiny, snot filled kid to a survivor manage to navigate it well, that is until a small gang steals Ellie and their supplies, and injures Tom possibly fatally Then, Alex must travel alone to find help from the nearby town of Rule leading to Part 4 Rule This was the dullest part of the novel, and in my opinion, the portion that could have been much shorter It s all about her getting to Rule, finally finding safety, and falling instantly in love with a dude called Chris They re all passionate and lovey dovey, in contrast with the rest of the book where there were at most two kissing scenes This portion served mostly to create an unnecessary love triangle BUT this part totally and utterly redeemed through the aforementioned cliffhanger, where Alex realizes just what the town leaders are up to And I can t say any in fear of spoiling this fantastic book DI CANNOT wait to start Shadows the sequel Be sure to stop by to chat with our awesomesauce author on Wednesday, September 26 at 7PM ET


  10. says:

    My rating 2.5 of 5 stars Ashes is the story of Alex, a 17 year old girl with an inoperable brain tumor who leaves home by herself to go on a camping trip While out in the wilderness, an event occurs that prevents the use of her electronic devices she later discovers that an EMP had gone off and had not only shut down all electronic devices but killed billions She begins caring for 8 year old Ellie as her grandfather was one of the first people killed by the EMP Alex begins noticing that she s changing in ways that she can t explain For one, her brain tumor had caused her to lose her sense of smell and taste but following the EMP those senses not only come back to her but they are heightened like never before The changes continue in her throughout the story.First impressions Alex was not an immediately likable character but she does grow on you after some time I d say around the time the other main character, Tom, is introduced she starts acting like a likable human being.Second This CANNOT be a young adult book This was one of the most gruesome books I have read in a LONG time Not to say it wasn t amazing, because it was, but planning meals around reading this book to make sure that you re don t have food in your stomach and or are about to eat was essential I can stomach most things, I m not exactly squeamish, but man can this author describe your internal organs Lol One main issue I have with this book, which actually is an issue I have with many YA books, is the situations that the author puts the characters in and how these characters act in these situations does not fit their age The way that Alex acts in this book does not fit a 17 year old I don t care how mature you are for your age Tom was a bit believable because he was in his 20 s and he had been in the army and had proper training and such.Possible spoilers My second issue was the fact that the first half of the book was super exciting and I loved every minute of it It seemed like as soon as I hit 50% it just went immediately downhill She got to the town Rule and I got seriously lost because all of these new characters were thrown in the mix and I got so confused keeping everybody straight Plus No zombies No gruesome gory internal organ comments Just life in this weird religious cult amish society Just weird I was trending on 4 stars up until the second half And I missed Tom No Tom, no zombies, the second half sucked The author seemed to be following an interesting path in the storyline but then at the half mark she went in a completely different direction and I didn t like it one bit It seemed to me as if the first half was about survival and the bonds of friendship and such, and then the second half turned into some weird love triangle and it was completely inappropriate as far as I m concerned Didn t fit at all with the rest of the story.Compared to the many other dystopian novels I ve read recently, this one lacked the realism that many others had Ashfall, for example, was believable and you could imagine each and every eventually happening With this novel, I don t know if these characters just had bad luck but it just seemed to me like they were constantly dealing with a ridiculous amount of shit Sure the world has gone to hell, but these damn kids just could not catch a break Maybe that s the way it ll truly be if things like this ever happen, but for me it just didn t seem realistic.It s not often that I will read a book that is the start of a new series and not want to continue There s either a cliffhanger that forces me to or an overall desire to see what happens to the characters The ending of this book did not have me feeling the need to continue, the last half of the book just ruined the good parts, very disappointed


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