Ashes (Ashes Trilogy Series #1)

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy Series #1)

4.4 149
by Ilsa J. Bick
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Gripped me from beginning to end – dark, creepy and suspenseful.  James Dashner,
New York Times Best-Selling author of The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials       
             
A haunting and epic story of survival in a shattered world, ASHES is a must read.  
Michael Grant, New York Times Best-Selling author of Gone

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bick delivers an action-packed tale of an apocalypse unfolding, launching a trilogy with flair. While camping in a national park in Michigan, 17-year-old Alex, a girl coping with a brain tumor and the side effects of its treatment, survives a series of electromagnetic pulses that may have taken out the entire world. Miles from nowhere, she hikes with new companions—an obstinate eight-year-old orphan named Ellie and a young soldier named Tom—as they try to make sense of things. Aside from wrecking their equipment, the pulse has killed most adults and morphed young people into psychotic flesh-eating monsters that are soon dubbed the Changed. Alex is different, too (her formerly dead sense of smell is now nearly supernaturally strong), and the companions worry about their own potential to "Change" as they attempt to find other survivors. Bick (Draw the Dark) doesn't shy away from gore—one woman's guts "boiled out in a dusky, desiccated tangle, like limp spaghetti"—but it doesn't derail the story's progress. If readers have any complaint, it will be with the ending, which only sets up the next book. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Gripped me from beginning to end – dark, creepy and suspenseful.  James Dashner,
New York Times Best-Selling author of The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials       
             
A haunting and epic story of survival in a shattered world, ASHES is a must read.  
Michael Grant, New York Times Best-Selling author of Gone

“…a harrowing apocalyptic survival tale that brims with true horror….Ashes inhabits the same dark country as The Stand (and is, in fact, delightfully King-esque at times) or Justin Cronin’s recent viral apocalypse The Passage…. Bick’s ability to convincingly render the mindset of people exposed to horrors and those still living with them makes not just Alex but all the characters around her feel real enough that we ache for them.”  Locus Magazine
 
The gorgeous (and disturbing cover) is sure to grab attention; an impeccable sci-fi/horror
balance, quick pace, and risky storytelling all live up to the jacket’s promise.  The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
 
An action-packed tale of an apocalypse unfolding, launching a trilogy with flair.   Publishers Weekly                 
 
Gritty, grim, grotesque, gruesome, gratifying and ultimately deeply satisfying, Ashes is this year's best ya dystopian novel. Pamela Thompson,  El Paso Times Sunday Living  
 
Splendidly paced apocalyptic zombie horror ends with a thrilling, terrifying cliffhanger and a number of unresolved mysteries.   Kirkus Reviews
 
You won't want to put it down and, quite frankly, it blows the rest of those dismal-future books clean out of the water.  Donna at Bites, www.bitemybooks.com
 
Ashes is disaster done right, it has to be one of the best disaster books I have read in a long while... I cannot recommend this book enough.  (Five Stars) www.readforyourfuture.org
 
It's like the Walking Dead, but in a YA novel…. I can't wait for the sequel!   Hallie Wilkins, age 16, Anderson's Bookshops
 
Dystopia on steroids, exactly what it should be.  Pamela, Hickelbees, San Jose, CA
 
Front and center we have my current obsession, Ilsa Bick's Ashes, which is like Justin Cronin's The Passage for the YA set.   Suzanna Hermans, co-owner of Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, N.Y
 
If Cormac McCarthy and Justin Cronin bore a lovechild (I read The Passage directly following ASHES), Ilsa J. Bick would be their bouncing baby girl. A. Ragheb, randomactsofreading.com  
 
“Great writing. Fantastic plot. Likeable characters. Mt. Everest-type cliffhanger. It all makes for a fabulous book -- for young adult readers and adults alike.” –Examiner.com (Chicago)
 
Ashes is one that fans of Suzanne Collins's trilogy will surely devour. …What will really grab readers is the wonderful narrative that carries Ashes through every shocking, unexpected plot twist. Bick clearly has a natural gift for storytelling, and here she has crafted a compelling story that will suck you in.” ---Examiner.com (national) 
 
“An easy read with engaging characters and an intriguing plot. …This novel is gripping and intense but very dark…it's not a book for the faint of heart or young and may leave readers checking for their flashlights and battery-operated radios — just in case.” –Deseret News

VOYA - Matthew Weaver
Bick takes the best of post-apocalyptic, zombie fiction, like Cormac McCarthy's The Road (Vintage Books, 2007) and Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead graphic novel series (Image Comics, 2006-2011), and adds the exact thing that has been sorely lacking from those genres: girl power, and in a heaping dose. Seeking reprieve from a terminal sentence, orphan Alex decides to spend her last days in the wilderness. When she meets a kindly old man and his snotty granddaughter, Ellie, Alex is eager to be alone, but noone is prepared for an electromagnetic pulse that leaves the old man dead and Alex with a recovered sense of smell and the new ability to discern fear. There are also a whole mess of ravenous adolescent cannibals, paranoid adults, and a ticked-off eight-year-old. A child psychiatrist, aspiring surgeon, and former Air Force major, Bick has the background necessary to craft her tale, as her heroine faces situations that make the Hunger Games look like a tea party. Deceptively simple at first, the story is infused with science and real-life elements that lend further credence as the action picks up steam. Bick proves adept at tugging at heartstrings while gearing up for the next dreadful thing waiting around the corner. Oh sure, there are a few love interests in the mix, but do not mistake Alex for the shrinking-violet paranormal wisps or kick-rump world saviors flooding the YA market. She is better: a real girl with brains and heart, just trying to survive in a world that is out to eat her alive. Reviewer: Matthew Weaver
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—A ragtag group—a teen with an inoperable and terminal brain tumor on a journey to find closure, a young soldier on leave running from personal demons, and an angry little girl whose grandfather has taken her on a backpacking trip after the death of her father—have two important things in common: the electromagnetic pulse that ripped through the sky while they were hiking in the Waucamaw Wilderness didn't kill them, and it did not change them into crazed, flesh-eating zombies. Now they are trying to stay alive and keep as far away from the zombies as possible. However, the greatest threat to their survival may come from other survivors. In the gore, violence, and disturbing societal constructions of this postapocalyptic/zombie thriller, readers will see echoes of Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" series (Scholastic), Patrick Ness's "Chaos Walking" series (Candlewick), and James Dashner's "The Maze Runner" series (Delacorte), making this an excellent choice for those searching for more along the same lines. The novel is equal parts horrifying and riveting, and many teens will be compelled to devour it in one sitting. But be forewarned: not a single plot point is wrapped up, so readers who like things neatly solved better wait until the whole trilogy is out.—Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO
Kirkus Reviews

When civilization ends and you're faced with an army of face-eating, nuclear-mutant zombies, having a brain tumor doesn't seem so bad.

Alex, orphaned, 17 and dying, decides she's sick of pointless chemo. She bugs out of school for a backpacking trip in the wilderness, determined to make her own end. Just a few days into her trip something terrible happens: A horrible, screeching pain knocks her senseless, kills an elderly backpacker and sends scores of dead birds falling from the sky. Wild dogs in the area seem to have run mad, and did Alex actually see two teenagerseatingan old woman? Along with two fellow survivors—bratty middle schooler Ellie and Tom, a young soldier on leave—Alex seeks safety. Alex and Tom are both outdoorsy, but for every cache of weapons and MREs they find, another horrible event takes place. Their gun-toting survivalism only keeps them safe for so long in a post-apocalyptic America in which most of the other young people have been Changed to cannibals. The requisite creepy cultist village raises excellent questions of trust and society. Alex can't survive on her Glock alone; she needs supplies, knowledge, allies and affection.

Splendidly paced apocalyptic zombie horror ends with a thrilling, terrifying cliffhanger and a number of unresolved mysteries.(Horror. 12-15)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606843857
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/2012
Series:
Ashes Trilogy Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
179,696
Product dimensions:
5.39(w) x 7.97(h) x 1.11(d)
Lexile:
HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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