Monsters: The Ashes Trilogy

Monsters: The Ashes Trilogy

4.1 21
by Ilsa J. Bick

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The Changed are on the move. The Spared are out of time. The now.

When her parents died, Alex thought things couldn't get much worse--until the doctors found the monster in her head.

She headed into the wilderness as a good-bye, to leave everything behind. But then the end of the world happened, and Alex took the first step down a treacherous…  See more details below


The Changed are on the move. The Spared are out of time. The now.

When her parents died, Alex thought things couldn't get much worse--until the doctors found the monster in her head.

She headed into the wilderness as a good-bye, to leave everything behind. But then the end of the world happened, and Alex took the first step down a treacherous road of betrayal and terror and death.

Now, with no hope of rescue--on the brink of starvation in a winter that just won't quit--she discovers a new and horrifying truth.

The Change isn't over.
The Changed are still evolving.
And...they've had help.

With this final volume of The Ashes Trilogy, Ilsa J. Bick delivers a riveting, blockbuster finish, returning readers to a brutal, post-apocalyptic world where no one is safe and hope is in short supply.

A world where, from these ashes, the monsters may rise.

Releases simultaneously in electronic book format (ISBN 978-1-60684-444-1)

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Matthew Weaver
Bick continues the epic adventure she began in Ashes (Egmont, 2011/VOYA October 2011) and then picked up again in Shadows (Egmont, 2012). A reader should not try to read Monsters as a stand-alone novel—Ashes sets the stage, and then much occurs in the second book—because the reader spends much of the third book trying to catch his or her breath. But Bick does not allow much time for that, as we follow at least three major heroes and a host of indistinguishable minor supporting characters through a post-apocalyptic zombie world in which people are trying to survive or are transforming into monstrous creatures. Alex, the kick-butt heroine of Ashes, loses a lot of her originality and fire as Bick throws crisis upon crisis at her, then casts her aside for nearly half the book. Readers get more out of Chris, who struggles to stay alive, and Ellie, the annoying young girl from the first book, who inherits Alex's crown as the heroine whom readers love. But Bick devotes more time to action than deepening her characters, resulting in an unwieldy, convoluted tale that will exhaust even the most dedicated of fans. Bick even acknowledges that she covers a lot of ground with a refresher on her website. Ashes was a VOYA Perfect Ten in 2011, so Bick is more than capable of a strong story. Monsters makes the mistake of burying its heart beneath too much noise. It is there, beating faintly, but it is hard to hear over all the clatter and screaming. Reviewer: Matthew Weaver
Kirkus Reviews
All of the Ashes Trilogy storylines converge in this action-packed series conclusion. Picking up immediately where Shadows (2012) left off, indomitable heroine Alex again claws her way out of one danger and into another. Rescued from a cave-in by Wolf, she rejoins the Changed, despite the risk of ending up on the menu, and gradually learns Wolf's and Peter's secrets. Meanwhile, other familiar faces reappear, each belonging to one of various other small groups scrapping for survival. The jarring narration jumps back and forth between Alex's story and the other characters', often in short bursts with deadly-peril parallels in characters' situations. There are so many near brushes with death that, at times, danger becomes tedious and expected, losing some tension. It's recovered through well-crafted sentences, especially Bick's signature, deliberate cliffhanger chapter endings that ensure that readers won't be able to stop until they've reached the climactic showdown. As the novel progresses, the seemingly disparate storylines bleed into one another more and more, and connections and relationships among factions and characters are clarified as all storylines converge on Finn's grudge against Rule, his influence on other characters and the terrifying results of his experiments on his Changed army. The ending wraps up most questions but still leaves enough mystery for readers to dwell on. An opus of blood, gore and pain that will leave fans breathless. (Horror. 14 & up)

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Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
The Ashes Trilogy , #3
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
HL770L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

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Monsters 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying my son and I are huge fans of this series. It's been about a year since the second book, Shadows, came out, so I was glad Monsters included a cast of characters (there are many secondary ones) and summary of who's where and doing what at the end of the second book. Unfortunately, that part began on page 673, when I was already finished with the book. Had it been in the first few pages of the book, my reading experience would have been tremendously improved. I'm glad I finished this series, although I feel like the original storyline got lost along the way. The first book, and to some extent the second, focused more on Alex and her situation, how far she'd go to survive and protect her loved ones, the decisions she made, and discovering her limits. Monsters had so many varying POV's that it was hard to keep up at times. The action sequences carried on for pages, especially in the first several chapters. It quickly became tedious reading about a fight scene that seemed to go on for hours. Typically, action scenes are designed to make the reader want to keep reading, being unable to put down the book. In this case, it just make me skim through the pages to see what happened when it was finally over. Although the second book left me feeling as if a love triangle between Alex, Tom, and Chris would be the focus of the third book, it was practically nonexistent, and for that, I was grateful; however, the relationship between Alex and Wolf left me scratching my head and was never really resolved. The ending of the book was ambiguous and left many unanswered questions - Who was behind the EMP's? Why were some spared and what was their purpose? Why had some of the Changed held on to part of their humanity while others hadn't? - just to name a few. Some of the mysteries from the first book that held my attention were never solved and left me very frustrated. The book was well-written, but really could have been shortened by 200 pages or so and focused more on the primary characters instead of the numerous secondary players. I would also strongly suggest moving the character and previous book summaries to the front of the book instead of the back. This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
kleokatra More than 1 year ago
 SO disappointed. While still maintaining a heady suspense, the culmination of this trilogy really leaves you with more questions than answers. I'm not really sure what to say without giving things away, but if you really want to feel as if you've wasted a ton of time, read this trilogy. I'm very disappointed with this ending. Ms. Bick should've edited out a whole bunch in this series and actually taken the time to finish it. Answer some questions. Come to some sort of conclusion. My husband is so bored listening to this book he's actually making up songs and calling me. He can only listen to about 30 minutes at a time without wanting to destroy Audible. Such a disappointment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love these series! And a huge love for all he characters. I recently just finished reading Monsters, which was great as it had me on the edge of my seat most of the time, but the ending really got me! They are so many unanswered question, like does she go with Wolf or stay with Tom, who set off the EMP's and why they are spared. (ugh I just hope they is another book!)
Readergirl_Revus More than 1 year ago
I have been a great fan of this series from the very beginning, not only because I'm into the zombie-apocalypse type stories, but also because it was written by this author and in such a phenomenal way. This story was exciting, epic, and had such amazing characters in it. Alex has got to be one of my favorite characters ever. Her bravery in facing a killing illness notwithstanding, she's also so extraordinarily brave in the face of what is happening all around her. This is a tough girl, one that is afraid, but pushes past it because that's what needs to happen. If something must be done, she just does it... no angsting around about it. She is smart, so resourceful that she amazed me sometimes, and self-sacrificing... but not in the "I'm being a martyr" sort of way, but in a way, better me than them way. What's not to love about this girl? Then there is Tom. I loved this guy from the first time he stepped onto the page. He's a bit older, a soldier, and resourceful as well. It was, for me, an instant connection between him and Alex. They are absolutely perfect for each other in every way, and yet the spend the majority of the story apart. Does this detract from the story in any way? Not at all. The goal of each is to find each other again, and along the way, they meet others that end up being just as important to the story. I think that's one of the things that made this story more epic... the fact that there is a large cast of characters, and you love them. They are each individual, have their own personalities and struggles, and you root for each. The story doesn't just belong to Alex and Tom. The subplots were so well-developed, and just as interesting. This last installment to the series was so action-packed that I felt like I finished it in no time, despite the fact that the book was rather long. It was a great end to the trilogy.... I loved how it all worked out. If I had any complaints at all, I might have liked to see more on what actually caused the problem in first place, but I wasn't disappointed that I didn't know more. It was just too good a book to really fret over it. Awesome story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the first two books a lot but this book is just terrible. First you see how long the book is and you think it must be great-but the truth is that is because the first 400 pages are complete yawn factor with little interaction with the characters you were interested in in the first place. And don't think you're going to get any closure or answers at the end-because frankly this whole book could have STARTED on the last couple of chapters and you wouldn't have missed anything at all. Since this is suppossed to be the last book, I believe the ending really is just that-a crappy way to end a book. Needless to say, if there is a 4th book, or subsequent novellas, they will not be getting anymore of my time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an exciting book and scary at once
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well... the ending was... just wow... I really hope there will be a 4th book to explain more about what happened. I know through out this book the author kind of showed that she didnt want to tell but it would still be nice to know what happens at the end with wolf and alex. Its kind of a big deal to know if wolf is turning back to human and takes the candy. Its such a huge cliff hanger that when I read previews before reading this book I didnt realize when they said big cliff hanger they meant HUGE cliff hanger at the end. I loved reading this book and the two before it! Really kept me interested in reading more with every chapter. Only other part that bugged me was how many different point of views there were. Wayyyy to many... I really just got interested in 3 or 4 and all the others I tried really hard not to skip pages. But overall this book was awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly the first was the best. This book is very gripping and it fleshes out all the backstories very well but the only real complain I have is that every 5 pages someone suffocates to death but then miraculously comes back to life. There is serious danger in this world and all the characters are very strong but Alex should have died at least 10 times in this book and it got kind of annoying the after the 5th time that she should have been suffocated in snow but miraculously survived. The first two were phenomenal, this isn't the strongest book in the series but it was still a good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was absolutely in love with all three books until the very end of Monsters. It ended abruptly and without very much closure. I'm really hoping there will be another book that explains more about how everything started. Overall very good read and very original.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this series and can't wait for the next book.
terferj More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was just okay. There was no dire need for me to finish this quickly as I do other books. I liked how this ended when it came to Finn but the moments leading to that was drag-some. It seemed like everyone and their brother got a POV. Like I've said before, I like a max of 4 people but sometimes more if there is a point. Like in the second book, I could have done without some people's POV. It got a little confusing at times and there was so many people to remember. Most of the time, I was impatiently waiting to get back to Alex, Chris, or Tom to find out what happened to them. The ending was kinda a drag. I was hoping for a little more. But at least the ending left you thinking of what could happen. So in the end, I'm glad a finally pushed through the books but wouldn't pick up anything else by the author. *I received this from NetGalley*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Amazing series! Without a doubt one of my favoties. Right up there with the Hunger Games, Divergent, and the Uglies! I just wish it didn't end with a cliff hanger and I really really wish Alex and Tom had come back together before the last 50 pages!! All and all and excellent read and an amazing and unique story! Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Egmont USA and Edelweiss.) This is book 3 in the ‘Ashes’ series, and picks up where book 2 ‘Shadows’ left off. **Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for books 1 and 2 ‘Ashes’, and ‘Shadows’.** Alex is stuck in the mine which has just exploded; time is running out if she wants to survive. Tom blames himself for Alex’s death, and vows to kill Chris if he ever meets him. Chris is pinned beneath an iron spiked tiger trap and death is imminent. Peter is Finn’s prisoner and is faced with a choice to eat human flesh or die. Will the monster in Alex’s head finally kill her or will she drown in the mine? Will Tom kill Chris, or will he already be dead from the Tiger trap? What has happened to Lena? And will these kids ever meet up again? This book was pure action right from the start. A riveting, adrenalin fuelled, crazy journey from start to finish. Let’s start by saying that this book itself is a monster, at over 800 pages it took me hours to get through, but thankfully it was hours well spent! This book started out right where book 2 left off, and was literally life-or-death moment, after life-or-death moment, after life-or-death moment. The story alternated between Alex, Chris, Tom, Ellie, and Peter, so we were really living several stories, and each had their own problems in the chuckie-infested cesspit that was this dystopian America. Every time one disaster was averted, another was upon us, and this was one hell of a crazy ride! I did feel that this high-adrenalin stuff petered out towards the middle of the book, but we were still left following the different characters, and hoping that somehow they would find their way back to each other. The body count kept on piling up, and things looked bleaker and bleaker, and yet more problems arose. Funnily enough I wasn’t expecting the paranormal storyline that arose in this book, as it seemed that someone had developed the ability to telepathically control some of the chuckies, which did seem a little out-of-place, but thankfully the high-octane stuff made up for this. The ending of this story was fitting, and I liked how although not everything was wrapped up and tied with a bow, we were given hope that things would work out okay. I do think that this has been an amazing trilogy, and a wonderful dystopian/zombie story, and I will definitely be reading this author’s next book! Overall; an adrenalin filled finale to this amazing dystopian trilogy. 8.75 out of 10.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But what happens to simon/Peter? Can we really be left with this cliff hanger and its over?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the charecters and settings were at times confusing in the novel, the fast pace kept my attention. I loved the way the stories were told from a variety of charecters. I did not like the ending, I wanted more, but an author wants fans to continue to think about the story. Overall, I feel that this was an amazing conclusion to the story even if it does not make sense until the end. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good
bookaddictAG More than 1 year ago
***I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. *** Monsters is the final installment in the Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick, this is definitely not a book that can be read as a standalone so if you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy you will be completely lost. Bick jumps right into the action with no summary of what has happened previously. I have not read the other two books, so understandably I was confused. So please keep that in mind when reading my review. Monsters has an action driven plot with complex characters. The amount of detail (the version of the book I read was over 800 pages) that went into this story made it very easy to visualize while I was reading it. The opening scene where Alex is trapped in a collapsed mine that is quickly filling up with water was intense. I found myself so caught up in it I was literally out of breath. The gore is pretty detailed and graphic in this book. I’m a bit queasy when it comes to zombies myself, so I admit I had to skip over the people eating scenes. The suspense was crazy. It seemed like any, I do mean any, of the characters could have died. No one is safe in this story, even the main character Alex. There were many life threatening situations that Bick put Alex through, and even at the end the reader is still left wondering what Alex’s outcome will be. As for the hint of romance in the story, Bick leaves you wondering until the end who Alex will end up with.  Will she give in to the monster within her and stay with Wolf? Will she end up with Chris or Tom? Overall I think this is most likely a strong ending to the trilogy. I would recommend reading the trilogy in order though to get a clearer picture of the story.
vikingprincess1976 More than 1 year ago
This was a fabulous end to a GREAT trilogy! I loved this series, and could not wait for each installment. It was a little drawn out in places, but overall it was fitting that it was a long read. I kinda wish the protagonist had ended up with someone else, but I am not disappointed in it at all. This is one of the best series out there in the YA dystopian genre.