In Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick, seventeen year old Alex is suffering from a brain tumor. Tired of the treatments and waiting to die, she retreats on a camping trip alone. While out in the woods an electromagnetic pulse fries everything. Birds loose sense of direction, animals run off cliffs and perfectly healthy people drop dead. Alex somehow survives. But she is changed. And it’s a different change compared to some of the others who have survived the EMP, becoming zombie-like cannibals. As she searches to find out what happened she finds other survivors; eight year old Ellie and her dog, and Tom, a soldier on leave from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
I don’t know if I really believe an EMP can affect people BUT it works in this story. There are some tense Edge of Your Seat/Nail Biting moments. Obviously after a post apocalyptic event the world would descend into chaos. The fun twist with this one is that the majority of the survivors are over the age of sixty-five with a handful of young people who may or may not turn into these zombie/cannibals.
And of course nothing ever goes right for Alex, Tom and Ellie as they try to find a safe place amongst the chaos. And of course that’s alright with me! If things went perfectly and they didn’t meet up with geriatric highway robbers, cannibals jumping from behind trees, a town that offers sanctuary but is run with an iron fist… well, then that would be one boring read and this was not.
However, I sense them trying to sneak in a Love Triangle and I won’t have it! I paid my dues with Twilight. And the LT in The Hunger Games is my least favorite part. And because I loathe LTs so much, I bailed on Sookie and Anita before I had to read any of their drama. I don't care if Alex is seventeen and hormones are raging. I'm done with the LTs. Why can’t there be a novel with a real, functioning relationship amongst chaos and drama? Maybe I should just write my own. You know, that’s not a bad idea… stay tuned!
Anyways, other than the hint of a LT, two very enthusiastic thumbs up from me for Ashes. Being a fan of The Walking Dead (even if it, too, is suffering from LT they gutted a zombie so all good) I was totally diggin this book (the cover not so much). This is a good weekend book to curl up with and gnaw your fingernails off. It is the first of a trilogy and yeah, I’ll be back... because it ended on a bit of a CLIFFHANGER!