Jo’s Book Review – Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

 Originally published: 6 September 2011
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Followed by: Shadows
 For me, this book can be divided into two parts. First, which (inspite of lots of ‘hard to digest things) I enjoyed reading. And second, where things went really crazy. I had to force myself to finish it.


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 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.


Our protagonist Alex, is a 17 year old who can light fire in a forest,out of almost no supplies. Which I believe is too much to digest. Not only this, she is like a female bear grills who knows all about survival in wilderness. Reason provided by the author- she was taught by her father who was a cop(and the father died when she was 14ish).

The guy protagonist, Tom felt like a one dimensional character. He is 20 and has been to Afghanistan. Knows how to diffuse bombs. But Does not have the common sense to not tent outside of truck WHEN there are zombie kids and Normal humans out for you. And also to not let 6 year olds go out for walk in such situations. Smart decision.

Romance is just too cliché and boring. They met, went through shit and voilà, love and rose and hearts shooting out of their eyes.

However, despite everything, the concept was kind of interesting. Zombie apocalypse in wilderness? Not something I’ve heard of. There were some parts I really enjoyed. The pace was fast enough. Action was nice and power-packed. However, after a certain chapter, story went downhill. New characters got introduced and new stuff started happening. Dear author the story was going fine. There was no need for all that.

The ending was a super huge cliffhanger (hate them so much) which I won’t be sharing, but I’m curious to read the next part.

Rating – 2.5/5


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