Friday, November 22, 2013

Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Title: Ashes (Ashes Trilogy #1)
Author: Ilsa J. Bick Goodreads Website
Published: September 2011
Publisher: Quercus UK
Source: Bought from Popular brick-and-mortar bookstore
Buy: Malaysia online bookstores: MPH | Times Bookstore | Bookurve | Kinokuniya
        US-based bookstores: The Book Depository | Amazon

(I can't really vouch for online bookstores other than MPH, because I haven't use their service. But, MPH is quite good, I've bought The Hunger Games trilogy paperback box set from them last year, and it arrived around a week after I placed the order, I think, and it's in mint condition).

That, my friend, is my crappy photographing and photoplacing blogging skill, teehee. 

That cover is beautiful and creepy at the same time and that's exactly the reason I bought this book (I know, I shouldn't judge a book by its cover). Well, I'm one of those people who impulsively buy books based on the cover alone. 

That girl in the cover can look really scary if you looked at it at night with lights off (I'm pretty coward if it comes to eerie, ghost-y, paranormal stuff). I find myself turning the front cover over (like making that creepy one-eyed girl facing the desk instead of me, if you get what I mean) whenever I get the shivers when I looked at her at night. Okay Farhana, enough with the cover.

The first sentence of the book. Or rather the first paragraph. 
I like taking pictures of the first sentence of a book. I think I'll keep doing this for other reviews as well ;)

Okay, back to my review. 

I really really loved this book I couldn't put it down! It’s so full of suspense, action, blood, gore and zombie-like creatures .

I like that the romance part isn't too romance-y, it suits me just fine. I don’t like books that focus too much on the lovey-dovey characters as I tend to get bored (most of the time) and I always ended up snoring in between the pages. That's why I avoid reading romance as it has the ability to transport me to snoreland. Anyway, if you like wilderness and zombie survival, give this book a chance.

Alex, a 16 years old girl who had an incurable illness, and at the verge of giving up her life, went hiking to y’know -- /spoiler warning! kill herself. During her time in the wilderness, there was EMP (Electromagnetic pulse), which resulted in everyone just dropped dead, or turned into blood/meat/brain-hungry, or into having a super-sense power or just somehow survived without any superpower. 

Everything electronic fried. No mobile phones, digital watches, iPods, cars etc (only cars with stick, or Malaysian commonly called it as manual cars, survived the EMP attack). And, Alex was left out with a bratty 8 years old girl, Ellie, who she met in the forest and her super-smell power (Alex couldn't even smell a thing, before the EMP strike) to defend themselves against the world full of roaming zombies and people who are evil-er than the zombies lurking around. 

The writing is full of difficult words, for me. And, I kept turning the dictionary over and over and it still kept me reading despite the extra effort of having to look at Mr. Dic (I nickname my dictionary Mr. Dic :P). Ilsa J. Bick has vast knowledge on projectile weapons like guns and rifle; survival and  medical emergency skills; and vocabulary. She's one author to admire, I guess.

I feel connected to Alex and admired her survival skills. She’s brave and kick-ass and resourceful. Much like Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy. 

Some of the scenes in the book can be quite grotesque, just make sure you're well-eaten before reading the book.  I really enjoyed reading this book and couldn't wait to read the next installment, Shadows. Ughghig (that's the sound of me so desperately wanted to read the next book). And, that cliffhanger! CliffhangerwithcapitalC!  How could you left me hanging? 

Anyway because I enjoyed reading this book (enjoyed as in it keeps me seating at the edge of my seat until the end), I give this book 5/5 stars.

That's it for today, till then my blog, and my readers (I doubt there is any, though).

May peace be upon you :D


  1. The orginial cover of Ashes spooked me which caused me to stay away from it. But after seeing the new covers for it makes me want to actually read them right now. The premise of Ashes sounds incredibly intriuging. No power? Definitely makes me wonder how they're going to survive.

    Lovely review!

    Holly @ Absorbing the Content

    1. The new cover is equally spooky for me. I'm a scaredy cat, that's why . Haha. A scaredy-cat with a penchant for anything gore and zombie,oh the irony ;P
      Yeah, the first and second books are enjoyable and it keeps you guessing and rooting for the characters until the end (at least, it was for me :)) But, I've read lots of negative reviews about the third book and I'm worried I'm not going to like it. Anyhoo, I'll see it for myself.

      Thank you for the comment! :D


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