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Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick . . . and a little real-life stuff

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Hi everybody! How’s life? My life is currently revolving around a little guy just over nine pounds, who is absolutely adorable. So, yes, we’re not getting tons of sleep over here. (Even though Linc’s actually a pretty good sleeper and we’re thankful for that.) Bottles, diapers, washing tons of baby stuff all the time–if you’ve had a baby, you know the drill. Though, like me, you may have blocked it all from your mind. So it’s all coming back to me now. Though I wish I could remember how long it took for me to get back to my regular jeans last time. I just keep looking longingly at my fav jeans that I cannot wear yet, and I try not to feel despondent.

Anyway, so you may be surprised that I’ve squeezed in a little reading with all that’s been going on over here–but, hey! I’m a book editor and an obsessive reader. It’s just who I am. And Sara feeds the madness. 🙂 She told me about this new YA book she just read called Ashes by Isla J. Bick. Here’s Amazon’s description:

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.

I finished Ashes this morning. (Picture me–baby and bottle in one hand, flipping pages with the other!) It’s a great the-end-of-the-world-has-come kind of book. I really, really liked it. Very creative plot and likeable, interesting characters. Though in the first half of the book, the main character, Alex, pairs up with two other characters (Tom and Ellie). These two other characters become really important and you feel kind of invested in what happens to them. Then, rather abruptly, both characters are out of the picture. And we never find out what happens to them. I’m assuming we find out more in the next book, but for this book, it just felt like the reader spends a lot of time caring about what happens to them, then they’re gone without any closure at all. A little frustrating. But like I said, I assume the author gives us more information in the next book.

Anyway, the description above doesn’t really capture the scope of the book. We lose that improvised family about half-way through the book and Alex ends up at a sort-of refugee camp that ends up feeling more like a cult with lots of secrets. Very interesting. There’s a lot of intensity throughout the book. What I found scary was the fact that when people are desperate, they are capable of almost anything–and the author does a really good job of capturing that truth. I think this book introduces a lot of good questions and complex relationships, and I look forward to seeing those developed more in the next book.

Okay, back to real life. I’ll have another update on Lincoln soon. 🙂  


About Brandy

Brandy Bruce is an award-winning author, editor, wife, mother, and someone who really loves dessert. She has a BA in English from Liberty University. She currently works as a freelance editor--reading, writing, editing, and making good use of online dictionaries. She's married to Jeff and has three beautiful children.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick « Blackbird Books

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