Bick, Ilsa J.

(Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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Alex, a resourceful seventeen-year-old running from her incurable brain tumor, Tom, who has left the war in Afghanistan, and Ellie, an angry eight-year-old, join forces after an electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky and kills most of the world's population, turning some of those who remain into zombies and giving the others superhuman senses.
Publisher: New York : Egmont USA, c2011.
ISBN: 9781606841754
Characteristics: 465 p. ;,22 cm.


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Aug 13, 2014
  • vfryzek rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Ashes has some great twists on the zombie genre but I was never really sure if this was a teen horror or an adult horror.
I did find some parts did drag but this was resolved with short chapters. The ending was great, don't want to give anything away.
Would read the sequel.

Apr 30, 2014
  • TeenLibrarian_0 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Dark, twisted, gore-filled, scary, and I couldn't put it down!

Don't believe the teen fic classification. This is an adult book with central characters that are young for a very specific reason.

Mar 12, 2014
  • carolincacao rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I love how sneaky she writes and the twists she ties in. After about half the book it seemed to start down the pop-novel path, but at the end it just blows that cover in your face and ends so bluntly I can't not appreciate.
If there really are more books though, I may have to rethink that opinion, but for now it seems pretty well-done.

Nov 11, 2013
  • samdog123 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Well, this was such a good read. When an electromagnetic pulse flashes, the whole population is affected. Some people die on the spot but younger people "change" and become zombie-like, eating and killing anything they find. Alex, the main character, is spared and seems cured of her terminal cancer. But in her travels she meets other "spared" young survivors who band together to reach safety. I love the author's writing style. Bick knows how to write suspense and changes her writing style to reflect the slowing down of events once Alex settles into the community of "Rule." Someone else mentions the jaw-dropping ending in their review. All I will say is rest easy, this is a trilogy.

Aug 22, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I'm a bit torn on this one, waffling between three and four stars. I guess I landed on three because it started strong and then lost me a bit by the end.
This is a very intelligent post-apocalyptic book with strong character development, a reasonably realistic set-up, gripping action, and suspenseful discovery. I was fully engaged and enjoyed devouring it quite a lot.
But. By the time I reached the end of the journey (which is really only a start, since this is the first of a trilogy), I was having trouble buying into what I first found so convincing.
I think most people would say that each human is a mix of good and bad, selfless and selfish, but very few of us feel it's an exact 50-50 mix. When pushed, most of us will admit we tip the balance one way or the other and find humans (at least) slightly more inherently good or evil. I'll admit to having a low enough view of human nature that I feel rules, constraints, and pressure are necessary to remind people to think bigger than themselves, that it takes incentives, fear, and a bit of coercion at times to keep us from always making the selfish decisions and forgoing the common good. I could never be a libertarian, for instance, because I believe that when people are left to their own devices they hurt others as often as help. Some people find me pessimistic that way.
This book, though, has one of the bleakest visions of human nature I've ever seen. The further it goes--the more we discover--the worse things get. When disaster occurs and civilization falls apart in this story, no one is redeemable--except maybe our protagonists, but no one else. Even those who seem to be doing the right thing and banding together are hiding dark, evil secrets. The people in this book truly are in a dog-eat-dog competition to the death with everyone they see, and there's not a single instance of anyone with an ounce of compassion or cooperation. I know extreme circumstances call for extreme measures, but I just couldn't quite accept the total lack of goodness uniformly portrayed by these characters.
And that lack of reality (from my perspective) made it harder for me to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the story than the fictional disaster and the circumstances that follow.

Aug 10, 2013
  • belladrogo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book was amazing. However if you have any kind of trauma surrounding blood, gore, violence, or cannibalism, this book probably isn't for you. It can be extremely graphic. I really love the suspense in this book and how the characters are developed along the way. I like that the book starts out strong and flows into a more psychological battle for the main character Alex. It's a great book to debate morals and ethics in times of struggles and challenges. A very good read and an interesting take on zombies. Also brings up some great political points as well. Well researched, well written. Definitely recommend it, especially if you liked the Hunger Games (so cliche, I know).

Aug 05, 2013
  • mvkramer rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book started very strong. I loved the premise, and it seemed like a clever, alternate take on a zombie apocalypse, because technically the Changed aren't zombies. I also liked the twist that the Changed are all young people, from their early teens to twenties, so that Alex, Tom and Ellie automatically become either figures of suspicion or valuable commodities to adult survivors. The action at the beginning is well-plotted and builds tension very, very well.

The second half, where Alex is in Rule, suffered from pacing issues. I know what the author was trying to do, moving into a more cerebral type of horror where she's wondering whether or not to trust other survivors and dealing with a restricted life, but the dark side of Rule was not strongly presented enough to keep the tension alive. The action just sloooooows dooown, but the characters aren't explored enough to be interesting. Then the book ends very, very abruptly. Still, worth a read.

this was a verry suspensfull book fild with romans and somthing like sobies but the trilc to it that this storry can actly hapem in real live this will make the hunger games look like a baby book the deetals wher perfekt my favors parts what when tom and alex kissed the sadst part whas when elli got taken away and whan alex had to leav her pernst ashes at rule along with ghost

Jun 23, 2013
  • blue_alligator_7412 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The book After really emphasizes the saying "desperate times call for desperate measures." There are also many companions that are trusted and deceived which creates a great atmosphere of distrust toward new people. I must admit that the book gets a little graphic in certain areas but overall, I really enjoyed the book.

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Feb 24, 2014
  • kyleswinney rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Other: Very negative and controlling portrayal of Christians.

Feb 24, 2014
  • kyleswinney rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Frightening or Intense Scenes: This book will give all but the most hardened teens nightmares.

Feb 24, 2014
  • kyleswinney rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Violence: Extremely graphic and gruesome figt sevens including cannibalism, murder and beheadings.

Feb 24, 2014
  • kyleswinney rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: Moderate use of foul language.

Dec 29, 2012
  • Futuregohangurl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Other: very graphic. there is a lot of blood in it described quite vividly

Dec 29, 2012
  • Futuregohangurl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Violence: very graphic it describes a person getting another persons insides to put it lightly


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Feb 24, 2014
  • kyleswinney rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

kyleswinney thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jan 03, 2013
  • Futuregohangurl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Futuregohangurl thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 23


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Aug 05, 2013
  • mvkramer rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book begins with Alex hiking into the wilderness, but unlike most teenage campers, she doesn't want to have a good time. She's going to decide whether to kill herself or not. Alex, you see, has not only lost her parents in an accident, she has an incurable brain tumor. While Alex is in the woods, a massive EMP blast goes off. Some people die. Some people are unaffected. Some people, like Alex, gain strange new abilities. And some people turn into ravenous killing machines. Now Alex, in the company of haunted army officer Tom and eight-year-old Ellie, must survive in a dangerous new world where all they have is each other.

Jun 10, 2012
  • Black_Panda_1 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

the cliffhanger at the end is sooo suspenseful >.<


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Jun 10, 2012
  • Black_Panda_1 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

“Why can't you like me?" he said, his voice breaking. His scent steamed then, hot and heady with a welter of contradictions: apples and fire and electric roil of those cold, black shadows. "Why can't you like me just a little?"

She would never know how she might have answered, because he never gave her the chance.

Instead, he kissed her.”


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