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Nocturnal Book Reviews

Blogging at Nocturnal Book Reviews since May 2011 about steampunk, urban fantasy, historical & paranormal fiction, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi & erotica.


Ashes - Ilsa J. Bick Egalley thanks to Egmont USA

I have mixed feelings about this book. The synopsis is pretty much relevant to the first half of the book. It's amazing, scary, real and very gory.

Alex goes camping into the mountains to think about committing suicide. Alex has got brain tumor, and it's at such stage, nothing works anymore. She can't smell or taste anything and her memories are fading.

The morning before the electromagnetic impulses strike the Earth, she meets eight year-old Ellie and her grandfather. After the impulse, everything changes. Billions of people die, most of the younger generations change as their brains are scrambled and they become feral cannibals. No electricity means no cooling system for nuclear reactors around the world... Everything explodes, radiation is rampant, people flee and kill and rob you of everything. No governments, everything is falling apart.

Ilsa J. Bick draws a very believable picture of what would have happened after such a disaster. Alex takes Ellie who survives and meets Tom, a young soldier on leave from Afghanistan and they decide to head North, where there will be less people and chaos.

Their fight for survival is extremely tough, some scenes are almost too scary to read...

Then abruptly everything changes. Second half of the book is like a Changeling instead of a real baby. It slows down, Alex gets stuck in a small religious community and can't decide if she wants to leave despite lots of things which she doesn't like there.

Her indecision, the slow and murky plot was getting to me. There are plot lines which are just left hanging without any conclusion, and of course there is a huge cliffhanger (I hate cliffhangers if you must know). I had more questions in the end than answers, and I honestly don't know if I would want to read book #2. We'll see.