Five Reasons You Should Read ASHES

Do you know what September 6th is?  Besides being a Tuesday (dorks).  It’s the book birthday of Ilsa J. Bick’s ASHES.

I don’t normally recommend/review books on my blog (I’m always afraid I’ll hurt feelings), but this is one you need to read.  I loved it with a gazillion <3 <3.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:
     It could happen tomorrow…
     A cataclysmic event. An army of “The Changed.”       
     Can one teen really survive on her own?
     An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it’s a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human…
     Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom—a young army veteran—and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.
     This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive.

If that isn’t enough to whet your reader’s appetite, let me give you the five reasons that this book is worthy of your time:

  1. It kept me up at night.  In two ways!  I could not put it down…and that’s saying a lot.  This mommy needs her sleep.  I read the 400+ pages in about five hours, three of which were after midnight.  And then once I finished it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. 
  2. It’s accurate.  This book is set in the mountains and there is a lot of woodcraft/hunting involved.  I grew up in them hills yonder (we lovingly refer to my dad as the Wasatch Savage) and Ilsa Bick’s descriptions are spot on.  Those kind of details — the things that make you nod your head and think, “Oh yeah, I know exactly what she’s talking about ” are important to me. And she gets all your senses involved.  It’s lovely…in a scary sort of way. 
  3. The characters are real. This has a been an area of irritation for me lately.  On my Book Binge ’11 (post forthcoming), I read a couple of books where the characters were in I-would-trade-my-life-for-yours love after like two days.  Seriously.  Seriously?  That doesn’t happen in ASHES.  The relationships (both romantic and otherwise) grow. The characters have faults and weaknesses.  They don’t fall in love because someone is hot or mysterious or lusty (Although there are some tummy-twisting kisses in there.  And yes, I re-read them more than once).  You watch the characters interact and you see their emotions change and strengthen in quiet ways.  Love. It. 
  4. The plot doesn’t quit.  ASHES moves.  There was never a point when I wanted to skim or just read the dialouge.  It hooked me from the first page and I was sad when it ended.  Then I sent Ilsa a tweet that said, “I can’t wait another year to find out what happens next!”  I could hear her not-exactly-evil-laughter through the internet.  (Okay, not really. Her response was really nice, and it was really nice that she responded.) 
  5. There’s a great giveaway for folks who pre-order. My splendiforous agent, Jennifer Laughran (don’t you love the way I adjectify her?), is giving away swag to everyone who pre-orders ASHES and emails proof to ashescontest@gmail.com.  There are more details here

So go!  Order ASHES!  Enter the contest and enjoy.  I did. 

2 Comments

  • Laura C.

    You made the book sound terrific. I really want to read it!
    As you pointed out–people falling desperately in love in two days isn’t very realistic. I’m afraid my novel’s weak point is a heroine who falls in love too fast. But the entire novel covers a span of 4 days, so I can’t figure out a way around it. *sigh*

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