Friday, November 1, 2013

Review me Twice - Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

So, for one, I had no idea this was a zombie book until I started reading it. The back doesn't really give you that much of a clue.  It just says that people change, some for the better, some for the worse.  So I was expecting some sort of super power something, but not zombies.

Which... I liked, because a lot of times you go in with a lot of preconceptions when you realize something is a zombie story.  I like that I didn't really have those for Ashes.  It really let me see Bick's zombies as she wanted, I think (which were animalistic, but adaptable creatures.)

She's also really good at making you turn pages.  I constantly was picking it up, reading it, wanting to know what happened and not being able to handle the cliff hangers.  Alex (our main character, not my co-blogger), was a well fleshed out, likable character.  I really like Ellie (an eight year old girl she kind of gets stuck with) and even Tom, our love interest.

But... halfway through the book, it's not about Tom and Ellie anymore.  They're not even in that part of the story and Alex... she's not the character that I fell in love with in the beginning of the book.  She becomes very complacent and stays in this place that she had been ready to run as fast as possible from when she first got there.

It ended with a TREMENDOUS cliff hanger that you kind of saw coming (in the sense that you knew something was wrong), but kind of didn't.  It made me want to read the second book, if nothing else, but I hope that we see more of Tom & Ellie in book two because the book was kind of dumb without them.

There are two almost-separate stories in this book. We start with Alex, who later meets up with Tom and Ellie, and then somewhere between halfway and 2/3 of the way in, it's just Alex. I usually hate this writing tactic, because I rush through the part with the lone character hoping to hear about the others again. I did not do that this time, and I think it's just because I liked the second half just as much as I liked the first. (Usually I don't, because you build all this great momentum with the first and then BAM here's a totally different pace and new group of people, deal with it. That still happened, but I was given fair warning and it didn't just suddenly happen.)

Only once before with this blog was I so entranced by a book we read that I was compelled to read the next book in the series (that was with Divergent). I have already read Shadows and I'm now reading Monsters.

After a while, you see a very heavy writing pattern emerge. (I didn't notice it until I was about 1/3 through Shadows, but in retrospect, it was there in Ashes too.) It's hard to describe, though. It seems like, with every single chapter (after a while), our characters have more and more awfulness piled upon them. I mean, I've barely begun Monsters and with every page, you expect everyone to just drop dead because how could any of them possibly take any more?

But, my favorite thing about these books is that Bick is down-and-dirty. There is some sick, twisted stuff in these books. The first time you see one of the changed kids? I just suggest not eating while you read this one. It's awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment