Saturday 16 February 2013

Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa J Bick

 All Alex wants to do is escape from it all -- the doctors, the chemo...
 Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for, because now Alex is trapped in a forest with no electrical goods and a stubborn eight-year-old who just watched her grandfather die, and, best of all, they're not the only creatures in the woods...
 This is a zombie book. The Amazon blurb told me so, and I nearly screamed and threw my Kindle down out of a strange mix of frustration, fear and bored-ness.
 I don't like zombies. In fact, even the mention of them can scare the living daylights out of me. So, as you can probably guess, I wasn't too keen on reading this one.
 But, because I am just so bored and itching to read, as always, I gave in and read it.
 I'm not going to lie to you, I was ready to hate this book and pick up something on my 'I should probably read but can't really be bothered' shelf (everything from Jane Eyre to Life of Pi). Weirdly enough, it grabbed me, this did.
 There was something about Alex where you just wanted to root for her, straight from the beginning. It's probably just the humanity-wide fear of cancer and the way the heroine basically put her middle finger up at it, but I think it was also her secrets.
 This is certainly a plot-driven book. I couldn't put it down because I first wanted to find out Alex's secrets, then see if Ellie and Alex survived the zombie-infested forest, then I wanted to learn all Tom's secrets, etc, etc. I'm now itching to read the next one to see if [redacted due to spoilers].
 There was also a lot of complicated description in this book, which let it down. If there's one thing I skim-read, it's description, whether it's important to the story or not. Often I found myself with barely a clue what was going on because I hadn't taken the information about a tree in from three pages ago. Annoying.
 Furthermore, to say it was THE END OF THE WORLD, and everyone was supposed to be out for themselves, they all fell in love/cared for someone in a way that would ruin them in the end extremely easily. I would be pretty happy if the human race was that nice to each other in the zombie apocalypse.
 Oh, yeah, BTW, there wasn't that much zombie-ness, and the stuff there was was mainly description, hurrah.

That's pretty much all the main points. So, to recap: if you read it, you won't be able to stop, but you might not want to read it. I'm gonna be a bit harsh and give it a three (it was a four when I first posted this, but if I can stop you reading this trilogy in any way -- the second one is even worse -- then I will do it).

Zombie-fearer out!

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