Ashes starts really strong. Alex hikes into the woods when she meets Ellie, an 8 year old girl, and her grandpa. While she is talking to them she suddenly feels a tremendous pain and pressure in her head. Ellies' grandpa keels over with blood spurting out of his ears and mouth. Alex sees birds falling from the sky and the deer acting strange. Alex and Ellie have to get out of the woods to find help. They decide to head to the rangers station further up the mountain. Along the way they stumble on some teenagers eating a person, they are freaked and quickly run away. They meet up with Tom when he saves them from a zapped teenager that tries to eat them. Tom is Army and tells Alex he reckons it was an electromagnetic pulse or something like that and isn't just happening here.
Ilsa Bick draws you into a world that is bleak and what people are left will do anything for survival. The first time Alex sees the Zapped kids is one of the gruesomest, goriest, scariest, heart pounding, nail biting parts. The author isn't afraid to describe exactly what was happening. She pulls you into the scene and you are on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens. Alex is such a likeable character. Despite what is happening with her she tries everything to keep Ellie safe even with Ellie being a typical 8 year old and making nothing easy. She is a very scared little girl and Alex does all she can to make sure Ellie is OK.
Then they meet up with Tom and he makes the girls feel protected and safe. He is so good and kind with Ellie and helps Alex learn to defend herself. He is a really strong character.
In this Post Apocalyptic time Alex, Ellie and Tom have to deal with Zapped kids, raiders, savage dogs and trying to survive. Ashes read like a typical post apocalyptic book and then bam the author throws something else into the mix. Something happens half way through and Alexs journey isn't the same. From then on its twists and turns and you honestly don't know what will happen. Ashes is a action packed, scary, heart stopping story and Im really look forward to seeing what happens to these characters and Im glad I can dive into book two because with the ending of book one I was like NOOOOO!!