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Ashes

Ashes

Scritto da Laurie Halse Anderson

Narrato da Siiri Scott


Ashes

Scritto da Laurie Halse Anderson

Narrato da Siiri Scott

valutazioni:
4/5 (79 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
8 ore
Pubblicato:
Oct 4, 2016
ISBN:
9781423367468
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

Return to the American Revolution in this blistering conclusion to the trilogy that began with the bestselling National Book Award Finalist Chains and continued with Forge, which The New York Times called "a return not only to the colonial era but to historical accuracy."

As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge-but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel's little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state-where bounty hunters are thick as flies.

Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won't stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom, in this grand finale to the acclaimed Seeds of America trilogy from Laurie Halse Anderson.

Pubblicato:
Oct 4, 2016
ISBN:
9781423367468
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro

Informazioni sull'autore

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity. Her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Chains and Speak, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also received the 2009 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and Laurie was chosen for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award. Mother of four and wife of one, Laurie lives in Pennsylvania, where she likes to watch the snow fall as she writes. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @HalseAnderson, or visit her at MadWomanintheForest.com.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    I love, love, love this series!
  • (4/5)
    This was the best ending to the trilogy I could possibly think of. I fell in love with Chains and Forge in middle school. By the time Ashes came out, though, I had forgotten most of it. I had to re-read the trilogy, and fell in love with it all over again. This book was totally worth the wait. It was absolutely amazing!
  • (5/5)
    I really loved this final book in the series. It brought so much together and made me feel incredibly hopeful.
  • (5/5)
    This story is the last one out of a trilogy. it is circled around a girl names Isabel and her families trails that they are faced with due to being slaves and dealing with war. This book is mostly about their travels and goals of making it to freedom.I really enjoyed reading this book. This topic has always been an interest of mine. It was very well written and one that I would love to have my students read. it was intriguing and thrilling. It is definitely one that I will keep in my classroom if I am unable to use it in a lesson to teach about the war.
  • (4/5)
    As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel's little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state.
  • (5/5)
    What a great way to tell the story of the American Revolution! This third and final book is as good as the other two, and resolves the story in a positive, though uncertain way. I love the way Anderson weaves historical detail into the fabric of the story. What I love most is how she made me realize the extent to which our nation was built on the backs on slaves, and how hypocritical white America was toward black Americans. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were only for whites, and specifically, white men, and yet the white men (both British and American) were content to use the black men to help them win the war. My eyes have been opened in a way they never had been before. In my opinion, this is the best writing Anderson has done. I hope she will continue to write historical fiction.
  • (4/5)
    While I enjoyed reading this book, it felt disjointed at times. Alex is on a journey to deal with saying goodbye as the tumors in her brain (the monster) are not responding to any treatment. During a camping trip, there is some sort of EMP attack which kills many people and changes others. Some teens change into zombie-like beings. After the attack Alex is stuck with a petulant girl named Ellie, and the two cross paths with Tom. For awhile it is a survival story. Then Alex ends up in this ultra believer filled town called Rule with men who are acting as the town elders running the show with many secrets. Alex's tumor seems to have changed after the attack as do some growing abilities with her sense of smell and affinity with dogs. While the story was interesting, characters disappeared never to be heard from again and the story ends abruptly. I'm curious how this will play out on the Lincoln list.
  • (3/5)
    When an electromagnetic pulse zaps through the atmosphere, it creates havoc in the world-- shuts down power, sets off nuclear devices, and kills a good chunk of the world's population. Oh yeah, and most of those who are left are turned into zombies. 17-year-old Alex, a brain cancer patient who has been treking through the woods on a journey to find closure before her death, finds herself saddled with a grief-stricken and angry 8-year-old in the aftershock of the pulse. They're then joined by Tom, a young soldier on leave, and together, they try to make sense of what the world has become.
    The first half of the book is intense and fast-paced, but somewhere around the middle, the pacing gets very disjointed. Parts of the story are very good; much of it was so dense that I started to lose interest during the second half.
  • (5/5)
    What a cliff-hanger! Will be reading the sequel.
  • (4/5)
    Let me begin by pointing out that I have read only amazing reviews of Ashes. Pretty much every blogger I follow raved about its complete awesomeness. Unfortunately, I did not find myself so much in love with it. The story was interesting and, by the end, I was definitely interested in what was going to happen. I even plan on reading the sequel to Ashes, because I cannot just let the story end where it did. Warning: the ending is seriously abrupt. Can you say cliffhanger?

    Although I feel really sad for Alex and was exceedingly happy to see her healed, I never really liked her or connected with her. This is really weird, because she definitely knows how to take care of herself and kick ass when she has to, meaning that she's just the kind of heroine I generally love. In some ways, she reminds me of Trella from Inside Out and Outside In, bruised and not trusting. Alex's coldness, though, stems from the fact that she could die at any moment. Why get close to someone when you're only going to leave them or be left by them because they can't stand to watch you die? While I totally get that and would probably be the exact same way, it still makes her hard to get close to even as a reader, for me at least.

    Her romances, too, were rather tough for me to accept, what with her being so closed off. There was no guy that I shipped her with and no relationship that seemed like it would pan out in the end. In fact, they seemed borne of stress, fear and proximity. One romance even struck me as little short of Stockholm Syndrome.

    Since I don't want to spoil anything, I'm going to be kind of vague about what happened to create the crazy post-apocalyptic world in Ashes. Let's just say that it was pretty stellar. The fact that the event, the "zap" affected people's brains in different ways definitely intrigues me as well. However, I had trouble dealing with teens turning into people eaters. It seemed to lessen the credibility and seriousness of the novel.

    What creeped me out in a more believable way was the way that normal people reacted to this calamity, which killed off everyone in middle age and turned most youths into cannibals, leaving only the elderly, young children and a few teens like Alex to keep the world going. These aspects were close to being Witheresque, what with their only being a few women of reproductive age. Plus, with limited resources come unlimited conflicts with other folks only trying to survive just like you are. Mostly, I just feel like the cannibalistic adolescents were unnecessary.

    Even though I didn't love this, I do want to know more. Maybe Bick can convince me in book two. Before writing this one off because of my opinion, definitely check out some other reviews.
  • (4/5)
    This book wasn't without its flaws, but I loved it just the same. Review to come.
  • (4/5)
    Great dystopia. First in a trilogy (book 2 is Shadows, book 3 is Monsters and comes out Sept 2013). Ends on a cliffhanger. The main character drove me crazy because she would know all sorts of details (why stars are clearer in winter, what the names of different bones were, etc, but then wouldn't know other things I felt were more common, like pheromones. Her strength and weakness were uneven through the book, but at times, that made it more realistic.Still, if you like dystopias, this one does not disappoint. There is friendship, a little romance, cannibals (more crazed cannibals than zombies), and a whole lot of "what on earth is going on?!?!". I'm curious to see where it goes from here.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 stars. This book had a fantastic beginning. I didn't even know what I was in for until I was almost a quarter way through the novel, and then it hit me that holy crap, this is a zombie book! Not only that, it's your classic tale of zombie apocalypse survival, complete with an annoying kid side character and getting lost in the woods. The book's synopsis only mildly hints at this when I read it, so I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.I also had no idea that this book was classified YA until I actually came here and saw the user tags. I guess I should have clued in earlier on the many obvious hints; firstly, you have the EMP that "brain zaps" people and turn them into the "Changed", but with a twist -- its effects are age specific, sparing mostly the old but decimating the world's population of adolescents and young adults. Very cool premise and a unique take on the zombie origin theory, but this of course also leaves our protagonist Alexandra, a late teen herself who was one of the "Spared" plenty of reasons to get even more emo. Secondly, and most telling of all, about halfway through the book, the story suddenly transforms into "Zombie Apocalypse, 90210".This was where I started to get disappointed. I was really enjoying myself up to this point, digging the story and the characters, even the aforementioned annoying kid side character Ellie, who started growing on me. But then all that disappears. All that time I spent getting to know Ellie and Tom, and then *poof!* they go away and I'm introduced to a whole new setting and a whole new group of players. Most frustrating of all, the story also takes a new direction, and we start to drift away from the zombie survival aspect to dwell on this new plot point, which my cynical side cannot help but feel it's there as an excuse to inject some romantic drama.At the very end, the novel redeems itself somewhat, showing hints that the story will get back on track and with a promise that we'll actually get to see some zombie action again, thank god. Of course, this also meant it ended on a cliffhanger. Why is it that so many books seem to be doing that these days? It's a bit evil if you ask me. Fortunately, at least it doesn't appear I have long to wait for book 2.
  • (4/5)
    Wow! This post-apocalyptic thriller series takes bleakness to whole new depths!When Alexandra (“Alex”) Adair was fourteen, she lost both her parents to a freak accident. One year later she developed a brain tumor. Now, at age seventeen, she suspects she may not have much longer to live. She heads out on a hiking trip to Michigan’s Waucamaw Wilderness to spread her parents’ ashes. But just when it seemed as if nothing could get worse, the world itself turned mostly to ashes as a result of an EMP attack. [EMPs are high-intensity electromagnetic pulses that spread along magnetic fields and destroy anything relying on solid-state electronics.] The subsequent electronic systems failures and vaporizing cooling rods at nuclear facilities led to secondary nuclear events. Moreover, these EMPs didn’t just affect nuclear power plants and storage sites. Brains, being organs that rely on electricity to function, were also affected in this apocalyptic scenario. The people who survived the EMP attacks were differentially affected, depending on such factors as the age and conditions of their brains prior to exposure to the EMP. A large portion of people went insane and turned into zombie-like beings.Alex is hampered in her attempt to get out of the wilderness by the added burden of an unexpected companion: an extremely bratty and tiresome 8-year-old girl whose grandpa dropped dead when the EMP went off. (He was on a pacemaker.) But Alex feels too guilty to abandon Ellie in spite of every provocation to do so, and they set out to find help.And well, that’s just when things were going good for Alex! Discussion: I’ve read a lot of post-apocalyptic and dystopian books, but this series is the grittiest and most disturbing one I have yet encountered. Nothing unpleasant or horrifying that occurs is prettied up or glossed over in this story. The reader gets the full sensory experience of everything that happens along with the characters. (Well, maybe not the FULL experience, but about as much as can possibly be conveyed without actually being on the scene!) These books may sound daunting, but they are also riveting, with thriller-like pacing and good characterizations. You will want to have Shadows on hand when you finish Ashes, because if you have the stomach for it, you will no doubt want to begin the second book as soon as you push your jaw back together from your mouth being wide open at the ending of the first! Evaluation: I had a few quibbles with some aspects of the story not sounding true, but for the most part, I chose to overlook them in light of the overall wow-ness of the reading experience. Beware: Shadows is even darker than Ashes, and includes sex (or a very twisted facsimile thereof) which is not the case in Ashes. Shadows is not a standalone.
  • (5/5)
    Ashes is a book full of non-stop action. I really enjoyed reading it, and I think most teenagers would enjoy it as well. However, since it is a zombie book, eventhough it has its own twists, I know it won't be for everyone. It does have some pretty gruesome details in places. Alex is a 17 year old girl with a brain tumor. She knows that her life is at its end, so she decides to hike into the wilderness to spread her parents' ashes, while she is still healthy enough to do so. However, everything changes in an instant when an electromagnetic pulse flashes, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions. Alex joins forces with Tom, a young soldier on leave, and Ellie, an 8 year old girl who lost her grandfather to the pulse. Alex, Tom, and Ellie soon discover that the pulse changed some of the survivors for the better, while others were turned into ravenous zombies. Not only do they have to protect themselves from the changed, but they also have to protect themselves from survivors who will ruthlessly do whatever it takes to survive, even if it means killing and stealing from other survivors
  • (4/5)
    This is the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic novels set in a world where a series of (as yet in the first novel) unexplained electro-magnetic pulses has killed off or driven savage the majority of the population, except for very young children under about ten and old people over about 65 and a few other exceptions with unusual brain wave patterns or mental health issues. It's an interesting scenario, but there wasn't enough plot for me. The plot centres around the wanderings of 19 year old Alex, a brain tumour sufferer, and her companions Ellie, an eight year old girl whom she had met with her grandfather just before the "Zap" that caused the disaster, and Tom, a young veteran of the war in Afghanistan. There were a number of fairly horrific set piece encounters with people driven savage by the "Zap" trying to attack and kill them for food (and attacks by wild dogs and wolves as well). The bleakness of the scenario made this a good page turner (or rather screen toucher as it was an e-book), though my interest waned a bit when Alex, now alone, arrived at the apparent sanctuary of the town of Rule. It is clear by the end of the novel that there is more to the town than appeared at first. I have downloaded the sequel, though I hope there will be a more plot-driven narrative. 4/5
  • (2/5)
    Could I please just read a book that has an ending?! I'm so tired of series books right now. This book was incredibly violent, had lots of bad language, and gave you absolutely no closure and no answers. I gave it 2 stars because I really liked the first half of the book. It could have been so much more. I almost quit several times after I got halfway through. Usually 1st-in-a-series books leave you wanting more, this one left me wondering why I had wasted my time.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book. LOVED IT. I found the characters fascinating, especially the main character. I cant wait for the next book to come out.
  • (4/5)
    The fact that this took me three weeks to read really says a lot. It's not that it was bad, there were just things that really bugged me about it. The reason it took me so long to read it was that Bick constantly MADE me want to put the book down. Instead of having the typical cliffhangers at the end of chapters, she would have ones that were something like "and that's when she heard the wolves" or "that was the last good time they had." Well that doesn't make me want to read more! It felt like the life was being sucked out of me, which I guess is a type of good writing, but it sure wasn't fun. I don't like how there were two very important characters who disappear early in the book and they NEVER make another appearance. I figure you'll see them again in the sequel, but it felt weird in this book to spend so much time on them and then for them to just be gone for the rest of the book. I also feel like the main character was way too good at coming to the right conclusion sometimes. She would pick up on the slightest clue like flies being present and from that understand that people were being traded. It was a little hard to believe. Overall this book was just okay. Some good parts and some bad.
  • (4/5)
    Alex is hiking through the wilderness, wondering what to do next with what's left of her life. A cancerous tumour is taking over her brain and she's not sure what to do, the treatments haven't worked. And then an electromagnetic pulse destroys modern civilisation, and changes some people's brains, making them into zombies. Alex is going to have to do something with her life, she recovers and gains a sense of smell. There are a lot of twists and turns in this story and I found it very interesting, I'm not a fan of zombie stories but this one sucked me in and kept me reading.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing. Held my attention the whole time. Can't wait for the next installment. The only thing I could say about the book that just made me go -_-... was the huge cliff hanger at the end. Hurry second book. SO I can devour you!!!!
  • (4/5)
    I’d heard a lot about this book, and had it recommended to me a few times, so I decided maybe I’d better just jump on the bandwagon and read it. After all, it’s only another YA post-apocalyptic series, how bad could it be? Ashes starts off with the ‘typical’ apocalyptic event, this one being the EMP scenario, but with a slight difference. As I don’t do spoilers, I won’t say what the difference is, but it is a difference that has been explored before, just not very often. The first half of Ashes focuses mainly on the survival of Alex, Ellie and Tom, and the building of their characters and relationships, which is done gradually and thoroughly. Alex is a tough girl but is easy to warm to and Ellie is a little girl with some serious ‘tude. Alex is affected by the EMP in an extra-ordinary way, which gives an additional dimension to an already good PA scenario being played out, mainly through the themes of survival and friendship. If you’ve read any other reviews of Ashes, you’ll know (and if not, now you do), the book takes a very drastic turn almost exactly half-way through, and for me, that’s when it all went a little bit sideways. Not necessarily in a bad way, just completely unexpected, and it did take me a little while to adjust my brain to the quick change. The second half does have a completely different focus than the first half, and I can see where for some readers that could be a turning point – either for better or for worse, as the tone, pace and writing makes a pretty radical 180. It’s hard to summarise how I felt about this book, as it does almost seem to be two different books. I liked the first half focus on survival, and the second half focus on exploring the effects of the EMP in human beings and animals. I liked Alex, but I did find some of her ‘skills’ to be a little bit outside the realms of a normal 17-year-old, and there are a few teenage crush scenes that made me flinch. I will keep an eye out for the next book in the series, but a warning – this book ends in a massively disturbing cliffhanger – argh! P.S. – on the zombie scale this one rates pretty low – there’s not a lot of brain-slurping-action going on!
  • (4/5)
    Alex is on a solo camping trip in the UP, mourning her dead parents and trying to come to peace with a deadly brain tumor of her own, when a shower of EMP's are detonated. Alex begins a journey to find some answers and some survivors, with orphaned Ellie under her wing. The girls soon discover that the EMP not only destroyed all computers, but it killed many people, and changed the survivors in sometimes horrifying ways. When Tom, a soldier with secrets of his own, joins their little band, the three friends struggle to stay together and to survive in their new, horrifying world.Suspenseful and tense. A bit too gruesome in parts for me; I had to skim over some sections. But overall, I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen, and the cliffhanger ending will stay with me for some time.
  • (5/5)
    With a fatal form of brain tumour and feeling like she has nowhere left to turn; seventeen year old Alex decides to hike into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parent’s ashes. Then out of nowhere she starts to feel a pain, like nothing she has ever felt before; it was like a laser had scorched her brain; an electromagnetic pulse had flashed across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.Alex meets up with and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP and takes her under her wing. But with the world gone crazy the girls run into a pack of dogs and are in more danger than they realise, luckily Tom a former soldier come to their rescue. Together they begin a journey more terrifying that they would have ever imagined.I loved this high energy novel from the outset. It is good so read a book that is one ‘out of the box’.Author Ilsa J. Bick has given us the first book in a terrifying and thrilling series. I can not wait to read book two.
  • (5/5)
    !!!! Just thinking about this book gets my heart racing. I read it in about four hours and, honestly, I have not had a reading experience like this in a long time; it was absolutely intense and I’m not exaggerating. It only took a few pages in for my eyes to grow as wide as saucers and for me to start chanting my “OH MY GOD”s over and over again. When I was done, around 3AM, I sat in bed for a while after because I simply could not calm down and get my brain to shut off.The main character, Alex, was introduced after she decided to stop treatment for her inoperable brain tumor. Seeking an escape for herself, she set off into the woods to bring closure to one part of her life. While on the hike, she meets Ellie, a cranky eight year old, her dog, Mina, and her grandfather, Jack. They don’t spend much time together before it all goes to hell with the Zap. I won’t detail what happened but believe me when I say that it was CRAZY.I have no idea how factual the details of the EMP were, but I appreciated the effort from Ilsa J. Bick because I definitely felt like I could understand and put myself into the situation. And guys? It terrified me. Again, I don’t know how likely any of it is, but it all came together so realistically that alarms were going off in my head.Bick did not hold back in the events following the EMP. I dreaded every page turn because things continued to go from bad to worse for the cast of characters. And yet…I couldn’t read fast enough, either. There were, however, also several scenes that I had to take a break from because they were TOO much. Gruesome, violent, MINDBREAKING… I’m a big dog lover and there’s one specific scene where I actually woke up my dog to give her a hug. Ridiculous? Probably, but this book brought out many strong reactions from me.Okay, here’s the thing: I’ve read some other reviews and I completely understand the issue people have found with the second half of the book. The shift in the story is so obvious and I definitely think there should have been a way to make the transition more seamless. However, while I definitely preferred the first half of the book, I can very clearly imagine both storylines coming together in an amazing way for the next installment.Ahhhh, there’s still so much to say but this book has made my brain into mush. Here are a few snippets: makeshift family, eye balls, kick ass dogs, sweet romance, strange community, badassness…I could go on. In conclusion, this book is explosively good and you should read it!
  • (5/5)
    Wow. This was a fun, engaging read. I'm anxiously awaiting the sequel. Post apocalyptic chaos and zombie like folks running around complicating an already complicated situation created by supposed EMPs and nuclear fallout; a strong, well-developed female protagonist met with one set back after another; great suspense writing and action scenes; believable characters; survival-mode craftiness and self-reliance. If you're a fan of the genre, what more could you ask for? How about a sequel? I hope so. Now, I love post-apocalyptic and future dystopia fiction, and though I've read several that feature zombie like creatures, the latter is not a fiction type I necessarily seek out. But when done in this manner--the zombie like folks running around as the result of some other apocalyptic event and as a "natural" consequence of said event (versus being a pre-existing supernatural sort of critter) it makes for an engrossing read. James Dashner of the Maze Runner trilogy gave "Ashes" props and I heartily agree. The only negative I can say about "Ashes" and it wasn't a big one for me, was that there were some passages of time between characters/scenes that didn't match and weren't, as far as could tell, purposeful parts of the plot. They rather seem to have been an oversight by the author.
  • (4/5)
    Ilsa J. Bick has created one twisted world in Ashes... I like it. Alex is sick. She has a brain tumor and despite all of her treatments she is dying. Alex has decided to go on a mission hiking through the mountains knowing it will probably be the last thing she does. Along the ways she meets Ellie and 8 year old, her dog Mina, and her grandfather. Alex wants nothing more than to be left alone, but something makes her stay and have a cup of coffee with them. Out of nowhere there is a ZAP. Birds are falling out of the skies, Ellie's grandfather has fallen dead in his tracks, and Alex's brain feels as if it is exploding. Nothing will ever be the same. The world we once knew is gone. Most people are dead or have been turned into wild cannibals. Those that were spared either fate are few and far between. As Alex and those whe meets along the way try to survive this new world they will quickly learn that the monsters aren't just the ones who turned, but the ones who survived. I liked this book! It isn't your typical YA genre novel. Alex is a tough, smart girl, who despite her rough persona is full of compassion. Their world has changed and Ms. Bick said it best,"...those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amongst the devastation."There were a couple of parts in the novel that I had a "problem" with. I found it slightly out of characteristic or "unbelievable" how fast characters formed bonds and were willing to go along with everyone else. That said, who am I to judge what people would do when the world as we know it has ended. The other thing is I like a good cliffhanger as much as the next person, but there was too much left unanswered. The ending was surprising and good, but I felt that it was a bit rushed.I don't like to recommend age ratings on books, because different people have different maturity level and parents have different values on what their children can read. I have to say that this book does contain plenty of gore after all people do turn into crazed cannibals. If this doesn't bother you then I recommend reading this book. I give this book a 3 1/2 STAR rating.
  • (2/5)
    The premise of Ashes led me to believe that this book was going to be much more interesting than it ended up being. The idea that an EMP of some kind could mess with our brains is strange, but potentially a good basis for a novel. Sadly, Ashes was not that novel. It's not that the novel was predictable or that the zombies were silly (it wasn't and they weren't), it's that I slogged my way through this book and when I finished, I just didn't care if Alex got eaten by zombies or lived for the sequel. From the very beginning of the book, I found it hard to sympathize with Alex, and then, after the EMP event when she meets up with two people, she suddenly blossoms into a character I can care about. But because Bick decided to do everything the hard way, she destroys this tiny bit of happiness and the novel turns into something very strange and kind of disturbing. I kept reading, because I hoped things would resolve themselves. And then I got to the end, which was a cliffhanger and I just don't care. I won't be reading any more of this series.
  • (2/5)
    I wanted to like this so badly, but it simply wasn't for me. The plot was melodramatic without being convincing, and the characters and their predicaments--or at least the only ones that had shown up by the time I put this book down--were unrealistic and unsympathetic. Ellie in particular was simply an annoying little girl who struck me as being a little too *formulaic* in her little-girl annoyingness: do real little girls actually act annoying in this manner?
  • (5/5)
    Let's start with my absolute gut reaction: This book scared the shit out of me. I read the first half of the book late at night and actually had some trouble falling asleep. I'm not big on scary stories, being a wuss and all, and I'm a bit too crazy with far too much imagination to be up alone, listening for things in the dark. All manner of nasties inhabit the dark that comes when you put down a scary book and turn off the light. It's the kind of dark that not even turning the light back on can scare off. The next morning I carried the book smack out into the noon day sun and read it where everything around me was well illuminated. So that's my advice to you: Read it outside, midday, in a big open space, and bring a shovel.It's a fact universally acknowledged that nothing can protect you from a zombie attack like a really sharp shovel.Now, why was this so scary? Well, think about all the dystopian you've been reading here lately...what have they all had in common? For the most part, they are all stories of drastic changes in the world and how society has changed because of them. They take place in the future and usually involve elements that wouldn't quit figure into our everyday lives as they are now. You can say "Oh dearie me, I do so hope the world doesn't end up like that!" and go about your day safe in the knowledge that no Capitol exists to throw you into an arena, no laws are in place forcing women to breed, people are still marginally human with only a few of us being Borg, water isn't overly rationed, and the ability to love hasn't been surgically removed from your brain. Yet...But weapons of mass destruction, melting nuclear reactors, and the electromagnetic pulse that is generated by the explosion of a nuclear bomb are all very real and the apocalypse that they could bring, could happen at any time.I was absolutely terrified both for and with Alex. After the explosion only the very young or the elderly appear to have been wholly spared from the effects of The Change, a condition that resulted from the explosion that left the majority of the world's population either dead or crazy, wild and hungry for animal flesh. Any animal flesh. Alex falls smack dab in the midst of the age group that was most affected by The Change and yet she, and a few others like her were spared. Alex's brain doesn't function the way most do...Alex has a growing, inoperable brain tumor. Talk about insult to injury. When the event happens, Alex, who has decided that she doesn't want to go through another round of cancer treatments, has gone on an extended hike into the mountains to tie up a few loose ends. Alone, she carries with her one secret thing that she holds most dear, a task that needs to be completed, and her father's gun. You can almost argue that the explosion that ended the known world, and having to save a stranded eight year old girl from blood thirsty flesh eaters- saved her life.So now we have a realistic, catastrophic event, a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world, and just when you think it can't get any worse, when one would like to believe in the strength of humanity, that our morals and beliefs and sense of justice would prevail when the very worst has happened- it turns out the only thing you can count on is man's instinct to survive at any cost and the lengths we would go to save ourselves.I've never enjoyed being scared stupid so much in my life. Bick is a marvelous story teller- the action never once eases off and when you turn the last page you're absolutely exhausted both physically and emotionally. The details and the research put into this novel alone deserves major props. It's unlike any YA dystopian novel out there and your brain is going to be forced to work while you read it. And you want to read it.Plus five points for Zombies. God I love zombies.