Alex has run away to the mountains to go hiking, and figure out her life. She's suffering from cancer, and things aren't going well. She's still dealing with the death of her parents. Before she even gets very far, there's a huge electronic pulse that not only destroys everything electric, but kills many people.
After this, Alex is in survival mode, and she's fairly well prepared, except she hooks up with a young girl, Ellie. Because of Ellie, she loses some of her provisions and has to travel a lot slower. Also, it seems the pulse has turned some people into zombie-like creatures who will kill and eat anything they can catch. Alex and Ellie are fortunate to meet Tom, who saves them as they are about to be attacked by one of these zombies, and the three of them hook up and use all their wits to survive.
Things don't go well. There are serious injuries. They get robbed. They get separated. And what seems like safety may not be safe.
Ashes doesn't break any great new barriers as far as survival stories go. It is interesting and very action packed. I did like the fact that even when Alex gets to a safe haven, it isn't necessarily what it seems. There's never a time throughout the book that Alex (or the reader) feels safe.
It is a bit long at over 450 pages. It didn't really drag, because there was always tension, but still, Ashes is a survival story, and it kind of wore me out.
Alex is easy to become attached to. She's got secrets, but she's tough. She already can handle a gun. She's emotionally tough, after what she's been through, and she pulls her weight. There's barely a romance getting started (triangular, of course) when all hell breaks loose, so I'm curious about how that will go in Shadows, the next book in the series. Ellie probably grew the most -- I mean, she's a whiny eleven year old, so needless to say, she's not very helpful at the beginning.
Dogs play a big part in Ashes too, and since I'm a dog lover that's a bonus. Your survival book fans will eat this one up! I will widely recommend Ashes to those kids. Even middle school readers will be able to handle Ashes, if they can handle the length.
Published by Egmont, 2011
Copy obtained from the library
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