Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa Bick

Ashes Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this first installment of Ilsa Bick’s dystopian thriller trilogy, Alex is a teen with a dark secret who goes backpacking in the wilderness. While in the wilderness, an EMP blast takes out most of humankind and the few who survive are either Changed (turned into carnivorous monsters)or must fight the Changed and scavenge for supplies in order to survive. Alex finds herself part of a family of Spared (young people who survive and are not Changed) as she, Ellie (an 8-year old girl) and Tom (a 22-year old Afghanistan war veteran) fight to survive.

I found myself up late at night past my bedtime unable to put this one down. Bick has created a world with deep characters and a well-planned storyline that kept me guessing as to what would happen – all the way up until the end of the book when I was left hanging. Only then did I realize this was part of a series.

For those who loved the Hunger Games series, this book is a sure hit. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series!

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Book Review: Blood (Mercian Trilogy #1) by K.J. Wignall

Blood (Mercian Trilogy, #1)Blood by K.J. Wignall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

William, Earl of Mercia, has been “undead” (his preferred term to describe a vampire) and frozen at the age of 16 for over 750 years. He has been in and out of hibernation for all those centuries and seen his earldom given to his younger brother and then crumble as famine, plague and wars have given way to modern society. When he awakes from hibernation in the present day, he discovers that this awakening is unlike any other. He soon meets Eloise, and finds his fate intertwined with that of the runaway teen. With her help, he learns more about his past and why he was bitten. He also learns that he is no longer alone in this world.

This book was quite the refreshing read for a YA paranormal novel. While it is set in the modern day, the backstory goes into the 13th century – a time of superstition and fear about anything not normal. Witch-burnings were common then and the theme of witchcraft has been woven in nicely. It was a fast read and really kept me going, trying to guess where the author was going to take me. While there is the slight element of romance, it is downplayed and is not the dominant theme in the book.

I think this will be a very popular YA series and I’m already looking forward to seeing what book #2 in the trilogy will bring!

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