May 17, 2014
Ashes, by Ilsa J. Bick
"Ashes" is a YA apocalypse novel, and a rather gruesome one at that. Like most YA science fiction, it's very plot-driven, so it goes quickly. The writing is pretty good, with good authenticity, though I got a bit tired of the "dun-dun-DUN" moments (e.g. "And everything was fine. But that was the last time everything was fine.") It's a beginner's writing crutch, an easy tactic to fall back on when you want to keep the story moving. It's okay every once in a while, but having it at the end of every chapter is a bit much. I also must protest the graphic nature of the zombies. I really don't need to read about someone popping out another person's eyeball and eating it. Maybe today's teen is totally numb to that kind of disgusting imagery, but even my strong stomach had trouble handling that. Again, it was just a bit much. This is the first in a series; I won't be seeking out the next book, but if I happen upon it, I'll probably read it.