08 September 2013

Series Overview: Ashes Trilogy - Ilsa J.Bick

Series: Ashes, Shadows, Monsters

Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Series: Ashes Trilogy
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Zombies, Survival
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Average Series Rating:

Series summary:

It could happen tomorrow . . .
An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.
For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.
Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling post-apocalyptic novel about a world that could become ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

Judge A Series By Its Covers:

I'm not sure if everyone's aware of the first cover of Ashes. It was this terrifying and ugly gray face with murky eyes. I wasn't too happy about reading it so I didn't even read the blurb until the cover change. Eventually I bought the book on TBD because it was on sale. And I still didn't read it because I didn't get this beautiful black/yellow combination but the UK edition. Even though I'm not a huge fan of cover changes after a book or two are released but in this case I approve. 

What I Liked:

  • Most of the characters. I just couldn't help myself and root for almost all of them. There was even a certain minor character which shined more than out MC, Alex. I'll get back to him later. ;)
  • It's a book about people losing their minds and eating other people. What's more scarier than that?
  • The significance of titles. I love these titles. The represent the major themes in all 3 novels. Ashes- to leave the past behind; Shadows- what hides in the corners or everyone's mind; Monsters- fight the monster within or let it win. 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • At times I was frustrated about the lack of zombies. I guess I expected more of them to start popping out in Ashes and Shadows. They got their shot in Monsters
  • Some might say these books are slow paced but I didn't think of them as such, most of the time. There were certain moments when I wanted nothing more than to skim a page or two because nothing was happening but even though there was no blood and gore there were still some very important things revealed. 

Do I Recommend It?

Yes, if you are willing to not think about the 496 pages long book and it's sequels (528 and 821 pages which brings you to a total of 1845 pages of explosive action) 

Favorite Book in the Series:

  • This is a tough one. I did love the first half of Ashes but overall, Monsters wins this round. It was unputdownable, exciting, messing with my mind/heart/soul. It made me cry so many times I'm not even sure how many times I cursed the life and the author for making these characters suffer. 

Favorite Character(s):

  • Hands down, Wolf. I don't want to spoil anything. I found him interesting the moment he appeared in Alex's life. He's one of the Changed humans who doesn't speak. That didn't prevent him from being the most interesting character. There's was just something gentle and deadly about him. Even though he was her captor he was always trying to protect her from other Changed. He was like a guardian angel. I know this sounds horrible but that's how I see him. How can a cannibal be a guardian angel, you ask? Well, you'll just have to read this trilogy to find out. 

Credit for Series Overview goes to Effortlessly Reading


  1. I really, really liked Ashes but once I started to read Shadows I got out of it. I didn't like how we were suddenly jumping from head to head, and a lot of the heads didn't even matter to me. I mean, they were secondary characters from the first books -- the only ones I was okay with being with was Alex and Thomas, and within the first 150 pages of Shadows, we were barely with either of them. So that bothered me. It sounds like Monsters really picked up though, so maybe I was wrong to not finish this series.

  2. You should read Monsters. It's really good even though it's pretty long. And you can skip Shadows cause I don't think anything important happened.