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Ashes Audiobook

Ashes: Ashes Trilogy, Book 1

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Publisher's 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 novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

©2011 Ilsa J. Bick (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"For fans of postapocalyptic and horror fiction, Bick has created a story of equal parts intrigue and gore…Katherine Kellgren narrates the tension-filled action at a lightning pace…The author’s frenetic characterization of Alex is tempered by Kellgren’s ability to draw the listener into each scene." (Audiofile)

2012 Audie Award Nominee, Female Solo Narration

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1031 )
5 star
 (322)
4 star
 (377)
3 star
 (215)
2 star
 (74)
1 star
 (43)
Overall
3.8 (936 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (190)
2 star
 (69)
1 star
 (45)
Story
3.8 (929 )
5 star
 (338)
4 star
 (295)
3 star
 (178)
2 star
 (54)
1 star
 (64)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-12-11 Member Since 2015

    book chick

    HELPFUL VOTES
    68
    ratings
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    54
    10
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    Story
    "Superb!"

    The author is a genius with her use of imagery and setting. I found the storyline very fresh, the characters believable, and the ending a heart-stopper! Ms. Kellgren caught the character's personalities perfectly...especially the eight year-old girl. Does an eight year-old whine and throw temper tantrums? Any parent will tell you that yes she does. Ms. Kellgren got it spot on. I love this book so much I purchased it for my NOOK and have ordered the hard back. Can't wait for the next installment!

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 09-12-11
    Mel USA 09-12-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14353
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    729
    329
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6958
    19
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply Put..."

    Awful--shockingly, embarrassingly, discouragingly devoid of creativity and talent, and the narrator's histrionic reading was akin to listening to nails scraping across a chalkboard. Disgusted with the rote and threadbare story, and protecting my ears from the whining and screeching of the narrator, I was compelled to keep my finger on the skip-ahead button most of the time. Seeing that a publisher actually saw potential enough to committ to a trilogy, I concluded there must be something here, it would be safe to take a chance...it would be safer to run blindfolded through a zombie infested graveyard at night. Ashes is absolutely one of the worst books I've ever read (or almost read) and THE worst audio I have ever listened to. Miss Kellgren--some heartfelt advice: do not use this for an audition tape.

    29 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brass Monkey 07-11-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
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    "dont waste a credit - you have been warned"

    Here is the honest truth on this book.
    1) the first 2 or 3 hours are kind of painfull as the performance by the reader is too much. She squeeks & screams the lines. This improves greatly after that & she does a good job. But you have to get through the first section.

    2) the story really isn't that well written - I mean - its not a good story - The last 30 minutes were good - but when she was captured by the cult of "we are not mormons" who make her attend school.... come on - that just sucks. The title has nothing to do with the story & it seems that ashes are a side note & not related to anything that is happening.

    3) This might be a good book for a younger person looking for something a little scary - maybe an early teenager. Us older folks expect more.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudiobookWorm California 05-29-12
    AudiobookWorm California 05-29-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    13
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    Performance
    Story
    "waste of a credit"
    Has Ashes turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I love dystopia, but not this book


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was very obnoxious. I read other reviews that said the same beforehand, I should have listened.


    Any additional comments?

    Unlike other books of this genre, the characters do not draw you in. I found it difficult to care what happened to them.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    it's me 09-12-11
    it's me 09-12-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
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    156
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    Story
    "Ruined by the narrator"

    I have not made it even an hour into the book, and I am ready to rip my ears off. I have listened to this narrator before, and she constantly raises her voice to a whiny, ear splitting shrill that absolutely ruins whatever story you were attempting to listen to, no matter what the quality of the writing had been.

    25 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Kaysville, UT, United States 09-12-11
    Melinda Kaysville, UT, United States 09-12-11 Member Since 2009

    5*= Loved this 4*= liked a lot; 3*= a solid OK ; 2*= could've done without; 1*=a total PU

    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply Put..."

    Awful--shockingly, embarrassingly, discouragingly devoid of creativity and talent, and the narrator's histrionic reading was akin to listening to nails scraping across a chalkboard. Disgusted with the rote and threadbare story, and protecting my ears from the whining and screeching of the narrator, I was compelled to keep my finger on the skip-ahead button most of the time. Seeing that a publisher actually saw potential enough to committ to a trilogy, I concluded there must be something here, it would be safe to take a chance...it would be safer to run blindfolded through a zombie infested graveyard at night. Ashes is absolutely one of the worst books I've ever read (or almost read) and THE worst audio I have ever listened to. Miss Kellgren--some heartfelt advice: do not use this for an audition tape.

    36 of 53 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony Walker 11-25-14
    Tony Walker 11-25-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
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    "Wrong genre for me."
    What disappointed you about Ashes?

    The story is just not the right genre for me. This is a female-teen-romance novel. I wasn't aware of this before I bought it.


    What was most disappointing about Ilsa J. Bick’s story?

    I could not relate to the characters.


    Did Katherine Kellgren do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was fast-paced and action-packed. I'm sure that there are lots of people who would enjoy it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    debra vermont, Australia 11-05-14
    debra vermont, Australia 11-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    Performance
    Story
    "unbearable!"
    What disappointed you about Ashes?

    the narrator, horrid!


    Has Ashes turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Katherine Kellgren?

    I'm sceptical of women narrators, they seem to over 'do'it...


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    the story seemed to be going ok


    Any additional comments?

    get a new narrator

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitanya Fremont, NE, United States 06-05-14
    Caitanya Fremont, NE, United States 06-05-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    7
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    "Quit half way through"

    Could have been a great story but I couldn't take the characters making stupid decisions left and right. Too much whining as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abstractchick 02-12-14

    Teaching Artist

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I really wanted to like it."

    I tried to give this a try. The premise of the book is interesting. And actually the reader is good at what she is doing- talking scared an anxious, but it is annoying. It is a whiny read that makes me feel like I'm listening to a book that has been dipped in an energy drink. With listening time to a premium, I really don't want to listen to hours of every second on the verge of disaster and being frantic. Waa. Waa. Waa. That is close to the preview of what you will hear. Listen to the sample first.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • @Scattered_Laura
    NEATH, United Kingdom
    4/5/12
    Overall
    "Review: "Ashes" by Ilsa J Bick"

    When I first picked up this book I did so because I'd seen a few good reviews of it around and about and I was enjoying the fab little trend of dystopian fiction that is still running its course in YA at the moment. However, my hopes weren't huge because I'm one of those despicable human beings who judges books by their covers. This cover was just a bit...is “80s” the right term?...for me.

    Well give me a sturdy slap on the wrist, I must learn to obey old clichés as this was a book that I should not have judged by its cover. And I should not have expected it to fit into the sometimes (though not always) sanguine niche that YA can be. Don't bite, I said it can be!

    For me, Ashes was a book that provided plenty of the darkness and grit that its title suggested. When an EMP causes all electronics to faulter and also interferes with the teeny tiny electrical pulses in the brains of humans, a whole heap of...poop...hits the fan! Only the very young and very old survive intact...save for a few exceptions such as Alex, the protagonist. Others survive, but as maddened inhumane creatures, similar to the "sickos" in Charlie Higson's The Enemy series, or the raging "infected" in 28 Days Later.

    The idea of the masses succumbing to a force that leaves them insane and blood thirsty is not new. The dystopian premise of technology falling down around our ears is not new either. So what about this book made me love it as much as I did? It was a combination of things really. I loved Alex as the protagonist. She goes to the mountains to bury her past and to admit that, due to a brain tumor, she has no future. Instead it is her tumor and the treatments she's had for it that saves her from the EMP and allows her to begin her story. These are things you find out in the first pages so I don't think I'm spoiling anything for you.

    I'm thoroughly looking forward to the sequel to this (already on my Goodreads Wishlist) and finding out how Bick tortures her protagonist further.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Janet
    Bourbon L Archambault, France
    12/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story spoilt by narrator"

    The semi-hysterical, high-pitched tones of the narrator at any moment in the book where the action picks up makes this an uncomfortable listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • CarrieO
    Nottinghamshire, England
    4/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poorly performed"

    I read and really enjoyed this book a couple of years back, and thought I'd buy the audiobook to refresh my memory of the story before reading the next in the series. I was really disappointed with the reading of the story however, the reader really over acted some of the scenes and was virtually shrieking and babbling some of the scenes where the lead character was panicked or upset which just forced me to switch off. I will be returning this title

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    4/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting start but..."
    Would you try another book written by Ilsa J. Bick or narrated by Katherine Kellgren?

    I'm not sure I would try a different book. This one seemed to start well, but somewhere around the middle I had completely lost the plot. There is only so many times i want to rewind a story before I give up.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ilsa J. Bick again?

    Depends on the narrator.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance was frantic to say the least. Someone needs to calm the lady down!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment considering all the good reviews.


    Any additional comments?

    The are plenty of much better end of the world / zombie teen stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • miss
    edgware, United Kingdom
    4/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "hooked"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes, great story, great characters and had me wanting more.expertly read by katherine.


    What other book might you compare Ashes to, and why?

    the twelve trilogy by justin cronin, ilsa's books come close second. same kind of theme


    What does Katherine Kellgren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    excitement, suspense,


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes, but sadly i had to work....but couldnt wait to hear more at the first oppertunity


    Any additional comments?

    this book was read superbly, i cant wait for the next one. i need to know what happens to the characters as they are amazing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sally
    Nelson, New Zealand
    1/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fast paced action that is quite gory"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ashes to be better than the print version?

    Havent read the print version


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alex a feisty female seemed to lead the way and the story followed her actions and thoughts.


    What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

    I don't often read this type of genre but was interested in the thoughts and ideas she put forward. Never certain about why the zombie concept is created. However the scenario around why the end of the world as we know it evolved through discussion between Alex and Tom was well managed


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were some great relationship developing moments between the main characters


    Any additional comments?

    Not a book for the faint hearted. It is very gory in places. however I like the pace and I kept listening

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth
    Smethwick, West Midlands, United Kingdom
    12/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beware. Something like this could really happen"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Very possible plot


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Next book added to my wish list


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Very imaginative description


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Why would there be anything wrong.


    Do you have any additional comments?

    This is described as young adults. I would say that any adult who likes fantasy would like this.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • D. J. Steers
    Tunbridge Wells, Kent . England
    12/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You Never Know... This Might Just Happen !!"
    Would you listen to Ashes again? Why?

    Yes, I really enjoyed listening to this book, it has a good sense of reality throughout the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ashes?

    When they found the rangers cabin, and what went on there... (don't want to give too much away)


    Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, This is the first book I have listened to by Katherine Kellgren


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device in the world


    Any additional comments?

    Have added "Shadows", the second book in the Ashes Trilogy: where no one is safe and humans may be the worst of the monsters. to my wish list..

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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