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Ashes: Ashes Trilogy, Book 1 | [Ilsa J. Bick]

Ashes: Ashes Trilogy, Book 1

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device 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.
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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 (845 )
5 star
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3.8 (769 )
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Story
3.8 (761 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    "unknown" Coral Springs, FL, United States 09-23-11
    "unknown" Coral Springs, FL, United States 09-23-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    19
    4
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    "Great story, horrible narrator!"

    I can't wait for the next book! The premise behind the book is really interesting and similar (but not too much so) to The Hunger Games. The book is gripping and fast paced - at times a little gory-er than I was expecting, but not too bad. The story is great...but the narrator is HORRIBLE!! I barely made it through the first couple of chapters - she over acts intense scenes and her voice is shrill (at best) sometimes. You can always tell when a conflict or intense scene is on it's way based on the tone and hurriedness of her voice - never have I been so aware of a narrator during an audio book. I almost gave up on the audio several times in the beginning BUT I have to say, it gets better... if you're listening to this book, hang on about midway her narration gets slightly better. For the 2nd book in the trilogy I might purchase the actualy hardcopy book.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L Cook Odessa, TX, United States 09-19-11
    L Cook Odessa, TX, United States 09-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Story"
    If you could sum up Ashes in three words, what would they be?

    Dark, Deep and Realistic.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ashes?

    Actually the end when she finds out what the secret of the town is.


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

    first one.


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

    Yes a definate page turner. Unfortunately I couldn't had to break it up.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a page turner well if there were any pages to turn. HAHA Loved it!

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 11-27-11
    Amazon Customer United States 11-27-11

    bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    3
    1
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    0
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    "Love the book, can't stand the narrator"

    I have no complaints about the author's work. The book is interesting, gritty, and entertaining. However, the narrator almost ruins this. She talks in this haughty, pretentious tone that is very jarring. Her voice is strange and does not fit with the book at all. I couldn't stand it when she read Ellie's parts in the book-her version of the little girl's voice was like nails on a chalkboard. I will avoid all books read by this woman again.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mindy fangedmom Janicke Freeport, IL, United States 12-03-14
    Mindy fangedmom Janicke Freeport, IL, United States 12-03-14 Member Since 2014

    Mindy fangedmom

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    127
    51
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    7
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    "Not your typical Apocalyptical story!!"

    I absolutley loved this book! It was beyond amazing. At points, I, ME who never gets scared was terrified! I really was. It was OMG will this ever end kind of scared. It was an unknown kind of scared. Author Ilsa J Bick has an amazing talent of writing this genre. Her characters, her story line, her EVERYTHING is over the top! If you love end of world type of books, zombie-like books, survival of end books THIS SERIES IS FOR YOU! BUT BE WARNED...there is more to this series than just your typical-the world is ended we need to survive. There is so much emotion, so much to learn about human species in general. It is actualy an emotional rollercoaster! I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!!!!!!! **I am putting this SAME review on all three books of this series. I will not give away an spoilers and just encourage you read this series. The narrator is FAN FREAKING TASTIC!!!!!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah 06-13-14
    Deborah 06-13-14 Member Since 2011

    I love to read sci-fi and thrillers. Will read anything that gets good reviews. I hear a lot of good books that way.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    20
    7
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    0
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    "Strange Days"
    Where does Ashes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top 10
    It is one of those stories that could happen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alex. She has a great strength of character. She never gives up.


    What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

    She made you feel what Alex was feeling.


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

    When she had to leave her boyfriend in the store to go get help.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book. I really enjoyed it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quinton 04-24-14
    Quinton 04-24-14 Member Since 2011

    Just a knitter/weaver/spinner that though his hands are busy would like to keep up with his reading.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    4
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    Story
    "Intrigued But Still Unsure"
    What did you love best about Ashes?

    I was disappointed again by this narrator though I thought she did a better job than on previous books I've heard her on. The story, was very intriguing and I admit that I bought the second book to see where she goes with it. I wouldn't say it's an amazing book, but it does have some great aspects. The character of Alex you sympathize with, you worry about what happened to Tom and Ellie and you wonder about the political machinations that are occurring in Rule. All great steps into building a wonderful story line. I was put off when I realized this book was supposed to be for "young adults". Some of the themes I feel are a bit mature. Well, maybe not the themes themselves, I myself feel that the Hunger Games are great for their attended audience and make kids question their beliefs, it's perhaps her gory details that I find off putting for the intended readers age range. All in all; however, I found this book to be a solid piece of work and am hopeful to find out the next part of the story. I would recommend this piece to other readers and if it were in my physical library I would lend it out to trusted friends.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ashes?

    The closing as she finally makes some connections I think is wonderfully perfect cliff hanger ending for a series.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Miss Kellgren again overacts some areas. Is that her fault though, or the sound tech/directors? I don't know but am once again unimpressed by her narration although it is better than other pieces of her work.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Sometimes I was a bit disgusted with her in depth descriptions of the remains of whatever body she was speaking of. It was just unexpected for a book for this age range.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marla Independence, MO, United States 03-01-14
    Marla Independence, MO, United States 03-01-14 Member Since 2014

    I've always loved books. Even before I could read I've loved them. Fact or Fiction, I love books. I'd sooner read a book than see a movie.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    12
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    "A Good Survival Book"
    What did you love best about Ashes?

    I've often wondered what it would be like to be a survivor if everything went to hell. Now maybe I might not want to be a survivor. The story had you at the edge of your seat.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The dichotomy of the young and the old survivors and the twist of the adults being the turned.


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

    No I haven't listened to her before.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was worried for the survivors, even the dogs. I felt sad when someone was killed. There were not very many laughs in the book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    River livermore,ca usa 02-10-14
    River livermore,ca usa 02-10-14 Member Since 2013

    zombie betty

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "exciting"
    What made the experience of listening to Ashes the most enjoyable?

    I think the narrating of this story made it even more exciting and nerve racking. I was bitting my nails and rooting on the main characters. Even when it was a slow I was fully invested in the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Alex, a strong female with backbone and grit.


    Which character – as performed by Katherine Kellgren – was your favorite?

    Alex


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Beware the Changed


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Nelson 01-02-14
    D. Nelson 01-02-14 Member Since 2012

    Mema

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    62
    13
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    "Not what I expected!"

    Overall, I liked the story, but kept thinking about the book, The Twelve. Apocalypse and creatures that feed on humans. Not at all what I expected. I really liked how Kellgren got my blood pumping in the crucial moments of crazy activity. She read it as if she was narrating while she fended off the "Changed". I do like the implications of who is left to run things and it also reminded me somewhat of Under the Dome, where people put their trust in the wrong people out of fear and routine. Overall, I LOVED the ending, which left me NEEDING to get the second in the trilogy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary anaheim, CA, United States 12-31-13
    Gary anaheim, CA, United States 12-31-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    541
    11
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    0
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    "Chopped off"

    The narrator was excellent and the story was engaging. Ms. Bick’s penchant for ending chapters in the middle of an action sequence is obviously designed to pull the reader along but I found it an unneeded and distracting ploy. The main problem is that the story stopped so abruptly it was as if it stopped midsentence. I can imagine how this happened. The original book was much longer (perhaps as long as the entire three part series) and the publisher asked her to cut it into pieces so that more books could be sold. I can even understand this, but to use the same tactic that she used between chapters to end a book was, for me, highly irritating. If she has confidence in her books, she should have ended it two chapters earlier. The same unresolved conflicts would have remained, but at least it would be a book with an end.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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