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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 (920 )
5 star
 (283)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (832 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (825 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (60)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    40
    5
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    "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
    31
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    88
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    Story
    "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
    97
    7
    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
    15
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    Performance
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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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    581
    11
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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
  •  
    Max 12-30-13
    Max 12-30-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "So much for the "two-shoe covenant""
    What did you like best about Ashes? What did you like least?

    The natural growth of each character into their roles. Hero/ heroes are engaging. Story is very plausible.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Aaaaaaargh!


    What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

    Good range of voice/cast members; clearly defined.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 05-16-13
    Robin 05-16-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    87
    ratings
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    500
    85
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    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "I like the Narrator, she keeps me awake."

    I saw some criticism of the Narrator. Well, Katherine Kelgrin certainly isn't monotone. I like to listen to books while I do other things. Monotone authors don't grab me into the stories unless I stop working and pay close attention.It isn't a bedtime story. I have also heard the narrator in other books.

    Ashes kept my interest enough that I'm am already listening to the next in the series.
    I don't usually like dystopian novels but I like this one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TG 04-27-13
    TG 04-27-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "Great Book!!! I finished it in two days."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this audio-book to many of my friends and I have. I am writing this review after listen to the book two. I do love apocalyptic fiction and Ashes took me on a great horrible adventure.I loved ever minute of it, surviving the wilderness and zombies? Boy I need step up my fitness routine. I didn't feel like the book was split in two halves or written by two different authors, as other reviewers stated. I hate to say this and I am only comparing this book to the TV show, but this is waaaaaay better that Walking Dead (I am a die hard Walking Dead fan). I mean zombies who haven't completely lost all of their senses.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There were several twists, revelations, and an unrelenting assortment of obstacles, lots of blood & gore as well as fight-for-your-life action. I could not get enough.


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

    It turns out that I have listened to her before, but this series is by far the best. I loved Katherine Kellgren's performance, I felt as those I was not only listening to the story unfold, but I was in the thick of it as well. There is nothing worse than listening to an audio-book and feeling like I could have done better job than the narrator.


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

    Hold on to your lunch and try not to look away.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't let the negative reviews stop you from buying this book, if you like action you don't want to miss out on this one. Don't wait to buy book 2.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thaddeus Bishop, CA, USA 10-27-12
    Thaddeus Bishop, CA, USA 10-27-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
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    20
    14
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    0
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    Story
    "Teenage girls and younger are a pain"
    What would have made Ashes better?

    The story, for one thing. By the time I was 2hrs into it, I never wanted to be around the characters again. I pressed on, hope attempting to triumph over experience and was disappointed.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Why I left Goldman Sachs


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The reader did some screaming, not doubt to help us get in the story and it hurt my ears.


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

    Anger, I hated the little girl and grew to dislike, Alex, the female lead.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book Junkie CEDAR PARK, TX, United States 10-20-12
    Book Junkie CEDAR PARK, TX, United States 10-20-12 Member Since 2006

    I have an audible issue

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    30
    9
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    0
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    "Great listen"

    highly recommened for those who loved the hunger games, the charactors are strong and the narration is amazing

    1 of 4 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.

    5 of 5 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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