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.
"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)
A better, less annoying story and less annoying characters.
The flow of the story.
Less screeching and screaming.
Life is too short for bad fiction. In fairness, I will admit that I did not finish this book, but I can just tell that this book is going in a direction that I don't want to follow. After reading some of the reviews (Goodreads and Audible) more in depth, I think it's because people like part of the book but then hated other parts of it so they kind of gave it a "pity" rating. Most dismaying of all, readers seemed to like the first part of the book better than the second part on average. This is a HUGE reason why I stopped reading. I found little to nothing redeeming about the first part and if it only gets worse from here, then god help me.
Audiobook rating: I lay most of the fault with the experience to the story, but this woman's voice was also very grating. Her depiction of Ellie made me want to gouge out my eardrums with a sharp instrument. Especially in the beginning when all Ellie did was scream and whine. Ellie's hysterics eventually leveled out, but not soon enough.
I am only two hours into this book, and I almost can't listen anymore. There is a fine line between drama and melodrama, and Katherine Kellgren crosses it at absolutely every opportunity. I'm astonished she has been nominated for so many Audies. Her shrieking affects me like fingernails on a chalk board, which is a shame because I am particularly intrigued by postapocalyptic fiction. If Kellgren narrates the sequel, I'll have to remember to just get the book from my library.
Would recommend book but not audio version.
This is my first review, I'm not writing so much to review the book because the book is actually good. This particular narrator is just generally not enjoyable to listen too. She makes the characters sound whiny and stupid. This is the first audiobook I've ever purchased that I have had to buy the paper version instead. So If you haven't listened to it do not waste your credit. Just get it on your kindle or nook, or buy the book outright. I am looking forward to the author's next book, but I will not get it from here.
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!
I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.
As has been said before, One Second After this is not. That doesn't have to be a bad thing. Unfortunately, much of the promise of this adventure story is hampered, in my humble opinion, by its characters.
Alex is definitely not one of my favorite protagonists. Like many central players in young adult epics, her decision-making process seems consistently limited by the presence of a male character for whom she may or may not have feelings. Obviously, such entanglements are often involved in choosing one course of action or another, but much of this narrative seems driven solely by how Alex feels about a boy. This is a real shame since, as other reviewers have pointed out, Alex puts herself forward early on as a motivated, clever young woman capable of surviving on her own.
Having just come off Pure, where the bombs that ended the world as we knew it fused people to whatever or whoever they were in contact with at the time of the blast, Ashes's premise of selective effects from exposure to EMP doesn't seem quite as out there. If you liked One Second After, Alas Babylon, The Postman or the like and are expecting a modern YA equivalent though, I'd advise you to pack a few extra doses of suspension of disbelief.
Katherine Kellgren's performance seems to be a rather divisive point among reviews. I can understand why, as she engages in what one hires Katherine Kellgren to do, putting distinctive, colorful voices to each character and playing up the action. This means an eight year old girl sounding annoying, will sound annoying. Events that happen quickly, will be read quickly. This style can be jarring if you're not used to it, but she's developed a fair bit of critical praise for good reason I think. In short, I found nothing wrong with it and found it a reason to keep going on more than one occasion when I'd begun to have second thoughts about the book.
And the thing of it is, I actually got into the story. I wanted to know what happened to the characters, even though I didn't necessarily like any of them very much. And of course, the cliffhanger ending was such a surprise that I really have no choice but to continue; any criticisms aside, the author deserves a heap of praise for the last ten minutes.
So are there better stories out there? Sure! But there are certainly many I'd call worse. If you're into the setting, I'd say go for it.
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.
This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to on Audible. I haven't been captivated by a story like this since the Hunger Games.
There's a point in book when the Ilsa J. Bick makes this statement "that was the last time we laughed", a statement which forshadows so much.
Katherine Kellgren is the best, she helps the story come alive.
I'm a big fan of horror, sci-fi, dystopian, and post apocalyptic novels.
The story itself was pretty good although the idea of an EMP and zombies seems a bit like overkill. However, the narrator of this story really brought a sense of urgency and intensity to the scenes, which really made this a great listen.
I haven't listened to any of her other performances, but I definitely plan to in the future.
I haven't read the print version but I loved the audio book and don't get all the negative comments about the reader, I thought she did a wonderful job! She gave a unique and distinct voice to each and every character, I almost forgot I was listening to one person. The story was exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat right up until the end and THEN BAM!! To my shock and horror the book was done, the story was unresolved, because (though nowhere in the books description does it warn you that this is book one of three) its a trilogy. Worse-- the next book is not coming out until September 2012!! Except for that unpleasant little surprise this book was terrific.
I was already very interested in the subject as I incorporated the use of EMP's in a novel I am presently writing , though with very different results.
Absolutely, though she gives only one point of view I thought it was interesting. The pace keeps things exciting as well. The constant excitement and the characters, some of whom I'd like to have shaken at various times but that's because two of the main characters are a naive 17 year old girl who sometimes doesn't think things through very well ( like most 17 year-olds) and a traumatized 8 year old. Just realistic in my opinion.
I loved her performance.
I was really peeved that there was no indication that this was book one of a trilogy, if I'd known that I would have waited to buy this because I hate for a story to end on a cliffhanger and then no second book to resolve things for 6 months!
Loved it from the start...girl with a terminal illness goes camping on a "farewell" trip. World gets hit by EPM wave, surrvivors start to find each other, have to fight off the badly changed people, heroine is changed by the wave. Dogs flock to her...(ok a few times I had to turn the volume down on some of the "voices") but I liked it and am looking forward to the sequels.
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