Thursday, October 27, 2011

Get in the Halloween Spirit with "Ashes"

In the spirit of Halloween, I wanted to write a blog about Ilsa Bick's new YA horror novel Ashes. Liesl, who buys our children's and teen titles, has been going on about it for a month, so naturally I'm intrigued. Then, at our event with Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone) a few weeks ago, I met Katie, the wonderful reviewer behind Katie's Book Blog, and she told me how much she wanted to read Ashes, too. I've been wanting to partner more with local bloggers for some time, and this struck me as the perfect opportunity to feature a Guest Blogger. To my delight, Katie also thought this was a great idea, and has written an awesome review for a creepy book for us to feature this week. So, without further ado, I give you a Guest Blog, straight from Katie's Book Blog!:

Ashes is a dark and gritty tale of a world gone mad. Ilsa Bick does not shy away from anything and while at times it seems overwhelming, in the end it all adds up to one fabulous book.
Ashes packs a punch from the very beginning. It is full of action, suspense, and tons of terrifying revelations about what happens when there aren’t enough resources for everyone. It is full of death, destruction, and quite a few gory surprises. The scariest thing about Ashes is how realistic it is. It really makes you think that this could happen sometime in the very near future.

Every character, even the ones with the smallest roles, is three-dimensional and wonderfully well-rounded. Alex, the main character, is full of spunk, fight, and quite a few snarky comments. Ellie, one of the first characters we meet after Alex, is a breath of fresh air in the gloomy atmosphere of post-EMP United States. Even through the toughest times she lightens the moods and brings out Alex’s sweeter side. Tom is my favorite character because I think everyone can relate to him in some way. He is very real and steady. No matter what, I think everyone can find someone to relate to in Ashes.

Overall, Ashes is one of the most gripping stories that I have read in a long time. This trilogy is one to watch out for. It holds a lot of potential. If the following books are anything like this one, Ilsa Bick can expect to have a lot of engrossed fans. While it may be a little too gory and intense for some younger readers, I think older YA readers will really appreciate it.

Thanks, Katie! Here's to the start of a beautiful friendship.
Check out for other great reviews of YA novels.

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