Ashes by Ilsa J Bick

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
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I was surprised that for the size of this book how it was able to really keep the reader engaged. I admired the main character, she is strong, intelligent and with her super sense of smell, I wouldn't mind being stuck in the wilderness with her. I never paid attention to how important the sense of smell was, I guess I take it for granted, but this book pays a special attention to that sense and makes it a forefront specialty of the MC's. I couldn't help but also think about how so many different things are connected to it.
At the beginning of the story I had a hard time with Ellie. She really got on my nerves, even if she did just lose her family and her grandfather. As the story continues and they get to know each other better I could appreciate her more and even felt that Alex also becomes a more developed and rounded character.
As usually happens in books I tended to love the bits with the "bad guy" in this case, people that have turned zombie-like in the aftermath of the electro-magnetic pulse that occurred. They were interesting, dangerous and what for me kept the story really intense and gripping. Without them to add a more dangerous factor to this already horrible situation, made for some very intense scenes. There is very little down time in this book, almost always they are in constant movement and experiencing different things as they encounter new people in the search for others that made it through the EMP still human.
It left with a bit of a cliffhanger that I didn't see coming, I thought that maybe I'd get a little more closure before we left the story. But nope! Your going to have to wait until the next book to see what happened.
I give this book 4 stars.

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