June 1st, 2011
"Epidemics, floods, droughts--for sixteen-year-old Lucy, the end of the world came and went, taking 99% of the population with it. As the weather continues to rage out of control, and Sweepers clean the streets of plague victims, Lucy survives alone in the wilds of Central Park. But when she's rescued from a pack of hunting dogs by a mysterious boy named Aidan, she reluctantly realizes she can't continue on her own. She joins his band of survivors, yet, a new danger awaits her: the Sweepers are looking for her. There's something special about Lucy, and they will stop at nothing to have her."-goodreads
There is a difference between Post-Apocalyptic fiction and Dystopian fiction. While they run together frequently, dystopias often being the result of an apocalypse, and apocalypses normally creating at least slight dystopias in the way the world is run. Ashes, Ashes has elements of dystopia but is a post-apocalyptic book for the most part (to me, anyway!) and I liked that a lot. I also believe it's a stand-alone, although it could easily be a series, which is always refreshing (I can't stress that enough, can I?).
Ashes, Ashes is horrifyingly realistic seeming. All of the situations, the survival, the way the plague took over the world-- they're all very vivid, very real situations. The main character, Lucy, often reflects on how at first, when the plague originally started, the news would show happy people, nurses and doctors calmly working at the hospital. She then adds that when her parents died, they were nothing like that. Just dying people, failing medicine. The news reverted to pre-recorded footage. I think that's a really important part of the book, or any post-apocalyptic book for me, contrasting the difference between then and before. It really puts the book into perspective.
I just mentioned Lucy. Lucy is very cool. She was a very strong and developed character, and she was also likeable. One of my favorite parts of the book is that Lucy is a strong female character. There is no Bella syndrome, and I think that's important. Even books like The Hunger Games, in which Katniss is also a strong female character, along the way, she tended to kind of lose herself in her feelings toward Peeta and Gale. Lucy does no such thing. The book has romance, but it's not like, hey I was really awesome before and defending myself and now there's a guy so he'll be my knight and shining armor. Ha! Oh, and no love triangle. Thank goodness.
Aiden and all of the other characters were great as well. The book was fabulously written, all vivid and detailed. It was really easy to picture the post-apocalyptic New York. It was interesting, filled with action, and just a good book. Also, I'd like to add that I liked the cover before I read the book, and after reading the book I think it's absolutely perfect, a great reflection of the book. (Feel free to judge this one by it's cover, I'd say.)
If you'd like a good book that's interesting, realistic seeming, vividly written, and filled with survival, try out Ashes, Ashes in two weeks when it comes out! Also, this is definitely on my list of 'things to recommend to people that liked the Hunger Games'.
Thank you Scholastic for giving me the opportunity to review this book.