Monday, June 20, 2011

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari takes place in the near future when mother nature has gotten her revenge on the planet. Everything from tsunamis to drought to earthquakes to plague destroys the majority of the population. Left behind are the survivors, mostly kept safe from recent vaccinations either in childhood or old age, the mutated smallpox plague has wiped out most of the adults leaving behind the children and elderly. Sixteen-year-old Lucy is one of the lucky one percent left behind, and for the past year she has survived alone in the wilds of Central Park in the wreckage of New York City. However, a chance encounter with another teenager, Aidan, who saves her from a pack of hunting dogs, makes Lucy realize she can't always do everything on her own. Lucy joins Aidan and a band of other survivors, but the dangers, including Sweepers who rid the streets of plague victims and the ever present threat of mutation leading to another plague wave, are only beginning.

After reading so many dystopia novels in the last year, I really thought Ashes, Ashes would be quite similar. However, Treggiari has definitely delved into a different and unique niche with her post-apocalyptic fiction- in this book it is not the government that people have to worry about, but the world itself. The novel is jam-packed full of disasters of every kind imaginable, which makes for an intense and thrilling page-turner. Lucy makes a good main character and heroine because she is brave but not flawless, she has beaten incredible odds but she still sometimes trips or cuts herself by accident. In many ways, Lucy reminded me of Katniss from The Hunger Games for her strength and perseverance, refusing to give up even in tough situations. Treggiari also manages to include lots of little bits of interesting survival information that adds colour to the novel, everything from how to kill a turtle to using a hammer as a weapon.

I really enjoyed the pacing of Ashes, Ashes and I think it is definitely one of those good books for reluctant readers because of the amount of action and excitement in the book. However, because there is so much going on there were a few times when I wished for a little more description. I was also a bit let down by the resolution of the book, there were was just so much foreshadowing that even if it wasn't the sort of "twist" that I had guessed from almost the first chapter, I think it would have been hard not to get way before you reached the ending of the book. That said, the intended audience is definitely a little younger than me, and they have probably also seen a few less post-apocalyptic movies, so maybe it will satisfy them better. What I did find refreshing about how Ashes, Ashes ended was that it worked perfectly as a stand-alone novel, at a time when every book I pick up seems to be a part of a series, it was nice to get a complete story from Treggiari. There is potential for a sequel to follow Ashes, Ashes, and while I'd certainly enjoy another exciting novel with the stubborn but courageous Lucy, Treggiari has me hooked on her intense storytelling and I will definitely pick up whatever she publishes next.

Release Date: June 1st, 2011
Pages: 343
Source: Publisher 
Buy the Book

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments make my day!