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Ashes by Ilsa J Bick
The first chapter of Ashes left me with expectations about the plot of the book.
All those suspicions were wrong.
What a refreshing read! For the first time in a long time I was only invested in a single character: Alex. Sure, I might have liked Tom or Chris or others around Alex, but we don’t spend enough time with anyone else to feel emotionally attached the way I did with our protagonist. It was nice for a change to only care what happened to her. As far as main character’s go, I like Alex. She’s a lot to learn but she’s strong, smart, courageous, good intentioned and righteously indignant when needs be. The strange little town, Rule, that Alex ends up in is…unnerving. There’s definitely something off with the place, the zealous people it contains, and beacon on a hill living they purport. The altered now dystopian world that Bick creates is riveting. Just when you think you’ve finally figured out what’s going on, it is all undone in the last sentence. Did I mention there are also zombies? Cause there are zombies. With an ending like this, the world will be clamoring for the sequel.
Ashes is due out from Egmont September 6th. You can preorder your copy here.
This book was provided gratis by Egmont at BEA
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
I was terrified before I even began reading this book. The cover is totally creepy and I instantly thought, “Please don’t let this give me nightmares.” Well, I was right, the book is creepy, but also terrifyingly beautiful. The tale may be filled with the dark, the ugly, and the strange, but the characters are a delight as they brave the worst the treacherous town of Gentry has to offer. Ultimately, the story left me with a renewed sense of hope for what can be achieved with love and the help of good friends.
You should definitely check out the book when it comes out in September.
ARC provided free from Razor Bill Books, an imprint of Penguin.
Apparently, Zombies vs. Unicorns is an age old question that needs answering, well at least according to Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. Their new anthology of zombie and unicorn short stories by some of the best writers in the YA paranormal and fantasy field attempts to answer once and for all which is greater: the zombie or the unicorn? Holly supports the unicorn and Justine the zombie as they quip at each other throughout the book. Their comments alone make this book worth reading.
In a few stories I had some confusion over gender until at least midway through and a few in which I didn’t really bond with the protagonist. There were a few standout tales, including “Princess Prettypants” by Meg Cabot and the cleverly titled “The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn” by Diana Peterfreund. Perhaps if I liked zombies or unicorns, I would have enjoyed these stories more.
Bound Manuscript free at Book Expo America
I Kissed A Zombie and I Liked It by Adam Selzer
Selzer’s female protagonist Alley is spunky, witty and maybe just a little bit mean. In a world where supernatural creatures have come out of the closet, Alley may be the only person who is unimpressed by them. Until she meets Doug.
The book is a short quick read. While I am still not into zombies, I appreciated the social implications of the book where zombies were once slaves and certainly second class citizens, where vampires were snobby, racist jerks, and humans foolishly fawn at the feet of the supernatural. If it’s a happy ending you’re looking for, look elsewhere because this book takes a realistic approach with a nothing is perfect stance.
Overall: B+ cause zombies still aren’t my thing
If you like zombies, you might like The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan with its post-apocalyptic love story featuring what else, zombies. Maybe the zombies immediately put me off, but I didn’t connect with these characters or their story at all. For me it was like Amish life meets The Village meets zombies. I’ll stick to the sensual bloodsucking vamps, thanks.
That being said, it did get great reviews from my sister, who does like zombies, so there is hope yet with the target audience. The sequel Dead Tossed Waves was released Tuesday.