TITLE: Ashes, Ashes
AUTHOR: Jo Treggiari
PAGES: 344 (Hardcover)
I wasn’t expecting to ever be able to read this book, but when it popped up in my library I was like, ‘Score!’, and decided I didn’t have anything to lose by borrowing it. After spending one of my precious afternoons (when I should have been studying…) tearing through it, I’m now not entirely what I feel about Ashes, Ashes. It had a lot of promise, both in the idea and the world, but I felt like the author didn’t really expand to her creation’s full potential.
Lucy is your stereotypical heroine; strong, brave, smart, determined (do you see where I’m going here?). I agree with everyone else that the front cover in no way matches the description we are given of Lucy – she made survival her priority, and I liked how she wasn’t afraid to make personal sacrifices and get her hands dirty. She did what it took to survive and shouldered her own responsibilities, even when it meant eating turtle (eww). The romance with Aidan was more of a back plot, and I think it suited the story that the big confession/kiss scene came at the end, though there was still plenty of tension beforehand to see those romance-a-holics through.
The actual plot was unique, although the base idea of a post-apocalyptic world, it’s inhabitants struck down by a deadly plague, is not exactly never-seen-before material. Whilst the storyline was interesting, and had enough pull to keep you reading, I thought Treggiari could have taken advantage of her world much more than she did. Because the book only took place in a small area – and the author had pretty much said that no one was alive – it felt tiny, almost insignificant. With what she had created Treggiari could have created a much more impacting and large scale plot, and though it may have needed a sequel or two it would probably be worth it.
Ashes, Ashes is slightly confronting in an environmental sense, knowing that all of these things (earthquakes, floods, tsunamis etc.) can and are already happening, and our reality could quite possibly become Lucy’s. I really liked the thought of the S’ans not being the typical zombie-evil plague victims, just regular people who are vastly misunderstood, and it was a plus for me in general towards this book.
I know this is kind of short compared to what I usually write, but I’m still not really sure what to write about how I feel. This was a great one time read, but whilst I didn’t hate it it didn’t particularly astound me either. This is a good book, a bit average in my eyes, but if I see more of Treggiari’s work I’ll probably give it a go.