Monday, August 1, 2011

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

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.

This book was slow going at first. Not that it wasn't well written; Jo Treggiari steeps her prose in description that makes Lucy's post-apocalyptic world incredibly vivid. But for the first couple chapters, there was only description of how Lucy goes about surviving, with the occasional break for how this world came to be. Things got much better once she met Aidan and his band of survivors, because we get actual dialogue. And here's where the story kept me reading.

What does it take to survive? What keeps this motley band of old timers and younglings together, keeps them resisting the Sweepers that attack and kidnap? Lucy, after half a year without speaking to another soul and years life was normal, allows herself to be folded into their camp and their way of life. And when that way of life includes facing off against Sweepers....there are implications that go all the way back to when the plague first started killing people off, and Lucy remained completely healthy.

The Final Word: A good premise, but rather predictable and heavy on the details.

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