Category Archives: Egmont USA

Review: Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross

Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release date: April 10, 2012
Source: Purchased
Rating: Four Stars

Going into this book, I’d read very few, if any, reviews. But I had somehow seen this being compared to that Once Upon a Time show on ABC which looks like a fun show to watch. I must get around to seeing it someday. But I love fairy-tale retellings, and this was a slam dunk book for me. I loved it.
I grew up with the Disney versions of these tales, as I’m sure many of you did. I’ve never gotten around to reading the original tales though, mostly because they’re darker than their Disney counterparts. But some of these tales don’t have happy endings, and I was introduced to that in Kill Me Softly. Like with Bluebeard’s tale, which I’d never actually heard of so I looked it up on Wikipedia. What frustrated me about this tale and it’s importance is that Mira reacted like she thought this person had a choice in what was happening later on near the end, when in reality he didn’t. He was cursed, and had to follow that curse. But then again, he was less forthcoming than the other guy with the same curse, so he can still be seen as a villain. Still, I prefer one over the other, and wasn’t entirely pleased about who she ends up with, even though I do like him too. That may just be me though.
I loved seeing how Sarah was interpreting these curses and enchantments in modern day settings. It was very imaginative and really helped develop these secondary characters. If this becomes a series, which I can see possibilities for, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing everyone again, and hopefully seeing more of their day to day lives in this fairy tale town.

Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release date: September 6, 2011
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Published format: Hardcover, 480 pages
Series: Ashes Trilogy #1
Purchase: Book Depository

Summary from Goodreads:
It could happen tomorrow . . .

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.

I haven’t read very many zombie novels, if any, just because the idea of zombies just really creeps me out for some reason. I watched The Walking Dead a few nights ago and had to watch something happy just so I wouldn’t have any bad dreams. End of the world type things also freak me out, but that doesn’t stop me from reading books like this, or watching movies. This one seemed like it would be good so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did because I definitely enjoyed it!
I absolutely loved the first half of the book. When the pulse happens and Alex meets up with first Ellie, and then Tom. Ellie was definitely annoying at first, but eventually she grew to realize the importance of what had happened, and grew up just a little bit. Tom was an interesting character. On the one hand he cares about Ellie and Alex and wants to protect them, but on the other hand he’s keeping secrets from them. He’s not fully developed before the novel pulls a big switch and seems completely different. Alex is separated from both and we’re introduced to a whole town full of new characters. This did kind of disrupt the flow for me, but overall it works. And adds in a new degree of horror when the truth of the town is revealed.
I am confused on the age thing and what makes certain people zombies, why some just drop dead, and others aren’t affected at all. so I’m hoping that Ilsa fleshes that out more in the sequel. And I’m definitely wanting to know what Alex will do about Rule and what they’re doing. Another thing I’m confused on is the love triangle. Yes, there is a love triangle in Ashes. Tom takes up the first half of the book, and Chris takes up the second half. Honestly, by the end I didn’t know who I was rooting for, which is unusual for me. Ninety-nine percent of the time I choose right off the bat which character I like more. What I would have done with Ashes was choose Tom, but then Chris comes with his own brand of warped awesome and it just created confusion.
What I absolutely loved about this book though was that Ilsa J. Bick was not afraid to go to the hard places with her story. Like I said, this is a zombie story so it is a given that there are gruesome parts. But there were also parts when the those humans that are left become less human because of their actions in trying to survive. This is a survival tale, and she wasn’t afraid to let that show in the story. It’s an interesting thought that were a zombie apocalypse of some kind were to happen, this is just one way of seeing what that future would be like.