Dystopian teen fiction has been on the rise since the soaring success of The Hunger Games. The UK’s the guardian had an interesting article over the weekend by author Moira Young about why this might be so. Giving what she called a “simple explanation”, Young said, “Teenagers like to read dystopian fiction because it’s exciting. It all comes down to the story. The story comes first, and the setting – extraordinary though it may be – is of secondary importance.”
One of these new stories has popped up on our radar recently, and while we generally save talk about YA fiction for Teen Thursday here on the blog, we wanted to share it with you today.
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick has been receiving quite a few positive reviews. Kirkus Reviews said of the new urban fantasy novel, “Splendidly paced apocalyptic zombie horror ends with a thrilling, terrifying cliffhanger and a number of unresolved mysteries.” Publisher’s Weekly had this take on it, “Bick delivers an action-packed tale of an apocalypse unfolding, launching a trilogy with flair.”
What really brought the book to our attention, however, are a couple of reviews we recently received from fellow booksellers in indie bookstores around the country.
Hallie Wilkins of Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Il read Ashes and said, “It’s like The Walking Dead, but in a YA novel! With its surreal details, this book felt like reality. After an electromagnetic pulse hits the United States, the main character, Alex, is forced to fight for her survival, against the ‘Changed’ and even the living. Headstrong and incredibly brave, Alex has the reader enthralled within the emotional, action driven plot. I can’t wait for the sequel!”
Ramona Wanless of Square Books, Jr. in Oxford, Mississippi said, “My copy of Ashes came a few weeks ago, I DEVOURED it! It was really wonderful, and right up my alley! Loved the twist on dystopian fiction and zombie lore! I can’t believe how much I loved it, and have told everyone here about it. Thanks so much for thinking of me, and I can’t wait to sell it!”
So if urban apocalyptic zombie fiction is your thing, check this one out. With the film version of The Hunger Games making so much news, teens will likely be looking for their dystopian fiction for a long while to come. You can learn more about the author, Isla J. Bick, at her website.