Sunday, August 03, 2014
Monsters...and not the good kind
Monsters brings the Ashes trilogy to a close, but it complicates matters and drags things out way more than was necessary. As the book opens, Alex and Tom are separated and trying to survive in a zombie-filled world where humans are almost as big a problem as the people-eaters. There's a lot of traveling, and Alex is back with Wolf, the zombie who seems to still retain some human emotion. Meanwhile, Chris meets up with Ellie, the girl originally with Alex when the Zap happened, but his story takes a major turn when his injuries turn out to be much worse than feared. Somehow, the main characters slowly, slowly make their ways back to one another in a showdown that may take the town of Rule down in pieces.
I wasn't a fan of the multiple points of view; there's a section in the book that I found myself skimming in order to get back to the main stories. By the time we finally end up in Rule, I was about ready to blow the town up myself. However, I really did enjoy the final third of the book, and the chapters moving back and forth between characters' action was riveting. I loved how it all played out, even if I do feel the story would've benefited from serious culling. It took me quite a while to remember who was who and where we were when I began the book; whoever decided that the "catch-up" pages belonged in the back of the book--after the ending!!--was a major idiot. It really slowed my reading down while I came to grips with what all was going on since it'd been more than a year since I read Shadows.
Monsters is a book I can recommend, with reservations. I think it would've been best had I read it right after Shadows, and if you feel like skimming, it's all right to do so. You won't miss any major plot points and it will get you to the action, which is really good once you arrive. And be forewarned--this is one majorly gory book! Bick doesn't shy away from details of zombie-people-eating, and you'll need a very strong stomach to read it. I also got very tired of hearing about the "monster" in Alex's head--okay, I got it, it's all tied into the theme and the zombies and her illness...too much. But I did enjoy the read and am glad I read the entire series.