Ashes by ILsa J. Bick
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. Pub. Quercus, 2011.
Seventeen year old Alex has lost her parents and been diagnosed as having an inoperable tumour on the brain that has already taken away her sense of smell and taste. She goes walkabout in the forests near the Great Lakes to think things over and after meeting an 8 year old brat Ellie and her grandfather an Earth shattering thing happens that changes things for ever.
An electromagnetic pulse, EMP, of unknown origin, zaps the World, killing millions and changing young people and old people into something they were not before. It changes Alex.
The EMP cuts all solid state and computer operated machines so that communication is destroyed. The cities are destroyed to ashes and the civilisation that remains is reduced to survival mode and being America the very worst and best of human qualities is exposed.
The pulse has changed people in different ways depending it seems on the hormonal balance of the body. Teenagers either develop super senses as Alex does and some become flesh eating maniac zombies. Old people either die immediately or are rejuvinated.
Alex meets Ellie and ex soldier Tom and together they survive quite well. But then things change as pressure on the world increases, the trio are separated and Alex experiences the mayhem that the World has become.
Well written with a high level of tension and horror but well worth reading. Teenagers will find it absorbing.
Ilsa J. Bick is a new author for me and it seems this idea is ripe for at least one sequel.