Ashes, Ashes

Ashes, Ashes (unabr.). 8 CDs. 9:48 hrs. Oasis Audio. 2011. ISBN 978-1-5985-9939-8. $27.99.
Gr 9 Up—Lucy has survived environmental catastrophes and an epidemic that killed most of the population in Jo Treggiari's dystopian novel (Scholastic, 2011) set in a post-apocalyptic New York City. The girl lost her entire family in the last wave of the plague and now lives alone, hunting and scavenging for food. She's attacked by wild dogs and rescued by a boy named Aidan, a member of the Scavengers, a group of survivors who have banded together for safety and companionship. But just as she joins the group, Sweepers kidnap several of the members, and it becomes apparent that they are inoculating their victims with the Plague in an attempt at medical experimentation. It appears that Lucy is immune to the disease, and her blood could be used to develop an antidote. Although the story starts a bit slowly, it gathers speed and tension as Lucy, Aidan, and others confront the director of the medical experimentation program. Cassandra Clare contributes to that tension through her narration and suspenseful voicing of each character. A better than average dystopian adventure.—Ann Brownson, Ballenger Teachers Center, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston

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