Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

Probably, I am just weary of dystopic and apocalyptic novels for teens, so I was not especially thrilled with this one. Bird flu has evolved into an especially virulent form and is still evolving, still raging at books end. Most of the people in the world have perished in this epidemic. Young children, teens, a few elderly people and rare badly scared survivors are all that remain alive. There have been catastrophic earthquakes, floods, tsunami's as well. And, there are the sweepers who gather up the sick, dying, dead and tend to them. But, recently they have been carting off apparently still healthy individuals using mean dogs to hunt them down. Lucy has been surviving on her own since her family died. Aidan discovers her and asks her to join his small community of survivors, which she does when yet another tsunami wipes out the area in which she lived. Sweepers come and kidnap some in the community. A couple escape this time, something that suspiciously has never happened before. One of the escapees persuades Lucy, Aidan and some of the others to go on a rescue mission to bring back others who were stolen. Its a trap to get Lucy who has some sort of special immunity to the flu and who doctors want to study. The place they are held in resembles more of a prison than a research hospital, they are drugged and locked in. With the help of the one who set them up, now repentant, and an apparently friendly former school nurse Lucy, Aidan and the others escape. The doctor in charge is perhaps mad or crazy. An so the life of barely surviving goes on. I assume there will be more books in the future. I suspect Lucy will by rather like an Eve figure. She undoubtedly has whatever it takes to survive even the evolving flu and start a family which could help repopulate the world.
jdw 12/30/11

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