Ash: Book One in the Rising Ash Saga by R.G. Westerman is an interesting read. The series follows a fifteen-year-old girl, Ash, as she tries to navigate a post-apocalyptic world where most of the human population has been turned into zombies. This world is pretty much all Ash has known. On top of that, Ash is struggling with some amnesia issues. She garners fragments of memory as she moves through the story.
I find Ash to be an interesting character. She presents as a tough and savvy zombie hunter as she goes in search of stuff. In this book, what that constitutes the stuff is not revealed in its entirety. It is known that some of the stuff has to do with Ash’s past. However, there are hints that Ash has another side to her. I am happy for this. If all you see of Ash is what is presented in this book, I think Ash would fall a little flat as a believable character. I am looking forward to seeing how Westerman develops Ash more as the books continue.
Another aspect I enjoyed about this book is Westerman’s world building. She doles out enough details to paint a picture of Ash’s world without turning it into an information dump. It is also clear Westerman has put in quite a bit of thought into the world and how it works, including the zombies. The one thing I wonder about in this world is why the zombies move pretty much in straight lines only? I hope there is some explanation for this, or it will feel to me like an easy out for why some of the events happen the way they do in the book.
The one thing I wish could have been different is the characters of Rachel and Marcus. I love the story line they have. They just felt a little flat to me. There is some back story given in this book, so they do not just appear. I would like to have seen a little more complexity to their personalities. Perhaps some of this is omitted due to the brevity of this first book.
Overall, if you love zombies, zombie hunters, and gore, this is a fun book.