Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ashes Ashes

Takes place in the ruins of NYC!
A few weeks ago I read the book "Ashes, Ashes", by Jo Treggiari, and it's one of the most amazing, futuristic, almost dystopian, haunting, fascinating books I've ever read. Remember the song everybody used to sing as little children? A small group would hold hands to form a ring, and start turning round and round, singing "Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posy, ashes, ashes, we all fall down", and on cure, all the children throw themselves to the floor (at least, that's how I used to play it). Now what's really interesting is that this playful children's song actually originated from Europe, during the time of the black plague, or the bubonic plague. Symptoms of the plague included a ring that would form around any part of the persons body (such as the neck) thus the first verse. Posies and other sweet smelling flowers were often brought to the ill person, to mask the smell. People fell like flies when the plague began to spread, and the last two lines refer to the final stages and then death of everybody. The author has the song in italics on the first page, like a prologue, before the story (Ashes, Ashes) begins. The idea behind the story is that there was another plague that caught the humans, though this time, only 99.9 survived. The plot is well built, the characters good enough, the first part of the story reminding me of "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen, the the rest of the story is very different. I don't want to say to much, so I hope you take my word and try it out. I really hope there's going to be a sequel, because I have a few questions that were not answered. In an interview with defectivegeeks.com:

Are you writing a sequel or working on a new book? Can you tell us about it?
TREGGIARI: I have a companion book and a sequel outlined and I hope I get to write them! I just finished an urban fantasy which combines Celtic myth with coming of age and great white sharks, and right now I’m working on a neo-Gothic, horror YA.
Fingers crossed!