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First Things First, I’ll Eat Your Brains

HOLY SHIZZ, a.k.a. a long overdue review of Ilsa J. Bick's Monsters, the final installment in the Ashes trilogy.

First Things First, I’ll Eat Your Brains

BOOK REPORT for Monsters (Ashes #3) by Ilsa J. Bick

Cover Story: Foggy
BFF Charm: Platinum
Swoonworthy Scale: 6
Talky Talk: Intensity in Ten Cities
Bonus Factor: Satisfying Conclusion
Relationship Status: Til Death Do Us Part

Cover Story: Foggy

What's with all the green smoke? Is Alex a Marvel villain?

The Deal:

This is the final book in the Ashes trilogy, so if you haven't read the previous two novels, HOLD IT RIGHT THERE. Seriously, check yourself before you wreck yourself, because you do NOT want to ruin this incredible series by continuing on with this post.

If you have read the first and second books, just know that I will be super vague so as not to spoil anything. Although this book's been out since 2013 so... you're probably sitting there thinking, "Posh, WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?" And I'm like, "I KNOW. I'M AN IDIOT." Because holy effing shizz, you guys. HOLY EFFING SHIZZ. I CAN'T EVEN.

Monsters begins immediately where Shadows left off (and if you're like me and you waited a stupid amount of time to pick up Monsters, you can get a quick and dirty refresher on the end of Shadows here). Honestly, I don't want to tell you much beyond that, but I will say that Alex continues to be a badass, the action continues to be insane (and disgusting), and Ilsa J. Bick deftly manages to bring all of her storylines together in one epic finale.

BFF Charm: Platinum

If you combined Katniss Everdeen, Jessica Jones and Clarke Griffin, you still wouldn't have enough fierceness to rival the strength and grit of Alex Adair.* This girl is a tough as nails SURVIVOR, but what's truly remarkable is her enduring humanity. In spite of facing incessant violence, starvation and imminent death, Alex loves as ferociously as she fights, and it is truly a privilege to accompany her on this last literary leg of her journey.

*That might sound hyperbolic but talk to me after you've read the scene where Alex eats [spoiler redacted].

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

While I miss the days of Ashes, when Alex had time, albeit limited, for romance, I was content with the way certain relationships played out in this book. Tom is still noble and handsome, Chris is still earnest and compelling, and Wolf is... yeah, I'm gonna say it. WOLF IS SEXY, YOU GUYS. I know he eats people and probably has the worst stinkbreath in the history of stinkbreath but c'mon, no one smells good at this point in the apocalypse, amiright?

I do have one minor complaint in this department to direct at Ilsa J. Bick, and it's in regards to one character actually saying, "This isn't a dumb love triangle from a book or something." Stop trying to be clever, Bick, and GIVE US SOME KISSING.

Talky Talk: Intensity in Ten Cities

Oh, were you planning to sleep tonight? Because this book has other plans for you. The pacing is relentless, the plot twists are jaw-dropping and the nasty bits are REAL NASTY. With brutal yet delicate precision, Bick delivers a heart-pounding, mind-blowing ride that rocked me, socked me and left me for dead. (No joke, I think I have a fatal case of TEABS.)

Sincere apologies to my husband, Henri, who had the unfortunate experience of sharing a room with me when I read a particularly harrowing scene and totally LOST MY SHIZZ like a crazy person. But Henri, you should know that saying, "It's just a book," is never, ever helpful.

Bonus Factor: Satisfying Conclusion

Over the course of three books, Bick introduced a dizzying number of characters and storylines, and she expertly brings them together in an exhilarating climax that proves she knew what she was doing all along. I hated to say good-bye to these characters with whom I've grown so close, but I'm happy to report that they got the ending they deserved.*

*Okay, well, most of them. This is still Ilsa J. Bick we're talking about, so don't expect everyone to live.

Casting Call:

It's been a while since Meghan reviewed the first book, so I'm going to take this opportunity to do some recasting.

Eliza Taylor as Alex

Eliza has had to bust some extreme moves in the role of Clarke on The 100, and I think she could handle taking it to the next level of kickassery. (Eliza, how do you feel about running barefoot through the snow?)

Bob Morley as Tom

See what I did there?

Dylan O'Brien as Chris

Relationship Status: Til Death Do Us Part

Book, we've been through hell and high water together, and every challenge, be it a cannibal assault or a fiery explosion, only brought us closer. You've taken me on an unparalleled adventure that I will never forget (and not just because it's hard to get the image of human entrails out of my mind). Electric and earth-shattering, you've got my heart in your hands, and the possibility that you might devour it only makes our relationship that much more exciting.

Monsters is available now, and has been for over two years, so READ IT ALREADY. Then join me in the comments because I HAVE SO MANY THOUGHTS.

Posh Deluxe's photo About the Author: Sarah lives in Austin, TX, where she programs films at the Alamo Drafthouse. Sarah enjoys fancy cocktails, dance parties and anything that sparkles (except vampires).